A couple of weeks ago, Jill and I put together a one-minute silent movie called Sign of the Times and submitted it into TUFF, Toronto Urban Film Festival. It was the first time we tried doing something like this. And I can assure you that Sign of the Times is a movie marvel that you will want to rave about at Hollywood parties, office fax machines and glory holes throughout the city.
Seriously, check it out!
This is the tale of one woman’s descent into urban parking chaos. (Based on a true story)
TOP 3 THINGS I LEARNED FROM MAKING A ONE MINUTE MOVIE
I thought the idea for the movie was straightforward – a woman tries to park her car in the city. All we’d need to do is shoot some street signs, some in-car driving scenes, a hydrant, a traffic cop, parallel parking. In my head it seemed do-able. I even storyboarded it and everything, so we could keep everything clear.
But within 10 minutes of shooting I realized we had actually signed (Ha! Sign! Fuck you pun) up for a much more complicated. Shooting signs, driving around the block repeatedly, standing in traffic, waiting for cars to clear out, moving around pedestrians, trying to avoid bikers. That combined with top of multiple takes and angles, our overall inexperience but let’s-have-fun-approach – our one minute film took about 3 hours to shoot.
The editing room is not the answer
During the shoot I thought “I’ll just photoshop it and edit it in later.” But what I was actually saying was, “I have a 15 hour gap in my life and want to fill it by working with programs I’m only adequately familiar with.”
Photoshop and editing takes way more time than I thought. It’s like when you’re eight and your pervy grade 3 teacher Mr. Sale*, makes you sit on his lap. You think you’ll be there for a moment and then it ends up feeling like an eternity.
Light. Learn it.
I have no idea what to do with light. Where’s the sun supposed to be so there’s no shadow? Or maybe it’s better sans sun but mucho cloudos? Light’s important and I better take a LIFT course on it.
* Mr. Sale eventually gave up teaching and instead became a priest. Yup. Seriously.