Friday, May 28, 2010

The Night Shift: Sardines in a Crypt

The Night Shift is the on-set diary of Fighting Owl Film's new independent supernatural-adventure-comedy of the same name currently in pre-production in Mobile, AL. Over the course of the next several weeks and months, you'll get an insider's peek at what it's like for filmmakers to craft a new entry of paranormal pop culture from Erin Lilley, a producer and actress on the film.

Sardines In A Crypt

When I was a kid, we used to play a game called "Sardines in a Can;"  it was like "Hide and Seek" except that one person hid and everyone else had to find him. Each time he was found, the seeker had to squeeze into the hiding spot with the original hider. The game continued until everyone was hiding in the same place, squished together like sardines. I hadn't thought about that game in years, and only bring it up now because I had to play a variation of it last week.

The new name is "Sardines in a Crypt."

Here's how you play: Start with a very small space (ex: a bedroom) and dress it to look like a crypt. Try to build a false door for the crypt too, as this will make the space even smaller. Then bring in furniture, props, small appliances or anything else that can take up space. Extra points if you can bring in an entire bed. Next, make sure you have plenty of light. Crypts can grow very dark, so the bigger and hotter the lights, the better. Finally, add in a camera, tripod, monitor and some sound equipment. Don't forget the boom mic!

By now, the space should be almost impossibly tight. But here's where the fun begins!

The game starts with one actor in the crypt. Then the director joins him in the room, followed by the director of photography. Next, the boom operator enters the room along with another actor. Soon, the assistant director should show up. And another actor. To up the difficulty factor, attempt to walk around the room. Try to maintain complete silence and also not bump into anybody. First person to knock over the camera is out. Last person to have a nervous breakdown wins! 

Expert Level: Keep everything listed above and throw in a fight sequence. Good Luck!!

In other news, we are now officially halfway through filming. We finished up the last of the day shoots over the weekend, and not a moment too soon. Temperatures are soaring into the 90s, and humidity has hit an all-time high. We're trying to keep everyone hydrated and comfortable, but there's only so much you can do. Thomas is a neon-red, walking advertisement for sunscreen. For continuity purposes, I had to try to cover my own sunburn in make-up for a couple of scenes, and eventually made the decision (purely character-driven, of course) that my character, Claire, felt like wearing her hair up off her neck for one scene. One P.A. made regular Gatorade runs, and another followed our lead actor around with a fan. The few zombies we had stayed under a shady pavillion until they were needed. 

It's hot and miserable, but we're halfway done! With any luck, it will be cooler for the night shoots. If not, well, we'll crank up the A/C and play a new game:  "Sardines in a Compact Sedan." 

Next Week: More on the joys of filming! Until then, you can follow Fighting Owl Films on Facebook or by going to the official movie site, www.thenightshiftmovie.com. You can keep up with the movie's progress on Twitter at @NightShiftMovie.

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