Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Film-Making During Lockdown

 With the current pandemic forcing people to stay apart and shelter-in-place, film productions of all budgets and sizes have come to a screeching halt. However, necessity being the mother of invention has brought forth a trend of stay-at-home films either made entirely by people living at the same location or by editing together scenes films in separate locations with each being taped by the occupants of that location.

Stay-at-home videos can be tricky and a lot depends on the script. While traditionally the writer doesn't concern him/herself with how a scene will be filmed, for this type of project it is imperative for the writer to know exactly what type of props and costumes each cast member has access to, what their location looks like, and if there is someone around to hold the camera for them.

It is possible to film a scene with two actors in it while the actors are in two separate locations. To do this, make sure that both actors have access to a room with similar painted walls. (This is usually, but not always, easy with many folks having at least one room with basic white walls in their homes.)  Arrange for the actors to talk while facing opposite directions and being placed in different areas of the room, and you will be able to cut it together in editing to make them appear to be in the same place.

Using off-screen dialogue is also a tool that comes in handy to make characters appear to be in close proximity of each other even if they are miles apart in actuality.  Having one character call out to another from a different room gives the illusion that they are both in the same house.

Another easy technique to use is to create found-footage or documentary-style film, where it would be expected to only see one or two people on camera at a time and in the case of documentary-style, all characters at different locations.



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