I Don’t Like Peas
This post is a reflection on the short film I helped create titled, “I Don’t Like Peas”. Which you can watch here.
As a follow up to On The Rocks, the same crew and I set out to make another tableau film. After playing musical chairs with our roles, I found myself in the seat of Director of Photography. I was excited at the prospect of the new role, as I was desperate to get my hands on with the more advanced camera equipment and learn as much as I could.
Not only would learning about using the camera make me a more versatile filmmaker, but it would also help me communicate with cinematographers in the future. My main goal is to become a writer and editor, possibly directing or producing later in my career. In all of these jobs, having a better understanding of the most essential piece of kit, the camera itself, will be crucial to my long-term success.
Coming off the back of On The Rocks, which had narrative issues and was not well received critically, everyone in Group E was much more focused. With Samuel Duner, a much more proactive leader at the helm our ship, we quickly headed in the right direction with this project. He helped greatly in keeping all stages of production on schedule and of a high quality. He made sure all of us were on top of our responsibilities, without micromanaging. This film would not have been possible without his powerful leadership.
In reflection, I think the shoot went very well. The work we put in during pre-production really showed, and the shoot went very smoothly. If we had managed to plan the lighting out ahead of time, the setup would have been half as long, but it only cost us in time, not quality.
The main criticism we received was that the focus felt to be on David, rather than on her. On the shoot day, I had suggested to tell Jess to be more emotive, but it didn’t get much out of her. In hindsight, I think it goes back to the script. Liz only has 3 lines, all of which are very short.
If I were to do anything different, I would have liked to advise a change to the script earlier in the production. Due to the nature of the script, I was afraid of coming off as insensitive by giving it criticism. However, the only suggestion I would have made is making the protagonist more active.
A very common issue with inexperienced writers is the passive protagonist. The story happens to them, not because of them. In this story, Liz’s only significant action is coming out, and it almost feels like she was backed into a corner, rather than something she wanted to do all along. The change I would have suggested would be to make it clear Liz was trying to get something off her chest sooner. She keeps starting to tell her dad what’s on her mind, but she can’t get a word in edgewise because he’s telling his story. It would make her more active; it would better convey the struggle she is undergoing, and it would help with the main issue.
Otherwise, I thought the shoot went very smoothly and well. My own camera work felt solid, and I look forward to getting my hands on the kit again and having another go.