First, before I get into this, I just want to say thank you to all who’ve seen my short and who’ve supported me throughout the whole process. From pre-production to the release, I’m so overwhelmed by the amount of encouragement I’ve received.
So, let’s get started…
Pre Production Phase:
Well, this all happened in November. In Electronic Field Production we are asked to produce/direct/shoot 3 packages. We could either do narrative or news packages. For me, the creative side always came easier. However, for some reason I had no idea where to start. You could say I “hit the wall.” When you have a limited crew, no actors who showed up to the casting call, and really no clue to begin, you just have to work around what you have. So… that’s where the concept began…
My inspiration for the script really came from a short I viewed last year called “When the Five Fell.” Wong Fu Productions were the masterminds behind it, and as a loyal and long time follower I completely fell in love with it. The cinematography was brilliant, the writing was so eloquent and romantic, just everything drew me in. It had so much substance.
So, when you don’t know where to start… Always draw from your inspirations. I decided to focus on one single character, and show a journey throughout a relationship. I wanted to do what Wes did, which was show love in a completely new perspective. My coffee cup was going to be the narrator, and he was going to fall in love with the girl who saved him from a life of loneliness–Natalie. One of my writing professors always told me, to spice up a story… tell your story from the other gender’s perspective. So, I thought, “What if I told what love was like for me… but from the male perspective?”
This idea of the garage sale, and them spending so much time together, really was there for the back story. I wanted you to see a complete story, and I wanted you to hear details, to make sure you were engaged in their relationship.
When Natalie breaks the cup, I saw that as a symbol of anyone who’s ever had to deal with a broken heart. It happens eventually, and only a few people out there have lived without getting their heart broken. So, you see in the film that she carelessly breaks the cup, because honestly… the cup was living in a “fantasy relationship.” He knew that she was falling for someone else, and it was only a matter of time before things fell a part. No pun intended.
Obviously, Natalie moves on… and she finds “someone else” and even a new cup. You know, so many people have that daily ritual of drinking coffee. The cup is like a constant companion, so in a way her constant companion fell for her… but she didn’t love him back.
Shooting… Everyone’s favorite part about film making. So, my cinematographer and I, Kevin R., shot with a Sony Z7U. It’s a really awesome camera, and we did things all digital. We shot it to a memory card, and we also shot it in HD. From my understanding, the class is one of the few classes in the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communications who shoots in HD.
For location… we went for convenience like most in the college. We had a tight deadline, both of us were extremely busy, and Gaylord’s a beautiful building in itself. So, we shot a couple sequences as you in saw in Gaylord Hall. We had to be really careful that the windows (Gaylord has tons and tons of glass in the building structure) wouldn’t over expose the shot.
For the home sequences, I shot those myself. When Natalie was outside and when Natalie drank coffee in the kitchen, I framed up the camera, hit record, and sat down for the shots. I know, ambitious for a rookie.
My favorite place to shoot was the OU Gazebo right near the dorms. I’ve always had a fondness of the Gazebo, because it looked like a romantic quiet place. So, that’s why I selected it as the secret hide out of Natalie and her cup. We shot the cup breaking sequence several times getting it from all sorts of angles, but thankfully we did because it made editing 10 times easier.
Now, not a whole lot of people don’t share post production secrets, because they want you to maintain that willful suspension of disbelief… and I’ll try to keep it that way as well. I used Final Cut Pro 7 to edit, and not a whole lot of trickery. My goal with the whole short was to stick with simplicity.
Now, I’ll reserve this section as a thank you to those who’ve supported. To all my friends who’ve seen and commented on it, thank you so much. I really owe it all to you guys… My family and friends are the exact reason why I want to become a producer. The thing I wanted most in life was to do what I loved. I don’t care if I’m broke. As long as I can pay my bills and continue to do what I love that’s the bottom line.
My cinematographer/co-director/– Kevin, thank you so much for being such a great partner. We’ve done our fair share of hard work, and all of them wouldn’t have been possible without you.
Finally, a special shout out to Harry Shum Jr.
Harry, Thank you so much for checking out my film. I can’t tell you what an honor it is that someone who’s in touch with this world professionally takes the time to explore the works of aspiring film makers. It really does mean a lot, and I appreciate your support with the fullest gratitude.
Thanks again to my family and friends, and a BIG shout to Lauren Coffey and Hannah Youngblood. You ladies have supported me so much that I wanted to give the LOVE right back!
Thank You everyone, and I hope you enjoy/ed “Brewed Awakening”