Stephen Resar’s “Emma” – Part Two!


“Emma” – filming day.

A good crew means everything and mine were dedicated and considerate. The product I have in hand is due to their unselfish efforts. The actors each are actively involved in other productions, and both are taking acting classes.

Our film set slowly came together over a two week period prior to filming, and the crew had the opportunity to fine tune it and to get comfortable with the equipment.

We filmed with three cameras, two VIXIA HF G20’s and one Cannon DSLR. The DSLR was used to capture our wide, center shot (the footage posted), and the G20’s captured the medium shots of each actor and also their medium close ups.

Cutting/mixing this will be my challenge in post work as well as with the audio. All three cameras captured sound. However, I did have booms with shotgun mics just out of frame. During “Auto Mastering” of the shotgun mic audio, the TASCAM unit stopped, and the digital audio vanished. I was monitoring the sound during mastering, it was crisp, and clean. That type of unit won’t be used again, I’ll simplify things. First lesson learned.

There was a total of eight of us on set, the beauty of it was that all arrived at their scheduled times as listed on the Call Sheet, which was nothing more than an Excel spreadsheet. I regularly updated the sheet and posted on a dedicated website for the team to use. That seemed to be my best decision, having a central repository for quickly changing information.

I used cool fluorescent lighting on the actors, color corrected by gels for tungsten. I learned this from an online lighting course I took while also taking this class. My plan was to use two tungsten cans to create my shadows. I had a 300W light and a 600W light. The 600W light kept setting off the smoke detector, so we had to ditch it. Second lesson learned.

Reading up on “working with and directing the actor”, I made sure that I kept things lighthearted but still controlled. I wanted the actors to feel welcome and at ease so we began the day with filming interviews with the actors in their street clothes. This was done ET, Access Hollywood style.

We then moved on to still photos and then had the actors get into costume for one last round of still photos, they seemed to really enjoy this and were thrilled when I told them that they were each getting a set for their own use. Note to self, actors love promotional photos of themselves.

The actual filming went off without a hitch. The actors really nailed it. We shot the entire script a total of three times; the third being the close ups.

I’d like to have the edited project done before this class ends, but this is another new cavern to cross. I did sleep well last night! I want to do this again.



I’m taking my first swing at the post production work now. I started with the ending credits. I used Windows Movie Maker to compile it and make the scrolling credits, Audacity to mix some audio, and Adobe After Effects (Trial Version) to render the cobblestones – that was a cheap template from VideoHive, I just changed the text. A link is below:


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