Gearing up for my 2nd semester at USC

508 : Production II

The second semester (called 508) consists of 4+ months of a more focused learning. We are grouped in teams of 3 to create three individual 5-minute films. Each film must be no longer than 6 minutes and include 30s of credits. We are not allowed more than 2 pages of dialogue in a 5 page script. We also are not allowed to use car mounts or go over a $1,000 budget. Each member of this 3-person team has a different role to play during each film. I will start off by working on team member Karen Corneille’s film as the Producer. My job is to develop the logistics, finding and securing the scene locations, and to coordinate the casting. The second film will be mine – where I will be the Director. And finally, towards the end of the semester, my job will be cinematography on team member Carolyn Corbett’s film. Each film will take 4 weeks to make; filming to happen during 2 weekends.

We went location scouting on Friday for Karen Corneille's script. She needs a rocky cliff. Here is a photo of the location we are securing.

USC was our Biggest Obstacle

So, while I worked over the summer to pay for school I also worked to write my script. Professors worked too! – reviewing and advising on all 508 scripts. And, because filming was to begin the first week of school, we all had to return to LA early to begin 2 weeks worth of prep work. This was a huge challenge. I am sure they didn’t realize it but USC was our biggest obstacle.

In order to post for auditions, reserve a room for auditions, or rent equipment, we must have what USC calls a "Production Number." Those were not given to us until Thursday before school started which gave us two weeks to prepare for our first weekend of filming. We wanted to have auditions on Thursday, but because of the lack of being able to post our audition announcement, we had to have auditions on Monday and Tuesday. This put us behind a week because not only do we need to hold Call Backs we also need to have rehearsals, all in one week! Each person in our group has been equally pushing to get the things we need.

I am surprised USC allowed this to happen to the first director in the semester. It is incredibly hard to get everything we need for a shoot, especially since we don't have real money to entice last minute crew workers or pay for props/locations on short notice. All I can promise is really good food on set!

I feel that this process could have been a lot more successful had we finalized our scripts long before school began and were given production numbers at least a week in advance.

We will make the best film we can, but we are currently pushing ourselves too hard and have to remind ourselves to focus on the art of filmmaking. As producer, I am trying to make the director's life easier so she can be creative. I get to be creative on my film October!

And speaking of my film ... here's the Log Line:

"Friday Night Fright" by Ashley Maria

With his parents finally gone, Andy is left alone to watch his favorite late night horror show "Friday Night Fright." But in tonight's episode, Andy is not the only one doing the watching.

dun dun dunnnn

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