Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The filming of The Robbery, part one

Toast TV’s James Gentle spent his weekend shooting his short film, The Robbery. The piece is currently in production and will be distributed in a few weeks. In the mean time, we thought we’d treat you to some dark and dramatic details of the shoot in a three part series. This blog details the first day of the shoot.

Follow James's production company @KissTheKerb.

I’ve just returned to Toast Towers with a gun.

On my arrival I’m confronted with the news that the Canon C300 will not be available for The Robbery. The gun now appears to have a second role along side it’s relevance to the film.

I rip open the package, fill the gun with gas and release the trigger a few times to feel the kickback. My disappointment at not having the C300 dissipates. Instead I concentrate on making sure that I have everything that I need for this weekend’s shoot.

As I leave, I get a text from the director of photography and cameraman extraordinaire Thom Hill, saying that our back-up camera is still out on location. If only that gun wasn’t buried so deep in my rucksack. I carry on to Fenchurch Street, knowing that the 7D will be with us, eventually.

After an hour’s wait, Thom arrives in a taxi with even more equipment than me. Have we bitten off more than we can chew? Will we be able to start filming tonight? Are we actually going to be able to carry all this kit between the two of us? Or are we going to be stuck in London surrounded by a sea of magic arms, lights and radio mics?

Fortunately, our train delivers us safely and quickly to our location at a small commuter town in Essex called Benfleet, which is where I grew up. Phil Reynolds, our writer, is already there waiting for us as we cram everything into all the available space.

We head to our first shot, up on a hill in Leigh-on-Sea, merely a 10 minute drive from the station. The three of us look around as if we’re waiting for something bad to happen, we suspiciously get what we need out of the car. Then Thom sets his shot and we turn over.

From there on in it gets easier, we act like old pros, ideas and shots coming to us as if it were second nature. There are slow mos, Go Pros and everything in between. Midnight comes, a gopro falls off the car and at that point we call it a night. A very successful night.

James Gentle

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