Grad School Week Two

19Aug12

Week Two at Columbia College Chicago (colum.edu) flew by. Since we’re still in “boot camp” mode we sped through a lot of information really quickly. Being that I’ve been working on productions for the last few years, a lot (most) of the information wasn’t anything new. But, it was a fairly exciting week. It was also jam-packed with producing goodness. Here’s this weeks breakdown:

Monday:
The all-powerful Coverage Report. We spent most of the day going over what goes into a coverage report, how they differed depending on who they’re being sent to, and practicing writing our own. We also went over working with a director and writing script notes.

Tuesday:
Scene breakdowns. Not my first rodeo with the breakdown. But, it’s always good to practice. Our homework over the weekend was to read the first and second drafts of Bad Teacher (imdb.com), so in class Tuesday we broke down the first few scenes. Joe and Kevin gave us a breakdown form, but I like the ones I’ve been using better. They’re just more detailed.

Wednesday:
Our first trip to the Media Production Center (MPC). Columbia has an amazing facility that houses two stages (one of which is bigger than a football field), a fully stacked and staffed cage, an amazing scene shop, and even has a MoCap studio. Needless to say, I’m impressed. The MPC rivals any studio in LA or New York, and completely blows every space I’ve seen in SF out of the water. I can’t wait to be able to start using it.

Thursday:
Remember how I said I couldn’t wait to start using the MPC? Well, we had a “mock” shoot in it on Thursday. The school brought in Howard McCain (imdb.com) and we shot a scene from Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity (imdb.com). Shot it on a RED Epic. I so love camera tech. The set was made to be a “real, working set” so that us students could get a feel for how sets function outside of school. They had each of the students rotate between the various departments (camera, art, direction, etc.) so we could get a feel of each. I think this was a great workshop.

Friday:
Pre-production, pre-production, pre-production. At the end of week one we got handed our directing partners for the next project; and all through this week we were working on story development. Friday was 100% dedicated to getting ready for the shoot. My partner and I chose to shoot on Saturday. Gotta love doing paperwork.

Saturday:
Project Number Two shoot. “The Sell”
Here’s a preview of the cut (only a rough):

The Sell: ROUGH CUT from Jeremy Widen on Vimeo.



Next week is the last week of “boot camp.” I think I’m finally getting back into the flow of school. My birthday is next week, and my dad is coming into town on Wednesday. We also have orientation next Saturday. So, we’ll see how the week goes.

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