The Wayback Machine: Cinematography

More digging up the old files.

This is a teen horror film that I shot mid 2003, called Halloween House Party (imdb). There’s a lot I might say about doing this shoot – in short it was grueling. We only had 9 days to shoot a 90 page script, so we had to be very organized. Lighting, Camera and Production departments worked like a dream, other things not so much.

I made these maps in MS Visio to help guide the A and B crew with the set schedule for the day. My 1st AC, Gaffer, Set Decorator, 1st AD and Director all had a copy of these sheets. I kept a full script (printed half size) and this sheet tucked into my AC pouch.







Here are some shots from the show (by Emil Siapno), next to the set up set it corresponds to:


(day 3)

(day 3)

The location of the above scenes changed when we were able to use the front second floor room of the house (which had been previously off limits). Obviously, that room was much better because of the great bay windows.

(day 4)

(day 6)

(day 7)

A bullet point list of the adventures we had for this shoot (by no means complete):

  • We had to shoot it in 12 days.
  • Then we had to change a 12 day shoot to 9 days.
  • Then the house location was unexpectedly changed 2 days before principle photography. Since 90% of the film is shot at a single house I had to re-scout the location and redo my entire shot list. This was not only a different house it was a different city.
  • We had to shoot in a less than ideal location where we had to “hire” the local gang to provide security.
  • Craft services was constantly late.
  • A local pimp beat up one of their employees, and the cops came.
  • No street permits.
  • Graveyard shift for 6 of the shoot days.
  • Not enough radios to communicate between the production office, and for the crew.