by Makrenna Rose Sterdan
Did you enjoy watching Help! ? Well, if you haven't yet, I'm going to give you a second to click the link above so you can watch it.
Good, so now let me tell you some fun Behind the Scenes facts from shooting!
FACT NUMBER ONE: IT ALL STARTED WITH A COUPLE MESSAGES
This project started because Em sent me a message one morning saying, "Hey, you want to shoot a short film?" and I said, "Yes." We didn't have a script at that point. We didn't have a cast, a crew, or an idea of where we were going to shoot. But we had a mutual goal to make a short film. One that was simple to shoot (translation: little to no dialogue), fun and maybe a little romantic (Em's criteria, not mine haha), and in a public location (a park, probably).
FACT NUMBER TWO: RECASTING DAY OF
We had two incredibly talented actresses playing the leads (Shannon Loewen as the sad woman, and Kristina Cahatol as the popular woman)! But did you know they stepped into those roles the day of filming? I woke up the morning to the originally cast actresses informing me they, unfortunately, couldn't make it. Shannon and Kristina were originally cast to play students. But weren't they FANTASTIC as the leads? Cheers for actresses versatile enough to step into roles day of!
FACT NUMBER THREE: REAL LIFE COUPLE ONE
You know that super cute couple that's always in the background of the film? You know, they listen to the street performer together? They walk over her bag when she falls down in front of them? They are also in the background when they backpack gets stolen? Yeah, they're a real life couple. And they're SO CUTE! Gwen and Vern Bird were a delightful addition to our shooting day.
FACT NUMBER THREE: REAL LIFE COUPLE NUMBER TWO
Speaking of actresses who jumped into filming day of, we have Inah Ernias well! Inah is Em's fiancee, and she originally came to help out on set. Well, we stuck her in as an Instagram socialite! She also did some behind the scenes videos when she wasn't in front of the camera. What a talented and versatile artist to step into so many roles on the day of! Thanks Inah!
FACT NUMBER FOUR: GUITAR PROBLEMS
One thing we definitely needed in our park was a street performer. One thing we didn't have was a functional guitar. I brought one of my dad's old guitars as a prop. But here's the thing: it was really old, and hadn't been touched in a while (cough cough decades cough). Anyway, when we pulled it out of the case, it was not in great condition. We had to improvise pretty hard when it came to securing the strap on it. Our male lead, Jason, was a huge help in securing it.
FACT NUMBER FIVE: GUITARIST FOR THE DAY
Our street performer, Rob Krezanski, was great. He actually stood with the guitar filming for most of our shoot. If we have great continuity with the street performer in the background, it's because he was super dedicated to the roll. And, if none of our stuff got stolen, it was because Rob doubled as the person watching our stuff.
FACT NUMBER SIX: RODE REEL?
Our plan for this film, originally, was to submit it for Rode Reel. For those of you who don't know, Rode Reel is an annual competition. The winners get sound recording equipment! Ironically, to be eligible, you need to use Rode equipment. Luckily, I have Rode equipment, and we got some good behind the scenes of us using it! But, unluckily, our film was a couple minutes too long—and we liked it that way. For Rode Reel, we needed to do a Behind the Scenes video. Here's a quick one I threw together from footage taken from Inah and Dante (thanks, you two!)
FACT NUMBER SEVEN: ACTOR AND SOUND
We needed someone to do sound. Only thing is . . . we didn't really have anyone to do sound. What we did have was our lead actor, Jeff Reyes, a man of many talents. He was a host. An actor. And, later, our sound guy (lots of talents!) He got some great foley we could use. He also was a general all around person, super helpful!
FACT NUMBER EIGHT: BEHIND THE SCENES
Just a couple days before shooting, I asked my friend, Dante, if he would do behind the scenes pictures for us. By the way, all the photos in this article are thanks to him (except for the picture of Dante, which is thanks to a friend of his named Ryan Bennett . . . not from our filming day, unfortunately haha). He did a great job, I think! As usual, as well, he was one of the most enthusiastic people on set.
FACT NUMBER NINE: SHOT AT KILDONAN PARK
I was originally thinking about shooting at the Forks in Winnipeg. But Em had a better idea to shoot at Kildonan Park. And, I say it was a better idea, because it ended up absolutely beautiful. I hadn't really visited Kildonan Park since I was in high school, and . . . I had forgotten how big it was. I had also forgotten (or just not known) that there was a beautiful flower garden! Hooray for Kildonan Park!
FACT NUMBER TEN: CHINESE FOOD FOR DINNER!
When we were finished filming, we all went out for Chinese food. And we got lost on the way to the restaurant. It was a glorious adventure which ended in delicious food. Yum!
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for some more shorts!
Makrenna Rose Sterdan
Owner, Red Lips Productions
Makrenna is a producer and writer from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She started Red Lips Productions in the summer of 2018, and has been producing several shorts and web series since. Her main passion is writing, but she also produces and directs when the opportunity arises.