Hannah H: The Boston Bucket List

Over the past few weeks I’ve received some great news that is really going to impact my time at BU next year. My best friend (and sometimes my greatest nemesis) is moving to Boston this summer. My older sister, Madison, is graduating from college this June and then she’ll be headed my way to take on Boston with me.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from her impending arrival, it’s how much I still have to do here in Boston. She’s constantly rattling off ‘we should try this’ or ‘let’s do that when I get there.’ It’s like she’s more familiar with the city than I am lately. For this reason, I’m really making an effort to get out into the city this semester, take the time to familiarize myself with the areas I don’t spend as much time in, and branch out.

An aide to this exploration is actually my Production 1 class. All Film and TV students have 4 required courses: Production 1, Understanding TV, Understanding Film and Screenwriting. Production 1 familiarizes students with different equipment and editing software. Another aspect of the class is filming 3 different ‘short film’ projects over the semester. While it’s a lot of work outside the classroom, it’s also a great excuse to get off campus and into Boston. I’m only three weeks in and I’ve already had so much fun going into the north end and over to the financial district to scout locations for my projects. It’s also helping me find a few things I’m excited to try with Maddie when she arrives too.

While she still doesn’t understand that an apartment in the north end isn’t in walking distance to my classes on campus or that the t is our public transportation system not just a letter in the alphabet, she’s still teaching me a lesson or two. It’s going to be hard to sacrifice some of my binge-TV time (which I’m sure she indulges in just as much as I do) but I’m excited to dive into our little, (or not so little) Boston Bucket List together.

Sarah: Production 1

Now a first semester junior, I have been putting off Production I for some time. I’ve had quite a bit of experience with production in the past, but always as a production assistant. I observed first-hand how much work goes into directing your own film. I’m currently enrolled in Production I and shot my final film this past weekend. It was even more difficult than I thought it would be, but in the end, it was a totally gratifying experience.

Originally, I thought the class was about learning all the technical aspects of making a film. But really, it is about learning to make a film, start to finish. While the technical side of the class is important, the biggest take-away for me will be learning how to coordinate a production. There is an incredible amount of planning that goes into it. Unlike most films you will ever make, Prod I requires you to make them on your own. Well, not entirely on your own. If you’re lucky like me, you’ll have a few stellar friends and classmates willing to help you out. But, you will call all of the shots. Literally.

A note for anyone taking a production class next semester – pre-production is key! I dealt with a million and one problems before I started shooting –actors dropping out, locations falling through and unavailable equipment, just to name a few. I found out 5 days before I my shoot that one of my actresses was a union member. Using her in my film would require paperwork, signatures and a $50 deposit – all due one week before filming. Oops!  Luckily, I settled things with a very understanding woman at the SAG office. Because I was able to deal with these problems beforehand, the actual shoot went smoothly.

That’s not to say production won’t yield its own complications. Murphy’s Law is in full effect on most film sets. A pair of socks I bought as the focus of my film ended up being too dark to be seen on camera. My crew spent an hour in one scene trying to light them. My advice is to schedule yourself plenty of time to shoot. As my professor always says, shooting will take you three times longer than expected. I scheduled using this rule, plus added an hour in between location changes. I expected to be ahead of schedule all day, but I barely maintained it.

So even though I don’t plan on continuing with production, this class was an invaluable lesson in planning and budgeting (time, not money). I hope you all get the chance to get out there and make some movies!


Richie: Indie Production Company

Richie ImageHey everyone,

If you read my last post, you might’ve heard that I was able to get an internship at the Cannes Film Festival for this summer. Obviously I’ve been incredibly excited for it. I’m sure I will learn plenty about the festival process, screenings, distribution of motion pictures, and even more.

 However, I am most interested in the production of actual movies. While I could try searching for another internship or job on the actual set of a short film, I instead thought, “What better way to learn about making movies, than just going out and making plenty yourself?”

That’s why three friends of mine and I have decided to start a small production company. We’ve helped each other out on our Production 1 films and since last year have been shooting and editing a few live sessions for independent musicians around Boston. We’ve had experience working with each other and thought it was time we stepped it up. With a name finally agreed upon, oneonefive productions has finally begun preproduction for our own independent short film.



Recently we’ve been making changes to the script, setting up a budget, and creating a schedule. We’ve even gone into researching the best resources for casting, equipment rental, and even deadlines for film festival submissions months in advance. Our first film’s will be about three adolescent working class Boston kids. Unable to receive a college education, like so many in their position, they grow a resentment towards the student’s inhabiting their city from distant parts around the country. The group cons and robs affluent college students in the Boston area, yet our protagonist begins to have a change of heart.

We’re confident in the story premise but still definitely have a few details to iron out before we start shooting.

Getting Jobs to Fund our First Film:

Apart from making changes to the script I wrote, a large part of what’s been on our plates has been funding the project. Although a Kickstarter campaign was thought of, we feel we must be a bit more established before we can realistically start getting strangers to give money for our film. This is why we’ve been focusing on getting jobs shooting promos, live music sessions, music videos, and anything else we may find a client interested in. Our first job will be at a hair salon on Newbury Street, interested in shooting a few instructional videos on how to use their products. This way, we’ll be getting more experience, building contacts, establishing a track record, and funding our film all at once.

Our production company is very young, but we’re all very excited to finally be doing more of what we love. We always talk about crafting our skill or making that first real legitimate film. Though we may have a bit until that film gets completed, the group is happy that action has been replaced by mere talking. I definitely recommend engaging some close friends of yours in different talks and meetings and see if you guys can create a small production company or artistic collective. I definitely think it’s the best way to start learning apart from classes or internships, and start establishing a name for yourself! By the way, if anyone has us in mind for a shoot, email us at oneonefiveproductions@gmail.com!