BAD COFFEE: Sound composer

After having discussed how my sound composer found me on social media, for my film “The Sea Room”, a very similar story happened to my drama film with Andrija, tilted “Bad Coffee”.

Andrija had posted, on her personal Twitter page, that we were about to start looking into music composers and through that a composer called Tom, approached us as he has seen our film’s Instagram page and was interested to know if we’d be interested to have in on board.

This same day, we received his tweet, we organized a quick Skype call to assess if he was actually interested in the project and to discuss our ideas for the sound in the film and how his own professional journey has been.

Our call lasted for only about 10 minutes but afterwards, myself and Andrija felt very confident that he was our guy and that we could now shift our attention from the image to the sound as we wanted it to help mould the story into what it will become.

But overall, both of my experiences with finding sound composers (or them finding me!) has just enhanced my notion of how important online marketing and publicity really is and how it can bring people together for a project, no matter the distance between us.

Namaste,

Rita

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THE SEA ROOM: Sound composer

The story of how we found our sound composer is a strange yet great example of how important and useful social media really is.

I had been posting our entire journey through our film in my Instagram account for both of my films, since the beginning. And it was through it that our newly found composer, Denis, found me and sent me a very nice email where he displayed a huge interest in our film and what the story was about and how we would love to be part of it, if we’d be interested.

Once I showed Jonas the email, we both agreed that it couldn’t be a mere coincidence that a sound composer just contacted us when we had started to properly discuss the idea of having a score, a mere two days prior. This was meant to be.

So after having watched his sound showreel, we liked his style and I sent him an email back where we scheduled a Skype call so we could properly get to know this human being who could potentially be an integral part of the film as well. Prior to the actual call, Jonas sent him the first cut of our film so he could take a look at it and decide if he was indeed interested.

The Skype call was a great experience as we could attach a voice to the person and for 30 minutes, we discussed everything related to the film and how we wanted the sound to meld into the sound of waves, that runs throughout the film, and the ukele that Jonas plays towards the end of the film.

It’s now been nearly two weeks since Denis has started work on the sound and so far, it’s been great to hear snippets of what he’s been creating and it’s been very magical.

Namaste,

Rita

BAD COFFEE: Day 4

Today was our last ever shoot day for our film! It was quite emotional but also a happy moment because it meant that after months of battling to have the film done and done properly, it was now time to move onto post-production.

The day began with all of the cast and crew back in the same classroom that we shot in, in Day 1, as we needed to still do a quick reshoot as well as film another scene we didn’t manage to have time for during our first shoot day.

The biggest different today was that because we all knew what to expect of the location and the scenes we were going to film, was that it enabled all of us to move quicker and with more precision when it came to the set-up and consequent filming of what was left of the classroom scene, once more.

Although we started off moving quicker, we still stayed in the location for a bit longer than anticipated so we had to quickly pack so that we could move to the exterior park location, situated in Sunny Hill Park, so that we could film the last scene in the film. The scene where Tuck and Ashley admit to have feelings for one and other and they share their second kiss.

That part of the shoot went smoother than we all anticipated and working with the dolly and tracks was easily done as the ground it was placed on didn’t have as many bumps as we had thought and the lighting from the street lamp balanced out nicely with the colour temperature of our portable LED lights.

Overall, today was a great last shoot day and by the time we wrapped at 2am, we were quite exhausted but ecstatic to have done a project that all of us love and deeply care about. I can honestly say that I had the best people and the best crew and cast working on this particular film and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

Now onwards to the eminent rough cut screening to the people in our degree and the final year screening in July.

Namaste,

Rita

BAD COFFEE: Day 3

This morning was a very early start as we came at 8am but we all had to leave our house at 6am to be able to be on set on time, so everyone needed a strong cup of coffee to help to get things going faster.

We quickly moved into to shooting the breakup scene between the two main characters so we could have that completely done long before we needed to leave the house so the tenant could come in to quickly check the house before the next clients.

Thankfully we finished in time, although barely, and managed to pack everything fairly quick whilst giving a quick sweep of the house to make sure that everything was a clean as possible before leaving.

We then moved to a pub called “The Durell Arms” where we would shoot our coffee shop scenes with our two protagonists.

What was supposed to be a a shoot to wrap at 5pm, it ended at 11pm because of various different types of adversities that ranged from the obvious noise of clients in the opposite side of the pub, mixed with music blaring from the speakers to a low but distinguishable sound of a heater and the chattering between the extras that liked to talk amongst themselves when the cameras were actually rolling. So it was a hard day because of that.

