So You Signed Up
Finalize Your Gear
Whether you are going to film it on your phone, or use a pro-grade camera – finalize all the equipment you will need on filming day. This includes everything from chargers, batteries and wires to lighting gear, sound equipment and a laptop/mobile device with editing software.
If you are planning to take out equipment from the AV Loan Desk, make sure you check for its availability in advance, and book it ASAP. You do not want to waste time on challenge day by looking for gear you could have planned for ahead of time.
Consider the Theme
The theme of this year’s Cameo is Race Against the Machine. While, you will have to incorporate the mystery prop into your story, it doesn’t hurt to think of some rough story sketches based on the theme. You can interpret it in any way you’d like. Do you want it to be a literal race against robots? Do you want to have social commentary about how technology is super-ceding the human race? You must connect technology to some form of struggle or competition. Based on this, consider if you want to make it a happy story, or a darker one. The tone, style and rough concept of your film can start taking shape based on the theme.
You may also want to start collecting props for your film beforehand. If you’re looking to create something that looks like a robot, or have a futuristic feel to your film, you might want to hunt down objects that will bring out this element in your film. Source the props out and see how the look on film – use a camera or any equipment you may own to do a quick screen test.
Decide on a Location
Based on the rough concept you’ve developed, and the gear you will be using, you should decide on whether you want to film indoors or outdoors. You should then decide on a location that will fit the general mood of your story. You should pick a place that will allow for improvisations based on any sudden unforeseen changes. It may also be wise to scout the location before hand to check for lighting and other technical aspects that could affect the filming process.
You also want to keep in mind that you will need to submit this by 10:00 a.m the next day. Make the location of your shoot one that is easily accessible to your crew and the talent, as well as a place that has wifi or is close to somewhere that does.
Decide on Talent
You may have a team of individuals who are brilliant behind the scenes – but if you’re looking to make a fiction piece, you will need someone in front of the camera. It is difficult to know how many people you may require given that the story is not finalized – however, you still want a handful of actors you can call upon on the day of the shoot. You should reach out to the main leads and discuss the overall concept of your script and tell them that the prop might result in some last minute changes. It’s still a better idea for your talent to know about what’s going to happen, so they can better prepare for it.
You can reach out to students in the acting program, or contact the program coordinator, Mark Ingram to ask if he can talk to his students – [email protected]
Learn from an Expert
Britney Ngaw is a New York-based filmmaker hailing from Toronto, Canada. Currently, she is a Film Fellow at the Tribeca Film Institute. In 2017 she was the runner up for the TIFF 24 Hour Challenge and then in 2018 she took on the challenge again and won!
She shared her advice for making a film in 24 hours especially for our Cameo participants. Listen closely, she’ll also be judging the films and having lived it, she knows exactly what to look for.