Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Sky is Not so Far / Bolha in teleskop (2011)

"What's the story behind this film", asked me a friend once. "Well ...", I mumbled. I didn't know how to explain all the great moments that were hidden in the process of making it. Writing the story, filming and editing; every little part of this film-in-progress has a story on it's own.

Writing a story has almost never been so time-consuming as this time. I started thinking about a new film script already in April 2010, but ideas were just buzzing like little bees in my head, never settling down. I devoted first half of May just for the script and on 15th of May I finally got the right idea - through the process of many different storylines and already some pre-production for the scripts that in the end didn't meet the full potential of becoming actual films.

cOMPANIONS There were many inspirations from all around for that script to become the only one that got realized also in actual film-making. I think it all started with a wonder painting I found on DeviantArt. This picture started to run my mind with feelings and emotions I wanted to have in next film. I said to myself: "It has to be a story about a boy meets girl!" The first version of a script was very far from "The Sky is Not so Far", but I see that the motif of farewell (that this image inspired in me) still exists in the final version of a script.

I wanted film to be colorful and poetic, simple and optimistic. Sometimes being optimistic seems like a big deal in life, like there are not second chances and that we all know what's best for us. Sometimes we don't and we have to accept it. In the process of writing a story I stumbled upon a short film that got me second kick in writing.
It's Nothing Left Unsaid by Kurt Schneider, a story about falling in love and doing what we really live for. After all, who wouldn't fall in love with such a beautiful and charming actress as Julie Shain is! I already knew I'll have a similar chance - to work with gorgeous Ana, who made all my movies look better.

Inspirations were coming to me from all around and yet I felt like I'm never getting to a script I'd really like to shoot. DeviantArt and YouTube were a great source of inspiration, but sometimes they just distract you from the real You - the one that has to write something "new", personal and yet possible to make. Music is a great source of inspiration too. Tim Žibrat found the perfect match for a picture above and was constantly sending me great instrumental music for the ideas I was telling him. But the music that got stuck in my head most through the whole process of making this film was Ballade dans le parc by Grégoire Lourme that I accidentaly found on Creative Commons page Jamendo

Shooting a movie was most fun. It seemed almost weird that we had really good time whole two days being on locations, because I've never had a film shooting that could go more wrong. In a way it was a total disaster.

"The Sky is Not so Far" is actually an AGRFT (Academy for Film and other stuff) project, but I took it as my own too, because I feel in love with the script as I finally had it in my hands. So I got a director of photography and editor right from the academy (my schoolmates). At first it seemed perfectly simple and a big advantage altogether, but there were things I didn't expect that came on our way.

Days before shooting were full of stress, as usual, but every filmmaker has to get used to that some time. I wanted to shoot this film on famous DSLR camera and so I started a search to borrow one. At first I was promised that we'll be able to get a very good Sony EX1 camcorder, but as it happened - all of them were out and used on some project exactly on day I needed it. I almost got Canon 7D, but got bad news from the guy who would lend it to me that he needs it and so everything fell into water. I got stuck with very old and totally out-of-time camcorder Sony FX1 which was so bad at low-light conditions I was quite impressed by it - in negative sense. The film had no potential to look "good", so it was the start of everything bad that followed.

It's actually funny, but to have so many mishaps in just two days is really extraordinary. We started the film shooting on Saturday evening and the "good tripod" didn't work properly. We switched to the smaller and much shakier one. Amazing! We had really tight schedule and if we wouldn't follow the plan, we wouldn't make it. Director of photography had limited amount of time, so even though film is mainly "happening" in the night, we squeezed all five locations in one evening. Of course it didn't turn out well. As the equipment started to bother us, we were losing time. Generator for outdoor lightning failed to start, microphone stopped working and we had to think of plan B and we failed to shoot the last and most important scene in the movie, because it was 3am and actors would just die if they didn't have any sleep before morning shooting. Of course crew needed rest too. Next day we all already knew that film is kind of doomed. And so the weather helped us to feel even more doomed. Little patches of clouds didn't scare us, but then it started raining and we just couldn't do anything. We decided to postpone outdoor shooting for later and do the part indoors first. Or course - what could go more wrong than that we lost the location inside, because people changed minds if they'd let us in. So we called ... and called ... and Ana found a solution to shoot it at her grandma's house. Hallelujah! In the afternoon we finished; without one night scene done. We decided we'd shoot it later one day, but of course it turned out we couldn't manage to get all the people at the same time to the same location. The scene got lost in the version for AGRFT.

Production team and cast for the trailer:
Cast: Ana Ribič & Stane Tomazin
Director of photography: Uroš Hočevar
Composer, sound mixer and assistant on location: Tim Žibrat
Director: David Sipoš
Special thanks for lending Fiart 126p: Andreja Krapež
Živa Crew

Editing process for AGRFT was a nightmare. There was so little time to complete the film for the exam, that we just put the "kind of good" part together and exported the whole thing as soon as possible. But the real fun started when we with Tim, the composer, decided, that maybe we could make a short trailer out of these shots made in May and re-shoot the whole film next year, when the nature will be the same as it was in this version. Just a little more than a minute, trailer got wings, even thought the shots didn't look that cool at first. Postproduction was fun and the way how it all looks now - I'm happy I went through all this.

It just happens that sometimes you have to bear a baby twice.

The final release of the whole movie in expected in June 2011. It will be a short film, around 10 minutes long and I'm really looking forward to work with such a wonderful team again.


Tim said...

It was an amazing experience!!

-Tim Z.

Grega said...

Looking forward to it.. i know it will be good. :D

Rudney Novaes said...

I'm becoming you fan