This is the second night I spent on the set of Anthony D’Juan’s one-man film Untitled. Footage shot on the Canon 7D using the Sigma 28mm f/1.8 for the interiors.
Anthony wrote a detailed blog on his Facebook page that sums up his experience at Naked Filmmaking better than I can, so here is a reprint from his page.
This is reprinted from Anthony D’Juan’s Facebook page from August 21, 2010.
Naked Filmmaking (passing the buck)
Now stands the terror of post-production. Nail biting and stressful. Waking up from nightmares of dreamed film sequences that don’t work. Me, center circle, surrounded by my enemies while they chant my downfall and advice my dismissal from the arts all together.
“Do we have enough footage?”
“Is the sound okay?”
“Do we have a movie?”
“Am I fooling myself and wasting everyones time? If so, I’m sorry, my bags are packed and I’m off to Canada to become a drunk.”
But I love it. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be doing it. I’m thinking about this project with obsession while mapping out the next three projects to keep me occupied. Noting consideration for Celia and Micah I think on a long term scale with enough stretch to give them lives — juxtaposed to me not having one — and hope for enthusiastic returns on the next one (a feature).
Most directors remember the first day of shooting. I do and I don’t. I know Nanci and Galen and Celia were there and that’s about it. I remember pointing a camera. Giving incomprehensible direction in result of no sleep. Moving our location down the road because of outside noises. Stress over sound (wasn’t too concerned about picture, but sound). Panic that the process has begun and “do we have enough light?” It stands as scrambled reminiscence in clear images placed out of sync, paused in a still, and laminated under a luke warm press resulting in lumpy memorabilia tossed aside in the “what not to do” pile. O how Erin Michelle Kruger and Ryan Todd would shake their heads and cringe had they been there to watch an amateur at work.
But I love it.
I love every moment of it.
Getting out of bed at 7am after leaving work at 5am, getting coffee, eating bad breakfast food, shooting, then contemplating the obvious: “do we have a drink? or do we go to sleep? or do we have a drink THEN go to sleep?”
I love it.
The actors arrive and we greet them. They scramble for lines while I set up the camera and mic them. They tell stories of the night before (85% of which I don’t hear ’cause I’m too occupied) and laugh and pull themselves away from the script (as they should) and by the time we role they’re nailing it. I look about whatever location we’re shooting and Celia’s making notes. Micah’s changing batteries. Nanci’s on her lap top awaiting her time. A scene is not working. I re-think and re-direct on the spot. We re-write in “film language”, I discard whatever homage I was attempting to pay, and seek simplicity. Mike Carroll told me: “Don’t try and be Speilberg on your first time out” and this runs through my mind as I climb down from the high rise I’ve stepped on to in order to “achieve the shot” and default to the “Nightbeats” style of NAKED FILMMAKING. I stand far. Shoot close. Make the actors my production value and not the bare walls that surround them. I think of Mikhail Kalatozov’s “I Am Cuba”, Rémy Belvaux’s “Man Bites Dog” ,Ole Christian Madsen’s “Kira’s Reason” and (of course) John Cassavettes’ “Faces” (a name I try to keep out because by now his influence is too obvious) and I proceed. Not that I am any where NEAR the brilliance of these guys. There’s no way. I’m on a Chris King borrowed camera with limited days to shoot before we must return it, so all that can be done is walk the narrow path and hope for the best.
But I love it.
I love the process so much.
To sit down and write a script. To gather actors who are willing to execute (impossible without them; other wise I’d do comic books). To assemble a group of people so willing to take time out their lives (for no money) and share a passion that lives within me. We had no crew. I was the crew. Micah did sound on certain days. Celia did set design. Micah kept us on point. Celia raised the morale. And I operate the camera. Mike Carroll showed up and pushed me (something I will forever be thankful for). An editor (Aaron Lane) who took to the project without question. All of this: a blessing. An outward and obvious blessing. Two producers who had never worked on a film took to this project as though they’d been doing it their entire lives. I was floored. Actors from the theater (all whom I’d worked with when I was acting) who showed up. Panic that turned to joy. Follow-thru and compromise. I hate the idea of “my vision.” I love the idea of “our movie.” Is it “a film by Anthony D’Juan Shelton?” Under the concept of NAKED FILMMAKING, yes. Under the concept of execution in the case of “Untitled” it’s hard to say. It very well may be. All I know is this would have been impossible without the support I received.
And now goes post-production…
Mike Carroll’s book “NAKED FILMMAKING” is what got me through the process. Best book on one-man filmmaking (true independence) since “Rebel Without a Crew” by Robert Rodriguez.