My First Short Film!

It was nothing less than an adventure to create a short film for the first time. One of the first main lessons I learned is that it’s okay if I have no idea what I’m doing while I’m shooting, because film is an art that you learn kinetically, or by doing. I started by brainstorming good shooting locations and figured I could probably get a lot of interesting footage in Hamden while hanging out with my friend. So we spent an afternoon there and I discovered that finding interesting subjects was easier than I had expected. All you have to do is be aware of your surroundings and look at things with an eye for their artistic potential. I also went to Loch Raven Reservoir the next day because it’s one of my favorite places to visit and chill out. The area is particularly beautiful during sunset.

The editing phase was where I really developed my concept. I had initially thought that I would make the film about the coexistence of man and nature, or something like that, inspired by the poem ‘Who robbed the woods.’ But instead, I played around with what I had and came up with a draft of something new. But first, I ran into some technical difficulties. I’m a PC person and very technically challenged, and so using an unfamiliar program on a Mac was a little confusing. But that was nothing compared to figuring out how to transfer my data from one source to another: from the camera to Final Cut and then Final Cut to my external hard drive (which was set up for a PC and had to be wiped). It also did not help that I lost everything after day one of editing when the computer crashed. Yay for Apple.

So after a lot of chocolate and a good night’s sleep, I was ready to get back to editing. I changed the order of many of the shots for the second version, and I worked with the timing in the audio (i.e. the poem). This is where the message of the film transformed from man vs. nature into man’s journey alongside nature. At least, this is the message I gleaned from it; it’s up for interpretation. In all honesty I didn’t even know what it meant until I finished it. Considering my method of just going for it and building the film as I go, as opposed to organizing every little detail from the start, I think my first film actually made itself.

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