First Day Of Making My Short Movie

On April 28th I shot the first scenes for my short movie Sunset Memories, which I’m going to chalk up as a learning experience. I wanted to begin shooting last January but then we got deluged by multiple atmospheric rivers which put off shooting for a long time. Once we entered spring and the weather improved we could finally begin shooting. However the day was overcast which gave the footage a blah look, I was really hoping for sun. There was also the roadblock of the video camera not being able to read the SD memory card, fortunately my DP Phil Nasr was able to figure it out after a half hour of troubleshooting.

There was also the noise. I chose the location, a cafe called Java Junction, because it’s open, outdoors (shooting indoors requires permission), and in a quieter part of Santa Cruz. It’s also at the main intersection in the Seabright neighborhood so there was a regular stream of traffic. There was the occasional loud motorcycle and speeding car, but the apex of the vehicle noise was a flatbed truck with a load of carbon dioxide tanks backing up into a parking lot while making the annoying reverse gear beeping noise.

The actors did the best they could with these conditions, but it soon became clear that this was going to go down as a rehearsal. Often you have to do a scene repeatedly for the actors to get a feel for the characters, and that’s a lot easier to do when there are no distractions. After a couple of hours and multiple retakes we decided to call it a day and re-shoot in a different location. And on the suggestion by one of the actors, we’ve already found a new spot, Cat & Cloud Coffee over in Aptos.

Looking forward to getting Sunset Memories finally done, edited together, then shown to an audience.


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