I decided it was time to do an actual test shoot, and because I’m a guy who digs guns, and action in general-I decided on filming an action sequence that happened near the beginning of the first episode of the story I was working on. I knew it would be a challenge because this was one of the more complicated sequences; but I also knew that if I did it well, it might help convince others to get on board and generate excitement for the project.
Well, getting people on board was way easier than I imagined. I spent a few days slowly buying props on line, worried about getting the soldiers in the shoot to look somewhat authentic. I knew some people with realistic airsoft guns and they lent me some stuff. A buddy of mine with some actual military garb lent me a few things too which helped a lot; but the door really blew open when a friend of a friend (now just a friend) said he’d be interested in helping out. Turns out he had an arsenal of airsoft guns and gear. And just like that my props were all taken care of. My ‘Rodrigez list’ just grew exponentially.
So the day of the test shoot came, and everyone that showed up was needed. Not only that, but the shoot was long and difficult; mostly because I had no idea what I was doing. I just want to add that having the storyboards there with me helped me tremendously shot to shot. It also helped in showing everyone involved what we were trying to achieve for a specific shot as well giving everyone an idea how the entire scene progressed.
We shot for eight or so hours and it was much MUCH fun. I wouldn’t say it was easy…one of the shots took 27 takes (a hand to hand fight filmed on a dolly…and it’s a little less than three seconds long).
But we got it done and with daylight to spare. The crazy thing was, at the end of the day I thought those guys would never want to work with me again. I mean these guys spent their Saturday afternoon pushing dollies, moving gear, doing take after take…. But, to my surprise, each one called or texted me that night saying how much fun they had, and that they couldn’t wait to ‘do it again’.