Peer Production: The Trials & Tribulations of Shooting Your Own Series Pt. 2

A 2 day shoot! We certainly hope Josh is proud of himself and his team.

odds of winning

Day 2

by Josh Hudson

To put it bluntly: a somber cloud on an otherwise successful day.

If you missed my experience on Day 1 of filming Odds Of Winning, click here. Day 2 definitely went smoother. After our Google+ chat to iron out the mishaps, set up was seamless. There was a higher sense of urgency amongst the crew – a pep in their step, if you will. I felt this was odd since two of my crew members were unable to make it due to their conflicting class schedules. And no, they weren’t the “bad apples” by any means.

Because I’m acting in the series, it was my turn to sit in the make-up chair. Our Director was running lines with our lead actor, camera and lights were on schedule, and we were on schedule. I’m just about done with my make-up when my 1st A.D. approaches: “I think one of Katie’s friends just died.”

Some things you just can’t prepare for.

Katie is the manager at The Other Bar, the location of our series. She’s one of the coolest people I’ve ever met, and she’s worked closely with me to make sure this series takes off in a timely fashion. She found out via Facebook that one of the shift managers at the bar, who was also a close friend of hers, was killed in a hit and run accident on his way home from work. I did what I could to comfort her and even told her that if she wanted us to pack up and go, we could reschedule, because this type of event takes precedent. She was gracious enough to allow us to continue shooting despite the tragedy.

I huddled my crew and informed them of the happenings. I told them we would be able to continue shooting, but at any point in time, we could be asked to leave, and we were to be respectful of that request. The key is to work diligently and get the shots we came here to shoot in a timely fashion.

In between takes, I made sure to check on Katie. I’ve lost people close to me (as I’m sure many of us have) and sometimes a shoulder to cry on is what the doctor ordered. Some of the employees of the bar were called in so she could deliver the horrific news, and throughout the day, the other side of the bar filled up.

With a crowd comes the noise.

Boom mics pick up everything. That’s kind of the beauty of them. It’s also why we hate them. Going into this series, filming at this bar was going to be a challenge with sound because of the ambiance of the bar: the refrigerators, fans, outside noise, etc. We can’t exactly prepare for a gathering of people mourning the loss of a loved one. According to my DP, the lavs saved us on sound. In no way am I complaining because if I were in the mourners’ shoes, I probably would’ve acted similarly. But man, was that a challenge.

We finished ahead of scheduled, and even packed up the equipment and were out the door before our allotted time expired. Not too many issues on set aside from a little too much chitchat amongst the crew, but things went well enough that it was definitely a win in my book.

I met with Katie and one of the co-owners after we were done to express my condolences, and also expressed my appreciation for letting us continue our shoot. I told them I would dedicate this episode to their friend because it’s the right thing to do. I then reminded them about our shoot for the upcoming Tuesday. Then came another adjustment.

The bar was scheduled to undergo some interior renovations, and they were scheduled to begin – you guessed it – Tuesday. They asked us if we could stay and shoot it that (Fri)day, but unfortunately our lead actor had to be at his everyday job. We tried to work in some other days in between, but couldn’t find a common day, so I just decided it would be best to hold off until January and call this episode the Odds Of Winning: Holiday Special. Its New Year’s themed, so we’ll go with it. Plus, it gives me time to gauge the timing of the post production process. With everyone away for the holidays and having day jobs of their own, I needed something to go off for when we pick up the bulk of production after the New Year.

Until then, my life is all about looking over footage, scheduling, planning, planning, and more planning. Oh, and saving money. Feeding a crew is not cheap.

Thanks for listening! I’ll fill in everyone on the post production process once we’ve completed it. If I’ve inspired any of you, awesome! If I’ve scared any of you, better now than from an executive who couldn’t care less.

Author: The_Hudsonian

An aspiring TV Writer. A love for comic books. Huge sports fan. Bleed Orange and Green (Da U!) That's all for now. I'll update when I make more noise in the writing world. Follow me on Twitter @The_Hudsonian for all kinds of brilliant nonsense.

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