For the past two days me and all of my fellow adventurers have been working on challenges that are not only self-designed, but also challenges that must be designed and completed by each individual independently. I had thrown around a few ideas, including fasting and refraining from speaking for a day, but was encouraged to pursue another idea that resulted in a much more tangible end-product. I had given myself the challenge, not only of completing a short film in two days, but of creating said film using only my phone’s front-facing (the one for selfies) camera and editing that film using only Windows Movie Maker.
This was a challenge I gave myself because I find that I tend to set my sights very high. I try to create the best product I can, but when I have Adobe products, a camera with multiple lenses, and a script I’ve worked on for months, the best I can do can become so daunting that I quit before I come out with a finished product. While I could certainly make something better with more resources, when I have 36 hours, knowing that doing the best I can with the tools provided is quite comforting. I turned out to be right in thinking this as I not only wound up with a finished product, but with a finished product that was 30 minutes long.
The reason for the length of my short film had to do with my filming method. Though it was not expressly part of my challenge, we were encouraged to be as independent as possible, so I opted not to use any actors other than myself. The way I worked with this was to play the role of someone similar to myself embarking on a similar project to my own, only with a few more supernatural findings. I found that the best way to add depth to my character, given my resources, was to film as much as possible. This resulted in many continuous takes consisting of many minutes of me talking at a camera. I have yet to watch my film with an audience, but the intense amount of filming provided me with one last learning experience.
I am not an actor, nor do I have anything more than the most rudimentary experience acting. I also have not experienced seeing myself talk for extended periods of time before. Whenever I was filming, I was seeing myself talk, whenever I re-watched something to make sure I had a take I watched myself talk, and when I had to edit everything together I watched myself talk. I gained an awareness of my mannerisms I don’t normally have, but also, considering the fact that my character was supposed to be doing the exact same thing, I was able to immerse myself into someone who wasn’t really me, something I also don’t have experience with. Even if no one on earth ever views my film, I will have that takeaway.
Watch the film here: https://youtu.be/0ngNTvDMOnw