Then because of the rehearsals, setting up and change of clothes, also contributed to the long overdue wrap for the day.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable experience because I managed to set design, along with Amnah, the location to make it look more like a coffee shop which was quite fun to add another “hat” alongside the Producer one. As well as the staff working there were absolute rockstars for being so understanding of our filming to the point that they accommodated us to not have music on in the pub for 3 hours whilst they had customers in and for not kicking us out when our shoot overran. The crew continued to be brilliant today as well as the cast.

I really feel like these struggles have only enhanced my passion for the craft and the respect I have for all those involved in making a film, any film, happen.

Namaste,

Rita

BAD COFFEE: Day 2

The house we shot in today was a house I found on Airbnb, situated in Fulham, which myself and Andrija reccee’d and fell in love with. Thankfully the owner was very kind and interested in having his house be centre stage to a film.

After having secured the house, the day of our shoot we had a very limited amount of hours that we could use the house for our filming purposes before the next client would check in the following day, 21st March, at 12pm.

Which meant that by the time we arrived at the house at 1pm, we would have to shoot into the night to be able to accommodate the lengthy scenes we need to film which included the first argument followed by the breakup scene of our two protagonists.

Unfortunately, by the time all the crew and the two actresses arrived at the location, we were already behind schedule for nearly 1 hour due to heavy traffic to get to the house. So I had to have a quick talk with our makeup artist so she knew we needed to move quick and get the actresses ready to shoot as soon as we finished setting up the equipment for the first scene of the day.

After a few rehearsals, with the entire crew and cast, we stared filming properly at 4pm. And the shoot ran until midnight, but not before myself, Andrija and the 1st AD, Catarina, decided that we needed to film the breakup scene tomorrow morning, before we needed to leave the location, so that we would have time to shoot it without having to be too worried with the time span we would have to do so.

After this was decided, I told Rosie, who plays Ashley, that she was wrapped for the day so we could focus on getting Tuck’s individual scenes out of the way.

Overall, our crew felt more comfortable in their respective roles today as we slowly get into the groove of the film and it’s importance for myself and Andrija. The actresses did a wonderful job in their portrayal and I could not thank them more. And the superstars that were our sound recordist, Peter, who always is ready to crack a joke with his dry sense of humor; Amnah, the production assistant, for being my right hand and the person that helps keep my sanity intact; Jonas, the 1st AC, for being so great in everything he does and the Iulia, the makeup artist, for being so talented and up for anything.

Onwards and upwards for tomorrow!

Namaste,

Rita

BAD COFFEE: Day 1

Today marks the beginning of a very emotional journey into a very personal film for myself and my Director, Andrija.

Our first scene with the full cast and crew happened in a classroom, on campus, where we shot the Depression Alliance group meeting where our two main protagonists meet eachother for the first time.

This day proved to be a hardship from the start as having to transport the equipment from the Grove building all the way to the opposite site of the campus, to the Williams building, and then up the stairs to our filming location was hard enough but then the set up of props, equipment, prepping the actresses’ hair, makeup and clothes and receiving calls and meeting with the extras I hired, made our first production day go three hours over schedule.

Not only that but the room we were situated in proved to create a lot of echoes Peter, our amazing sound operator, did not appreciate but also the sound of the hand dryer from the woman’s bathroom was quite audibly heard through a couple of intense scenes and we had to keep going to turn them off so we could swiftly continue.

Unfortunately, due to our shoot having overrun the estimated time frame we had set out to combined with the fact we needed to exit the building fairly soon as it was closing down for the evening, meant that we didn’t have enough time to finish the two of the scenes in the classroom and that we needed to reschedule the exterior scenes for another day.

Overall, it was an incredible first day because it was the first time we could see our characters, Tuck and Ashley, brought to life in front of our eyes and that made myself and Andrija quite emotional. And our crew has proved to be amazing with having to deal with so many adversities and still battling through and conquering them.

The next shoot day we will be filming in Fulham, through a house I found on Airbnb.

Namaste,

Rita

BAD COFFEE: Crowdfund video and website

After a long struggle of getting our crowdfund campaign up, it finally is online on YouTube, as seen above, and I created our online crowdfund page on GoFund that can be viewed HERE.

So far the way I constructed the the page offers the viewers three different levels of prize:

  1. Bronze level: For people who donate £10. They will receive a private link to the film before anyone else gets to see it.
  2. Silver level: For people who donate £50. They will receive a DVD copy of the film upon its release. They will also receive the above prize.
  3. Gold level: For people who donate £100. They will receive the above prizes and also an Executive Producer credit in our film.

The initial goal we aim to hit it £500, so hopefully we can do so!

We hope that through YouTube and our though publicity in our film’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages will help us to gain an audience that is interested in helping us bring our story to life.

Namaste,

Rita