GET INVOLVED & GET CREDITED
Our goal is to connect with people by telling stories that we believe in. However, telling a story takes time and money. So far, all of our short films have been self-funded. This time we want to involve others in the process! Donating is a meaningful way to show your support, contribute to the project, and get some fun rewards!
All contributors names will be in the closing credits of the film, regardless of the contributed amount.
Below is a list of additional rewards contributors can get!
- Up to $5: Contributors will receive copy of first 15 pages of the script.
- $5-10: Contributors will receive copy of first 15 pages of the script and Digital copy of Short Film before release date.
- $10-15: Contributors will receive copy of first 15 pages of the script, Digital copy of Short Film, and Digital copy of Soundtrack.
- $15-20: Contributors will receive copy of first 15 pages of the script, Digital copy of Short Film, Digital copy of Soundtrack, and invitation to cast and crew private screening.
KITE FLYING SCENES
Last Sunday we shot two scenes at a park in downtown Bowling Green. One scene took place during the middle of the day and the other took place at sunset. Both scenes required our actress (Morgan) to fly a kite. Luckily the wind was working in our favor, so we could shoot a majority with her actually flying the kite. The whole cast and crew did an amazing job and we can't thank everybody enough for their help. Another thank you to Scott Harris (yes he's my dad) for taking some photos of the day.
For the mid-day scene we knew the lighting was going to be harsh. To help soften the light on the actresses faces we decided to have them wear sun-hats. The characters wear sun-hats throughout the story at different times, so we decided they would wear them in the middle of a sunny day. The hats broke up the harsh light on their faces very well. We used two white foam boards to bounce soft reflected light back onto their faces to give their faces some dimension.
For the sunset scene we went a completely different route, we put them right in the sun. Typically you would see the sun used as a backlight. However, in our story the light from the sun is supposed to glow on their faces, so we decided we’d try it out and see how it works. We are happy with the results, its not the most flattering type of lighting, but it serves the story for what we want.
The sunset scene we shot Sunday is a flashback. During the film we will intercut another sunset scene that takes place at a different point in time. Color and lighting were two things we wanted to contrast between the two scenes. In the flashback we wanted it to feel very warm and organic. So we shot right before the actual sunset and shot in a green field in the park. The glow from the sun and green grass naturally gave us warm colors and we dialed in a more uniform palette in post. To contrast this, we wanted the current time to feel much colder and darker. So we shot on top of a parking garage. The concrete naturally gave us a washed out look and in the grade we pushed the colors towards Blue and Magenta. I have posted two stills from the scenes below so you can see them side by side.
READ THROUGH & SCRIPT PREP
Morgan Pyle, Kirsten Kellersberger, Gracie Harris
Today we had some the cast over and read through the different scenes. The rehearsal went great and everybody’s chemistry was so fun. Morgan Pyle will be playing a young version of Jane and Kirsten Kellersberger will be playing Bren (Jane’s older sister). This is our first time working with both of them and we are excited to have them on board with the project.
Gracie and I are both planners and we think preparation is crucial in filmmaking. We have rehearsals to make sure everybody is on the same page as to what is going on in the dialogue, and more importantly, the subtext of the story. Above are two pages from the master copy of our script. It has everything labeled and highlighted from scenes, characters, props, time of day, locations, and directing notes. This allows us to see everything we need to know quickly, we try to be as efficient as we can be on set. Behind those pages are our storyboards, but we will spare you the sight of our drawings. Neither one of us can draw! Gracie and I both use this copy as a guide in everything we do. This week is our last week of prep before we begin shooting the bulk of the film. We will have a few more rehearsals, but after that we will begin shooting!
PICK UP SHOT - DAY 1 CONT.
From our last post I mentioned we didn’t get our wide shot on our first day of shooting. Last night we had the opportunity to try again. We are very happy with the results and the clouds and sun worked out perfectly for us.
If you live in Bowling Green then you already know how gorgeous the sunsets are. Last night we got extremely lucky. The clouds and lighting were how we imagined in our storyboards. We took advantage of the fluffy clouds to defuse the sun and bounce light around in the sky. The birds flying overhead was just icing on the cake.
If you’ve used a GH4 for any period of time then you already know how noisy it can get in underexposed parts of the image. Our challenge was to find the moment when we could get proper exposure in the shadows as well as avoid overexposure in the sun. Last night the clouds did an excellent job giving us just enough light from the sun. We were able to keep detail in the highlights and still get a bright enough image to work in the shadows. Did multiple takes and waited for the sun to hit just the right spot to give us color separation between the magenta and blue in the sky.
