As the school year went on and we learned and shot shot and learned we came to our midterms. The second film I had the honor of working on was a short narrative psychological thriller called I Saw You directed by Jamie Davenport. I was approached by the powers that be and Jamie to serve as the Producer for the film.
Now the way it worked at VFS was that they would green light 3 films and split the class into various positions, give you a production office, full DV Sony SR570 camera package, enough lights and electric to fit a box truck and about $25,000 to shoot the film. The beauty was that this was all us, we were mentored through the process in script revisions, producing, camera, directing and all the positions to make a solid film.
I remember the production like it was yesterday and looking back I would not change it for the world. It was the most challenging script and called for the production to shoot in a working bookstore that we could control, a controlled location for a stabbing scene, two city locations and very late nights. So on the location scout we scoured the scene from Vancouver to Westminster, landing a quaint family owned bookstore in Burnaby, who incidentally, gave us their key to the store to film from 6 pm to 6 am. Which meant, late nights in a very small location, and I don’t even drink coffee.
Another need was to shoot the final exterior scene in a controlled environment due to a stabbing scene. This was a beast more difficult than the bookstore because we needed to adhere to the legal nature of shooting a murder scene with an exposed weapon in the city. So we had to be creative. We found a well know location out side Vancouver in Burnaby that is often used by many film production units called Riverview Hospital. A formerly burned location by previous students I had to talk my way in and rekindle positive relations with them to allow us access to shoot there. And of course another British Television series The Hard Corps was shooting the only day we could so I had to broker a small deal with them to piggy back. Luckily we were able to snag a little grub too from crafty too.
Working with the city was a painless but tedious process. Luckily we only had two other scenes that needed to be filmed on location. One on a street and the other was in a park. Despite the tedious paperwork and minor hoops both permits were simple to retain. Especially in comparison to the other locations. But of course served us up a myriad of other production snafu’s.
All in all we survived our first short narrative film shoot. Handing in the equipment at the zero hour with the sun up on our 14th hour of our 5th day of shooting we were quickly sent home to bed to sleep off a grueling week.
Principle Photography was in the can and off to post we went.