Tuesday, July 9, 2013

We're in the Movies

During the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to watch a Milwaukee production company work on a film about bullying.  If you haven't heard, here's the short scoop.  The DK Company is using mainly local talent for a movie to be entered in the short film category at Sundance and other film festivals.  Although I have been sworn to secrecy by the director about much of the plot, I can tell you that the story concentrates on the far-reaching effects of bullying.

A few of the scenes have been filmed here, and yesterday, I got to see some raw footage.  This is powerful stuff.  Jim, the director, his production manager, Susan, and camera operator, Dylan, have been putting hours into this project, along with lots of heart and personal sacrifice.  Because the company is small, the project has not come without a few bumps, but in the end, this will be a source of pride for the participants, and for Manitowoc.  

Their days here begin early with about an hour of make up, followed by table rehearsals where Jim explains the scenes to be shot, along with the intent,  and emotional levels he is looking for.  Then there are a few short scene run-throughs, and the actual filming.  They have been filming in short increments, 30 seconds to about 3 minutes.  After that, Jim and Dylan look at the raw footage and decide if they are happy with the lighting, angles, delivery and all other components.  Generally, this leads to some additional character coaching and re-takes.

Susan and her assistants pay attention to the minutia, and believe me, there is a plethora of that.  Jim's files are stacked into the hundreds by this time.  They are catalogued by the date, time and location of the shooting, as well as by the placement of the scene within the context of the storyline.  Susan makes sure that make-up, hair, posture, and lots of other details match in all scenes intended to portray a single unit in time.  Continuity.  At one point, a scissors came out to tame an unruly wisp of hair that was not present in a previous days' shooting.  It is a tedious process, but one that will ensure a quality final product.  

The film is called "EOB' - you'll understand when you see it.  A premier is planned for some time in September or October.  I hope you can go.  You will be awed of our local actors, but more that, we can be proud that our community was chosen to help share this important message.