Max Production Notes Pt. 1

max production shot - kitchen

I have followed the Beyond the Still competition very closely since the beginning. Although I did not have an HD camera, preventing me from actually entering the contest, the idea of a contest that leaves each chapter’s creation up to the users was extremely intriguing.

Then, Canon released the Rebel T2i (550D), an affordable entry-level HD-DSLR, capable of video on par with the 7D. In the right hands, this camera is capable of amazing things. I began saving my money, selling unneeded items, and waiting for the day I could purchase this camera. Finally the day came, and we were onto Chapter 3 of the story of a cabbie, a bear, a key, and a trunk.

One short caught my eye in particular, The Beach by M. Keegan Uhl. I felt like it was a great continuation of the story while leaving the next chapter open to many different directions. I had the basis for an idea together and excitedly asked two of my closest friends, Zach Frankart and Corey Oancea, if they wanted to join in on the project. Of course, they were both in. They are largely responsible for my interest in video production and filmmaking, and we have worked together on projects, shorts, and other fun things since high school. 

Our first pre-production meeting was two weeks before the top five finalists were even chosen. We were betting it all on a short that may not even make it to the voting round. During this meeting, we filled in all the missing parts to the story I had developed and Zach wrote the first draft of the script. Corey was set to play our lead role, “Max,” and he also began to work on ideas for an original score. I’ll save the details on actually how we came up with the story for a later post or director’s commentary.

We had a couple more meetings between the three of us, meanwhile I gathered friends, co-workers, and classmates to play various roles in the short. Many of them had some experience behind or in front of a camera, but for most this was going to be our first real short film production. Also, Zach’s roommate George Folickman, who also grew up in the same town as us, volunteered to do all the sound work, and the stage was set.

Fast forward through excited text messages and phone calls when The Beach made the cut for the top 5, and eventually won the third chapter. We had a shooting schedule set and would be filming at various times between 10 am on April 15th through 1 am that night and we wanted to complete everything in that day.

I’ll post Pt. 2 of the Production Notes as soon as “Max” is available to watch on Vimeo. At our current stage of post-production, we should have it online between April 27 and May 1. Until then,

Watch Chapter 1: The Cabbie

Watch Chapter 2: Job Security

Watch Chapter 3: The Beach

Thanks for reading,