In the grade, I darkened the image quite a bit. Our goal was the have our character be in silhouette to draw the audiences attention towards the sky. From there it was a matter of dialing in the colors to the palette of the story.
DAILIES - DAY 1
Yesterday we began production. We wanted to ease from pre-production into production since we have a such a flexible schedule. So we decided to start by shooting the scenes with no diegetic sound (the scenes will have a voice over). By starting this way we could really focus on getting the look we wanted for the film. Audio is a whole other beast we’ll have to manage.
The actress playing Jane is Olivia Jacobs. Olivia did a fantastic job yesterday taking direction and using her eyes to give the audience a sense into Jane’s emotional state.
Most of the lighting was natural. We scouted locations during pre-production and shot at times where the sun was at our advantage. However, we did have a small LED light just off screen filling in Olivia’s face. From there, we really shaped the look in post. Unfortunately, at the end of the day the sunset wasn’t quite like we wanted, so we will have to finish the rest of the shots another day.
ROLLING SHUTTER & DYNAMIC RANGE
Today we did our last test before we begin shooting. For anybody who doesn’t know, we shoot with a Panasonic GH4. It’s quite a beast in terms of it’s flexibility and mobility. However, it does have some pretty bad rolling shutter and a limited dynamic range (in VLOG around 11-12 stops supposedly). Our test today was getting footage inside a car while driving. So this was a perfect place to test rolling shutter and dynamic range.
When shooting in a car, camera shake is bound to happen (especially with our budget). So our first goal was figuring out a way to minimize the shake and rolling shutter. We ended up using pieces of cheap acoustic foam as cushion underneath the camera. We mounted the camera to a quick release plate to give the camera extra footing on the foam. We sat the cushion on the dashboard of the car and I held the camera. It actually worked out quite nice. It’s not perfect by any means, but for us it was enough. We don’t mind a little vibration when shooting in a car, we just wanted to watch out for any "jello" effect. For the shoot, we have scouted locations with smooth roads which will help reduce the vibrations greatly.
Another limitation we wanted to test was the dynamic range of the camera. We have shot scenes in a car before with our set up. Both times we shot with the camera’s internal codec. Unfortunately, when shooting internally with the GH4, overexposed parts of the image glow and often have a pink tint. So during our test today we underexposed the shadows and watched background sky to make sure it didn’t blow out. We are fairly happy with the results. After correcting and grading the image, we think it is very usable. During our shoot we will be using an Atomos Shogun to bypass the internal codec of the camera. If you use a GH4 and do lots of grading like we do, I highly recommend looking into the Shogun. It makes the image much more flexible in post.
For our test we used: Panasonic GH4 in VLOG lite, Rokinon Cine Lens 24mm, Colored with Color Finale, Denoised with Neat Video.
FRAME RATE & COLOR TESTING
The other day we did some testing. We wanted to try two different frame rates to see how the motion of the kite would look. We chose 36FPS to give it more smoothness. We didn't want the slow motion to be noticeable, so 48 and 60 wouldn't do (we tried it). We did some testing at 24FPS, as well. The 24FPS looked too choppy for our liking. The scenes with the kite need to be peaceful. We have labeled which clips are 36FPS and which are 24FPS.
On top of frame rate testing, we also wanted to do a small color test. During this test we used a low quality codec to save time and space, so please forgive the noise and artifacts. We knew going into this film that coloring would play a huge part in the audience's perception of these scenes, so we wanted to go ahead and begin experimenting with color.
The music in the video is a demo track for the short film: Why do You Want to Leave? - Hunter Harris
"Why do You Want to Leave?" is written for a scene where Jane and Bren have a dialogue while flying the kite. This scene Jane is looking for understanding as to why life happens the way it does.
"Flying the Kite" was the first song written for the script. One of Jane's best memories as a child involves she and her sister flying her kite. This activity occurs multiple times in the story and we want the audience to experience it the way Jane does.
PROP HAS ARRIVED!
One of our props has finally arrived! Throughout the story, Jane and Bren fly a kite together. We chose an orange kite with red tails to contrast the blue sky. We wanted it to pop on screen. We both love flying kites and can't wait to test it out!
We ordered the kites from a company called Into the Wind. They make great, high quality kites. They also have tons of additional information on kites and tutorials!
SCRIPT IS FINISHED!
We have officially finished our script and can't wait to begin production!
Our story follows eighteen-year-old Jane, who is moving away to college. As the story unfolds, we relive Jane's memories from nine years ago - the summer before her older sister, Bren, moved away for school. As time passes, we see how the relationship between two sisters changes.