3Ds (Directors, DPs, and Dairy Queen)

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I’ve said it time and again; film is a collaborative medium. Well, maybe I haven’t said it time and again, but I have mentioned it. Over the last two weekends our Directing II class was pushed to the limit by working together to complete our location shoots.

The assignment was two groups of four directors were given fourteen days to complete a location shoot. The twist was that each group had one camera to share. We had to figure out a way to make it work. But that is what I love about film. Individuals come together and make the impossible possible.

So what was the solution? One of our DPs (director of photography) was able to secure a location for all of us to shoot and store equipment. With one location, three days, and four projects, the stage was set for a crazy weekend.

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Craziness aside, working together was the best way to move ahead. On Friday we eased into the project with the first shoot. The shoot started later in the day, so everyone had plenty of rest to get started. When you expect to be working hard over a series of days, it is always best to start out easy. It tends to build confidence in the crew and strengthens the morale of all involved.

We needed that strong start because Saturday was a back-to-back shoot. Back-to-back means what it sounds like. We shoot one film in the morning, and another in the evening. The morning shoot was an absurdist comedy. This was a perfect way to start the day, because the second shoot was my psychological thriller about a Russian roulette league. It can be so intense.

The third day was also a back-to-back shoot with a very short turnaround. “Short turnaround” is code for “no sleep.” So we were all pretty tired, but still motivated to work through the projects. The first shoot was the continuation of the day one shoot. After that we ended with a striking romantic comedy scene.

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When the final cut was called the crew wrapped, hugged, and went out for ice cream. Okay, we didn’t hug, but we sure had ice cream. Kudos go to my classmate Jon, because he treated the DPs to the DQ Blizzard of their choice. That’s how you end a shoot.