Friday, October 24, 2008

Barn Scene Reshoots

August 4 and 5 we shot our Barn Scenes ... the most expensive (overall) set of scenes for The Scarf. We began setting up on the afternoon of Sunday, August 3 and finished filming by 3:00 AM on Wednesday, August 6. Later in the day on August 6, after getting a few hours of sleep and returning rental equipment, we cleaned up.

However, we had a number of "small issues" arise while filming the barn scenes. Some of the shots didn't quite work out very well. After filming on August 4, we changed a few things for the August 5 shoots. When we realized that the equipment that we had wasn't adequete enough to create the effects we needed to create live, we decided to film it in a way which would allow for us to add the effects later in post.

After editing for a couple months and realizing that adding the effects in post would look really "fake", even if we were able to hire a semi-professional visual effects artist (as the better ones would be way out of our budget), we decided to reshoot a couple of the barn scenes as well as a plethora of barn shots.

These reshoots took place yesterday afternoon and well into early this morning. After picking up rental equipment from Burnaby, BC and dry ice from Vancouver, BC, I headed over to the barn in Maple Ridge and began to setup around 11:00 AM. Some of our crew arrived shortly after. Things were working out well.

This time, we rented a better lift with 4 wheel drive, better traction control, and gas powered rather than battery powered. This was a huge improvement from the "warehouse quality" lift we had rented the first time. I was able to accomplish in 30 minutes the same amount of setup which took us 6 to 7 hours using a lift that kept getting stuck in the saw dust floor of the barn.

Everything was going great. At 11:00 PM, we were ready for our second to last shot of the night. So I drove the lift out to the side of the barn in order to shine a light in through the window. Then it got stuck. The lift got stuck in mud on a slope and then died. It wouldn't start.

At this point, only three people were there. Mikaela (Krista), John (the writer), and me (everything else). We all walked away for a minute. Mikaela was quite cold, so she went and sat in the car with the heat on and worship music pumping out the speakers.

John and I each prayed to God while we were off doing other things. Then we came back and decided to give the lift a try. It didn't work. So John left to go get some gasoline, maybe it had run out (we couldn't tell as the gauges were unreadable). After 20 minutes, John returned with gas, we put it in and tried to start it. Nothing.

John and I once again went off different directions for a few minutes (to rest, to plan shots, to pray) and then returned and tried again. Nothing happened. So we left it again. We came back a few minutes later. This time, we decided to pray together for the lift. After praying, I hopped up on the lift having faith that it would work. I tried to start it and....Nothing.

I tried to start it again. Nothing. We prayed, and I tried to start it again. It started! But we were still stuck! I switch into high throttle to give me some extra power died. So I started it again, and this time, I kept it in low throttle for a few minutes before I felt it was able to handle high power.

Then, we still had to get the lift out. We tried anything and everything you could imagine. One wheel from the lift was stuck in a 6" deep hole in the mud. A second wheel was stuck in about a 4" deep hole. We tried rocking it back and forth, we tried adding ground in front of and behind the tires, we tried lifting up the lift on it's hydrolic levelers and then filling in the holes, we tried pulling the lift with a van, we tried lifting it up again and placing boards under the tires....nothing worked. We continued praying and kept trying things. Finally, one tire got half-way out of the hole. So we lifted up the lift, stuck some boards down, and drove out of the holes.

After two hours of insanity, cold weather, hard work, praying, (and I guess we were technically fasting too, as neither of us had anything to eat during those two hours), the lift was finally unstuck. By the way, the entire time that the lift was on, it was beeping to let us know it was unlevel, as we were on a slope.

So, the lift was unstuck, we moved it around to the other side of the barn to use those windows, got setup....and the police arrived. It was now 1:30 AM and please received a call about an alarm. We said we didn't hear any other alarms, but our lift has been beeping for 2 hours since it was unlevel and stuck on a slope. The police officer was very nice, came inside and watched us for a little bit and then left.

We filmed the last two shots, packed up, and left. By 3:00 AM, we were leaving the barn, made a stop at Tim Horton's for some late-night chili, and headed home.

Again, God helped us through. In all, these reshoots cost us an additional $1,000 in equipment rentals, dry ice, and location fees. This is an expense that we didn't have budgeted, but we saved hundreds of dollars in many other areas during filming, and through that, God also made the money issue work out as well.