Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Fort Valley State University partners with Battle
One of the toughest aspects of making independent films on extremely low budgets is finding locations.
Not just finding locations but finding locations that will accommodate your crew for long enough to effectively film the scenes you need to film.
Unless you have a film that takes place in one place (a la "Clerks") then finding locations that you can shoot at becomes a daunting task for most independent filmmakers. And Battle was no exception to this rule.
The script for Battle has several scenes that take place on a college campus since the main character happens to be studying music at College.
Well, after looking long and hard, we found a school who was sympathetic to our challenges as well as enthusiastic about our message in this movie.
That school was Fort Valley State University.
We scouted Fort Valley State a few weeks ago and met with the Director of Campus Facilities Mr. Donald Moore and he really liked what we were trying to say with our film and wanted to be a part of that.
So, we set a date and planned the shoot which put one of the last pieces of the puzzle of our schedule into place. We could now finally schedule our final shoot day at Solar Sounds Studio as well.
Fort Valley State University is located about 2 hours south of Atlanta, GA so we got an early start to the day (about 7am) in order to drive to FVSU to make our call time of 9:30AM
I drove myself and lead actors Conrad "HeadRoc" Clifton, Onira Tares', and director Laron Austin while producers Eddie Singleton and Bennie Swint followed me as well as Behind the Scenes director Ian Williams. Along the way, Assistant Director Dave Watkins passed us and apparently everyone else did too because when we arrived, Samantha Worthen, Co-Producer Kenno Rixson and Assistant Camera Bashiri, and even Chris Burns were waiting for us in the parking lot of the athletic complex which would serve as our base of operations for the day.
Shortly after our arrival Mr. Donald Moore opened the doors and we loaded in and began setting up the Digital Download station and the office for the first set of scenes.
Samantha Worthen (below) plays Mrs. Whitmore, the director of Financial Aid in the first few scenes that also have HeadRoc's character, RIPPA, trying to get back in school after struggling financially.
Organizing to shoot outside on Campus
After we got the financial aid scenes in the can we needed to shoot a few scenes with our main characters on Campus, so we decided to shoot some of these scenes outside in order to incorporate the lovely campus into the fabric of the movie.
We first shot with Onira and Chris near the school's mascot statue, a wildcat.
Then we needed to break for lunch and Mr. Moore showed us around campus as we made a company move to the FVSU Cafeteria.
Afterwards, we shot another scene outside the Founders Building (which was the first building ever on the historic campus) and fought the nippy wind...well, the actors fought it, I had my jacket on :)
And then we shot some establishing shots with Headroc on campus and went back to shoot another interior.
This time we wanted it to take place in the student athletic complex, so we set up the scene there.
And then we wrapped the day, shooting nearly 10 pages of the script (that's a good chunk kiddies) at the fabulous Fort Valley State University.
Needless to say, we want to express our sincere gratitude to the University and especially Mr. Donald Moore for their generous contribution to the film.
Laron, Bashiri and Kenno at the Digital download station at FVSU
The tour continues