“Friday Night Fright” production days 2 & 3

"Friday Night Fright"

Second Weekend of Production

Our second weekend of production focused on the boy's reaction to the television show, "Friday Night Fright." This took two days instead of last week's one day, because of the many different "set-ups" or camera angles/movements. We experimented with some very interesting, scary camera angles and Karen, my director of photography, made them look amazing!

We began our shooting weekend on Friday afternoon. We decided to bring all of the equipment and set up the night before. This gave us more time to shoot on Saturday, rather than spending hours to set up lights. We did this our first shooting weekend and blew through our shot lists - definitely more efficient. Our first shot of the day was "Andy watching television." We received this look by placing two lights below the TV and putting them on dimmer switches. Ryan Berst, our production assistant, was the official dimmer-man. By dimming the lights up and down with scene changes to match the TV show, a nice flicker appeared on the actor's face. Check out the photos below of us rehearsing our first shot.

Photos courtesy of Desmond Reich.

Rehearsal. Note the lights in front of the television. These were used to create the "flicker" look when someone watches television.

Preparing for our first shot.


A wonderful director and actor relationship - we made each other laugh!

Working with the parents in rehearsal.

This is an actual screen shot of the film. You would never know the amount of lighting and work that goes into this one shot!


Mason, who played "Andy," lived in Stephenson Ranch, a small town right outside of LA, and his parents allowed us to film there. At USC, we have a 50 mile radius rule - meaning, if we shoot outside 50 miles of the center of LA, we have to put up the cast and crew in a hotel - something I can't afford! Luckily, their home was within the 50 mile radius!

Shelly and Brian Maddocks, Mason's parents, own a gorgeous home and we were so lucky to film there! Having an actual living room, rather than a graduate student's poor excuse for a living room, really added production value. We had a real couch, rather than a futon - seriously - HUGE thanks to the Maddocks family! And to make the experience even that much better, Shelly was a chef and made us cookies and snacks. She also had tons of fridges so our food and drinks could stay cold. It was the most ideal situation for a student film!

Cool Shot!

Below is a screen shot from Andy's scariest moment of the film - when an unknown man enters his front door. For this shot, we needed rain and lightning all timed just right with the dolly. As a side note, we put the camera on "baby legs" so the shot would be low angle and then put it on a "dolly" so it would zoom into the front door. Our assistant director, Rusty Beaman, stood on a ladder holding a sprinkler behind the actor, and our gaffer, Zak Ettlinger, set up a light for lightning. It was the perfect storm!!

Scary Man!!

What's Next?

The film will now be in post-editing for 2 weeks and then sound design for 2 weeks. It is a quick but fun process!!

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