Max Production Notes Pt. 2 (Watch Max on Vimeo now!)

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If you haven’t read Part 1, click here.

Production day:

We got off to a rough start, to say the least. I had planned to begin filming by 10 am, but that didn’t happen. Ultimately, our filming began at 1 pm after a bit of downtime and a chance to re-focus our energy, and from then on things went extremely well.

Because of the delay, we revised the schedule and the first scene we shot was the kitchen scene. Thanks again to Ron and Nicole Miller for lending us their kitchen for a couple hours. This scene featured Corey (Max) and Brittany Gerena (Stephanie), in her acting debut. Zach was on hand, he was essentially the Assistant Director on the shoot, giving me a set of extra hands, advice, and managing the script. George was also there managing all the audio. I was the Director and Cinematographer, and this scene has some of my favorite shots and moments in it. This scene, although very simple, was a lot of fun to shoot and was a great way to start the production.

After the first scene, we took a short break to gather props, import footage, and prepare for the next scene. The next portion of filming involved just Corey, Zach, and myself. We ended up going to the Yellow Cab of Columbus office and filming in their parking lot for about an hour. The scene also has some of my favorite shots in it, and we met some really nice people while filming. One cab driver even offered to let us ride with him for awhile if we needed to get some shots of what it’s like to really be a cab driver, but we didn’t take him up on his offer.

By this time it was around five o’clock, and we decided to grab a bite to eat. We had one daytime scene left, but needed to wait for George to return because it had a heavy dose of dialogue.

We regrouped and had literally no idea where we were going to shoot this scene. We needed an office/front desk/counter area to use, and had asked around with less than satisfying responses. We decided to head to Capital University, where I am a student, and decided to check their IT desk. It was seven o’clock on a Thursday, and thankfully it wasn’t busy. The two guys working at the desk were very accommodating and allowed us to invade their space for a solid hour of shooting. We had completed one of the last big pieces to the puzzle, and just needed to wait for dark and to meet up with the rest of the cast for the final scenes.

I had to go pick a few of our actors up, so we dispersed for a bit and all reconvened at 10. 

At this point, the cast and crew included Corey, Zach, George, Ron, J.D. Ramage, Sam Bantner, Mason Young, and myself. I needed a diner location, and I had a particular Waffle House in mind, but never actually had a chance to stop by and check it out. We ended up going over there to give it a shot, and although it wasn’t perfect, we didn’t have a ton of time left and it was at least usable. This is where we filmed the beginning and the end, and we did it pretty quickly as the place started to fill up with people on top of our 8 person crew.

A couple detours later, we arrive at our final location. We quickly ran through the plan for the location, and began shooting. The first bit of shooting was just me and Corey, so everyone else got to hang out and have a good time. Then J.D., Mason, and Sam filmed their parts and then… “that’s a wrap!”

We actually did it. I directed my first short and I was really excited to take a look at all the footage we got and to begin putting it together. 

So that’s it. I hope you enjoyed a look into my journey directing my first short and entering the Beyond the Still contest.

Depending on the response and interest we get from this point on, we may record a director’s and actor’s commentary track to talk more about the story of Max and where some of our ideas came from. Let me know if you’d like to hear that.