‘Craig Was Here’ Commences Pre-Production (Studio 3, week 4)
‘Craig Was Here’ officially commenced pre-production and we gathered together to get started, all with the same understanding of wanting to make something great. I think we all agreed the concept is a big one, and if we can pull it off will be a very successful experience.
With Brayden as the Showrunner and Lucy as the Producer, I was appointed Director of an episode, as well as an executive producer to assist Brayden and Lucy with anything they might need due to this being such a large undertaking, with many more moving parts and requirements than we have dealt with in the past.
Crucial to this project being successful would be our understanding of what exactly we are required to create. Researching other web series and examples online has been a fascinating experience, reading about the distinction between a web series and a TV series was a key learning for me. The following article from Christopher Sharpe, who used to work in film but now exclusively focuses on developing web content, articulates this quite well, as well as explaining ways to go about finding the right format and tone for your show.
I spend a lot of time (probably way too much) thinking about the difference between directing for film/television and…christophersharpe.com
Key to our success will be the first task actioned by Lucy at the very beginning of pre-production, and that is our Block Schedule.
I am a strong believer in organisation and efficiency, and the thorough and extensive document Lucy has produced will make this entire process much simpler than it otherwise might have been. The transparency of all the tasks and everything that needs to be done between now and delivering the final product ensures all members of our crew are fully aware of what they need to do and when. It’s also brilliant to ease any concern or tension with workload, because once you see all of the tasks broken down individually like that, and the very few specific tasks you need to do yourself, it all looks much more achievable.
For the process to begin for the creative teams, the directors and cinematographers, the script needed to be broken down into shooting scripts. The non-linear design of the story means that there are different scenes from many different eras spread out amongst each episode so to make it easier to shoot and schedule, breaking it up by era is how we have decided to shoot it so I worked on this and provided the other directors with their shooting scripts. I am responsible for all of the scenes to be filmed in the bunker, so I am fully able to focus on the implementation of those, with Mollie shooting the scenes set in 2017, and Skantha charged with the 1999 and flashback scenes.
Some keys films I will be using as inspiration for the bunker scenes are ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ and ‘Room’, both of which were shot in confined spaces and had to use techniques with lighting and production design to bring their stories to life. The design of the bunker in ‘Cloverfield’ is a key inspiration for the design of space, and the way they shot ‘Room’ by designing the space and manipulating the walls and floors to get camera angles and perspectives that might seem unnatural but provide a unique insight to the characters and their psychological deterioration.
Fundraising is another crucial element we need to implement quickly as it’s fairly clear that this will be an expensive production, having to build and dress a complete set, as well as simulate a nuclear blast public panic scene. We’ve agreed to split this up, with everyone nominating their own idea to put in place to raise the budget for the series. $300 per crew member will ensure we have the budget we need to get this series done, and done very well.
I’ve been involved in a raffle competition where participants guess the amount of lollies in a jar to potentially win the jar and a $50 Village Cinemas gift card. I also joined a crew to film the Diwali Festival in Keysborough, arranged by Skantha. We were given the opportunity to film the event in a multi-camera shoot, in exchange for having a booth at the event, attended by more than 9000 people, to promote the series and encourage donations and participation in our competition. We earned a brilliant $270 from the booth and another $300 for our services so we are already onto a good start budget wise.
(2016, March, 11). 10 Cloverfield Lane — Behind The Scenes (video file). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LMCdE0osto
(2016, March, 2). Room Behind The Scenes Featurettes (video file). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wYVseFPJ-w
(2015, December, 18). Discover Room | Production Design | Official FYC Featurette HD | A24 (video file). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3xBpTNoo2Y
Sharpe, C. (2013, April, 23). Thoughts on directing for web series. Christopher Sharpe. Retrieved from http://christophersharpe.com/directing-for-web-series/