CongestedCat Shorts: Production Success!

We shot our films last weekend and now Post-Production has begun!

Sorry for not updating sooner. I was busy reviewing & sending our footage off to the editor, getting some much needed sleep and cleaning my apartment (more on that later).

As for how the shoot went? It was amazing. I’m so excited about our footage and cannot wait to see the first rough cuts. Our crew was phenomenal. Most were our usual team of people, but we had some newcomers that I’m so excited to not only have as more talented people to collaborate with, but also as new friends. The same goes for the cast. I was blown away by each one of them. I’ve been reviewing footage for the last week and am just mesmerized by their performances and the chemistry between the pairs.

We had some interesting things happen in the week before our shoot.

First, our location that was generously loaned to us had some change of plans and ended up being unavailable this particular weekend of all weekends. Instead of uprooting our schedule and everyone else’s (coordinating new dates that everyone would have in common would have pushed us back a month) or spending money we didn’t actually have on a new space (since the location was loaned), we adjusted one of the films so that both could be shot in the same location. This location was actually my apartment – thus the need to clean after a weekend of wonderful but very sweaty people plus lots of gear & hot lights inside.

Despite this abrupt need to make some revisions, I feel that it worked out for the best in the end because nothing about the actual story changed, just the set layout. Additionally, this allowed us to not have to breakdown after day 1, do a company move on day 2 & reset everything in a new space. Because of this, while day 1 (NOLR) was just under 13 hours, day 2 (WHP) was under 7 hours! I’ve only been able to shoot an entire short in less than 7 hours once before with my dark comedy “S.K.A.”, but both of these films are miles ahead of that in terms of production value. I’m just really proud of and impressed with my team for making this work. We shot 2 quality films in 2 days!

*Also, side note about the location - the house is still loaned to us for a production, which is awesome because it works perfectly for my next short, planned for production next Spring.

The other minor setback that ended up being for the best was that our selected camera, the Canon C300, was unavailable at Du-All, our usual rental house, and three others we checked with for the weekend. Apparently everyone else in NYC was shooting that weekend and with that camera. However, Du-All, being as awesome and loyal as they are (we used them for Summit & Kelsey), offered us the C500 for the rental cost of the C300! We had already allocated the additional funds we raised to our lighting budget, so didn’t want to spend more to rent an external recorder to shoot at 4K on the C500, but it was still awesome to get to use this camera and get a feel for it, especially since we had not yet shot on it. 

So all in all, despite what initially seemed like setbacks in pre-production, all worked out for production. And while we did have some minor type things that always manage to hold up the start of production (a couple Best Buy runs to replace a monitor splitter, for instance), the shoots went quite smoothly, in large part, I believe, due to how well we all worked together. In fact, Gwen, an actor we had not worked with before but who we’ll definitely have on set again and again, complimented me on the relaxed but productive vibe on set, and the warm welcoming nature of our team; also how well we all communicated with each other. That was really lovely to hear. 

On day 2, we did have some sound issues due to a parade going on midday down the block. But we did our best to work around it and overall I have faith that we got clean audio for most of the shoot and that our sound editor will be able to work with some of the background. In the meantime, I anxiously await rough cuts.

We’ll be posting some behind the scenes photos in the coming weeks, but for now we hope you enjoy seeing these stills from the raw footage!

 Adam Jepsen as Chris in "Not Our Living Room"

Adam Jepsen as Chris in "Not Our Living Room"

 Rob Ceriello as Jake in "Not Our Living Room"

Rob Ceriello as Jake in "Not Our Living Room"

 Lauren A. Kennedy as Elizabeth in "We Had Plans"

Lauren A. Kennedy as Elizabeth in "We Had Plans"

 Gwen Albers as Diana in "We Had Plans"

Gwen Albers as Diana in "We Had Plans"

Thanks again to everyone who supported us in making these films. More updates to come!

Christina, on behalf of myself, Kelsey & the team