It was March 2012, and I wanted to create a new piece that would tackle a much harder planning and production schedule. It was to be a very ambitious web series that would run for ten five minute episodes. It was thrilling to think that we would produce a series that would be at around 60 minutes of total footage... now that is closer to a feature..., but harder in some ways. What became crucial was that each episode would start and end, and the audience would have to be looking at getting more.
The project's theme was The Occupy Wall Street movement in NYC, which sent shockwaves around the World, and created a Unison movement that trickled through other nations. In this story, three independent journalists that are responsible for reporting on the movement's day to day activities are tested when they receive a threat to stop their operations.
There were several challenges added to it.
1. No one was paid. It was a passion project.
2. Everything would be shot with practical lights and 2 kino-flo 4 feet 4 bank.
3. The camera used would be a prosumer DSLR - Canon 60D
4. The team would be kept small so that it could be mobile.
Pricipal Production started in April 2012, and wrapped in May 2012 with a total of 7 days of shooting from 8am till 4pm.
It was a beastly challenge, but a hugely successful one. Everyone was extremely please with the results, and our following increased online. The show was sold online on the wonderful Vimeo On Demand platform, and although did not recover the costs of feeding everyone over those days, it did put a smile on our face.
What this project taught me was very simple:
You can shoot some awesome things with the Canon 60D (back then this crop-sensor camera had a tilt screen and with Magic Lantern and shooting with the Technicolor profile, we were able to achieve a good DR).
You must pay your cast and crew. This is a must. Even if it is a small amount, it makes all the difference. You can demand punctuality, attention to detail and make sure that they will show up ;)
Here is the trailer to the series: