Episode 13: Where the Heart Is

(For a better viewing experience click on the HQ button once the video starts.  Everything is more fun in full-screen mode…)

[First off, a big thank you goes out to Jeff Lane for clicking the Donate button.  Very cool of you, my friend.  The cash will be going toward a much needed equipment upgrade.]

I’m going to leave it to y’all to come up with your own interpretation of what was going on in this episode, and what this character’s back-story is.  I know what I think, but I’m way more interested in hearing what you think.  There’s no right or wrong answer.  Anyone feel like sharing?  If so, drop a comment.

For the process this week, I came up with something new (for me), and challenging.  I had the location, and I had ideas for some of the back-story, but I decided that the entire thing would be improvised.  That’s not so new.  What was different about it is that I decided to improvise a linear narrative, and shoot it in sequence.  In other words, I would come up with a piece of the story,  shoot that piece, then think about what the next piece should be, then I’d move the camera and shoot that piece, and so on, until I had the whole thing.  This was really difficult because it meant my mind had to have several points of focus at the same time.  I had to keep track of what had just happened, what was about to happen, the dynamics and levels of the scene, and technical stuff like camera angles so it wouldn’t be disorienting.  I allowed myself to do a few takes for each bit, but I never allowed myself to go back and re-shoot something if I’d moved on.

Keeping track of a character’s emotional arc is really challenging, and it’s a good skill to cultivate.  Movies, TV shows, and even 50in50 episodes are almost always shot out of sequence.  That means that no matter where in the script you’re jumping in, you need to have an overall idea of how this moment fits into the larger picture (the complete film).  You have to keep track of mood, where the character is emotionally/physically at that moment, and you have to know exactly how to play the scene in order to service the needs of the story.  I was shooting in sequence this week, which would have been easier had I been using a script.  Having no script meant that I had a lot to keep track of.  I gave myself this challenge to work more on self-directing, and to focus on how individual moments fit into a larger picture.

On the other hand, working this way made my job as an editor easier.  Since my (laaame) camera exports all of the shots into one super long video, scrolling around to find what I’m looking for is usually a major pain.  This week, though, everything was neatly ordered.  I would just go scene by scene, pick the best take, drop it into my timeline, and pow, I had a rough-cut.  From there it was just cleanup work (which there was still a ton of).

In other news, it’s been a crazy week.  Helped my mother with one mother of a move, and rehearsals are gaining momentum.  I’m really enjoying the process of working on this play.  I’m planning on writing more on that, and how my process for the play compares/relates to my process for 50in50, but my bed is calling my name, so that’ll be coming soon.

Until next time, I wish you all a very lovely weekend.


BR  6.26.09  3.37am

~ by 50in50 on June 26, 2009.

6 Responses to “Episode 13: Where the Heart Is”

  1. I really like your approach to this one. Touching as ever, and little details added a tremendous amount (your sneeze, the slipping ‘brother’…). The intro was especially intriguing. Well done, Mr. Rose! Can’t wait for next week.

  2. This one made me pretty sad. But I felt like the character was very fleshed out and real. I found it even more interesting after I read that you improved it all. On a unrelated note, the scruffy look is quite fetching on you. ;-)

  3. This was one of my favorites actually. I like how raw it is. Its really about the character and not a gimmick (though that is funny). I like that were getting different emotions here. It also probably rings true for quite a few people.

    Out of curiosity, did you film that at an apt building on Marin ave?

  4. Brent, this was your most genuine and grounded character yet. The film was very touching. I am really glad you didn’t explain it, and I love that you didn’t use the lack of explanation to create artificial drama(like in many a Mamet play/film!) The film is dramatic all on its own. It is wonderful how your skill as a writer came through in this one despite the fact that it was unscripted. Really excellent work my friend. Looking forward to next week!

  5. I attributed the mops-and-brooms-as-people to crappy special effects. Loved the Nintendo bit, and like someone else said, that sneeze really stuck out for me too.

    Not sure if I should suspend disbelief and pretend he’s in a real home with real people (like an improv scene) or if Jackinape is off his rocker. I’ll stick with the former, as it makes the scene more real/better to me.

  6. funny and sad. who can’t relate? “none of my friends have jobs right now!” true dat.


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