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Reflections on the Shoot

All images supplied by Gary Moore, strongarmphotography.

​​Hard to believe it’s been two months since we shot Off Grid. Since then, Carl’s made a start on editing the rough cut, and we’re planning our next moves for the project as there’s a lot to do in post-production.

The shoot was an amazing experience, one that I very much look forward to repeating. It isn’t the first time I’ve been on a film set, but this time I was very much involved with the production, rather than waiting to be called as an extra (as per previous times).

It isn’t typical for the writer to be on set, but as we’re a smallish production it was all hands to the pump (that said there were around twenty crew). I ended up doing a bit of continuity, general running and problem solving, and prompting on some of the scenes.

Everybody needs to cock up in some way to cause a retake, and mine came in this latter role of prompter. It was approaching 2 am, at the end of a long day on the shoot where we were trying to nail a particularly intense scene between James Cosmo and Alison Steadman. Muggins here mistook a dramatic pause for a forgotten line and supplied the prompt, causing much consternation – Aargh!

​​I made up for it the following day though. We shot at two different sites, and a piece of scenery that we needed was left at the other site, with no time to get it back for the shot we needed. It was a slatted window panel, through which we were going to shine light for an effect we needed. We tried using cardboard strips, but they just weren’t dense enough. Then I spotted a pile of wooden off-cuts, under the cabin, that could be rigged to quickly recreate the effect we needed, so the shot was saved.

​​Those two examples are representative of how the shoot went as a whole. We had challenges to overcome and mistakes were made, but with persistence, professionalism and a can-do mindset, from all cast members, extras and crew, we got it done.

Not only that, we got it done well, the footage looks great and the performances... my God. The calibre of acting was sublime, and being in the cabin feet away from great actors just turning on what they do when action is called, can only be described as electric. I won’t forget that weekend in a hurry.

So, thank you, thank you, thank you, to James Cosmo, Alison Steadman, Marc Baylis, Kate Davies-Speak, Francis Quigley and all the crew and extras who made this thing happen. I can’t wait for you all to see what you’ve done.

So what is next? Post production will take a few months, and we will need to raise some more funds if we’re to get professional CGI work and grading done, so that’s what we’re looking into now, plus we’d very much like to pay the crew what they’re worth. We’ve already had a generous contribution from one of our producers, K.J. Canham, who joined us via the Indiegogo, and our our investors Ian and Marcia Potthast have helped out too, so thank you so much for that.

We may well run a second crowdfunder for completion funding, so stand by for that, but we’re also looking at other funding avenues, so we’ll keep you posted.

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