Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Making of "Collection Day": Day 4

Day four led us to three locations. Three company moves (even an extremely small company like mine) can be very difficult and leads to being behind schedule. This day wasn't too bad, as we had a scene in the morning (a police station parking lot), a short scene after lunch (back to the cement plant during the day) and one after dark (a model apartment).

Press play!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Tips: Airsoft Gas Blow Back (Pistol)

In the past, I published a video that covered using an airsoft spring rifle, then another that showed the effects of removing the spring for a more realistic bolt action. This time, I've got some observations that illustrate how to up the authenticity when using a gas blow back airsoft pistol as an on-set prop.

The first item covers the issue of getting your gun to fire when empty, as many semi-automatic airsoft pistols will lock back the slide when you run out of ammo, just like the real thing. Unless you want to load the thing with BBs and deal with them flying all over your set, this needs to be addressed.

The second is the classic battle between green gas and propane. While both are basically the same, green gas is more expensive, while "real" propane (found at any hardware store) smells something awful (and your wife always knows when your testing out your props). You'll need an adapter to charge your airsoft props with propane, but you might be surprised why I go anti-frugal and pick the more expensive green gas in this instance.

Another issue (which I've never seen addressed elsewhere) is the issue of a narrow gun barrel. On pistols, it's a dead giveaway that you are using an airsoft clone if the audience can see into the the barrel of the gun. It looks unrealistically smaller than the real thing. I tried to hide that fact with a simple trick that anyone can pull off, provided you know how to field strip your prop weapon.

I learn a bunch of stuff every time I make a film, and this is just one of several videos I plan on making about things I learned making Collection Day.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Making of "Collection Day": Day 3

On day three of our shoot, we had a very bipolar experience. In the morning we shot inside of the business building on campus, which features an enormous glass window. As mentioned before (I think) there is a visual theme of glass in the film (due to the lead character's name--Taylor Glass), and this window is probably the largest incarnation of that idea. Shooting there went fairly well and we wrapped with a nice lunch with cast and crew.

After lunch we moved to our second location, a small abandoned cement factory that everyone loves to shoot at. Not only does the location look great for all things run-down, but the owner's don't care if you shoot there and always let you do so at no cost. Our first issue arose when we found there was no longer power in the plant--another previous perk. The solution wasn't hard, we just had to go rent a generator. So we did.

What killed us for the evening, however (and is not seen in the video), was the tactical light on Taylor's rifle went out after we started shooting. It used a special battery and I only had one. I took off to go find a replacement battery or light, but came up empty handed. I then tried to recharge the battery we had, but the provided charger was slow and would not give us the time we needed to shoot the scene.

We ended up cancelling the shoot and rescheduling. The very next day I ordered two new (and more efficient) batteries and a charger for the tactical light. I was not going to have history repeat itself.


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