Running On Empty

Running On Empty

This film was like no other that I’ve shot. Firstly I financed it. Secondly we hired a red epic, thirdly I had a crew of only 10 people. The average age of my crew being 17 years old. This is “true” filmmaking.

A year ago my friend and I came up with a concept. I explained a scene I wanted to shoot and how it could be part of a feature. For a year, on and off we wrote this feature. It was 45 pages long. With only one cast member it meant we had to be inventive and clever with the narrative.

As the story grew, the narrative also grew and changed. It became a Sci-Fi. Having never shot a Sci-Fi before and knowing this was to be different, it became an incredibly exciting project. The world was our oyster.

We realized in order to make this work we would have to do things differently. With little to no budget we had to prioritize what was important. One of our main spends was on the camera. So we shot with a red epic, a black magic and a canon. Yes three cameras. We also rented a space, a phenomenal studio. Wardrobe and props and design was down to us. Lights and a dolly were lent to us by a great company called Water Line Pictures. Now it was down to the crew. I LOVE mentoring, it’s my favorite thing. I was fortunate enough to have 8 young people on my crew all under 18. They were gaffers, lighting, PAs and finally my amazing DP. Jonah Mazer. We shot for 5 days. Finally I had two ladies shadowing me. They were wonderfully good sports and ended up producing and PAing and also being in the film. It was a fantastic family.

Sean Mcnamara (Soul Surfer, The Miracle Season) also visited set to help out, guide and offer advice to everyone.

It was truly a wonderful experience. Now the film is being edited by the DP with guidance from myself and my mentors.

This epitomizes filmmaking to me. Creating an idea, shooting it and making it work. Completing it with the help and support of others and finally selling it.

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