Filming a Play

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John Simpson
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Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2021 12:09 am

Filming a Play

Post by John Simpson »

Film Clubs are often asked to film events for local groups. We were approached to film a play which would have about 7 natural stages in a wood, with processions between stages. The director did not want the camera people to be intrusive. The audience walked around with the actors wearing headphones listening to a “soundscape” (which I had never heard until after!) There were 8 performances of the play. Each night the first scene, the drovers, was different, as actors forgot lines and ad-libbed.

I attended and filmed 5 of them and another member of the club filmed 2 evening. Later I was given the soundscape' having to ask for it! This had been made by a semi professional. I edited all together. About 2 months later we premiered the film to the acting company, they were very appreciative. Then later I presented an edited version to the film club split into a first and second half with introduction and questions - the film club seemed to think we had achieved the impossible under the circumstances!!

Lessons learned: Be bold to start with about what access is needed! Get as much footage as possible, Try to get the script beforehand. Perhaps get as many (good) camera people as possible. Then there is the issue of distribution!

I feel it is my best film, but I don't think I would repeat it.

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Location: Surrey

Re: Filming a Play

Post by TimStannard »

I haven't watched this as yet, but I certainly understand a lot of the work you must have put into this. I frequently (with an 18 month COVID gap) film school productions - several nights two cameras per night and it's very time consuming putting all that together - and that's all on one stage.
So, many congratulations on your achievement.
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it
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