The Hat Trick Film Diary: Days 2-4 + Trailer.

A little belated, but here's the rest of the film diary for the rest of the shoot. This past weekend (literally Friday-Sunday), I spent time wrapping up filming for The Hat Trick. If you missed Part 1 of the film diary, you can click here. Here are some highlights from the rest of the shoot:

Day 2

*This day only took an hour and a half to film, which we did at the Duck Pond of one of our local parks. Out of that 90 minutes, I got 14 minutes of footage and used about 8 of it in the final product.

*We were really lucky on conditions because for over a week prior to Friday, it had been raining almost non-stop. And when it wasn't raining, there were swarms of evil mosquitos. Fortunately, Friday gave us not a single drop of rain or a single mosquito.

*It was, however, hot as heck. It was around the mid-90s, and we were around water, so the humidity was probably even higher. I was wearing black pants, a long-sleeve shirt, and an undershirt underneath that. A couple of my actresses were also wearing layers of clothes--some of which was also black. Poor Nicolle had to wear this black plastic mask... she was happy when she finally got to get rid of that thing. Needless to say, we were dying and sweating like crazy that day within minutes.

*For the moments when the jewel had to be tied up to the cord, it kept coming loose in our pockets (depending on who was holding on to it). And it was incredibly difficult to get back together due to the shape of the thing. Fortunately we finally got it to work.

*I was initially worried about the Bench Scene, since that was going to be mainly a massive single take. I ended up splitting it into two parts so I could get a shot from the back. Both halves of the single take only took us two tries to get right.

*Another moment that deserves recognition is Nicolle flinging herself back into the grass... which also only took two tries to get right. But she was covered in grass and whatnot that she had to clean off between takes.

*When I bought the prop jewels, I bought a second because I knew with my luck something was going to happen to one of them and I wouldn't have a back-up. Sure enough, during a scene where The Hobo has to fine the jewel on her head underneath the hat... it slipped off and fell into the water. And it's not the kind of water you just go into and retrieve stuff from. This is why when you see the finished product, she is being incredibly careful about taking the hat off to retrieve the jewel. She felt horrible about the whole situation... which of course meant I teased her for the rest of the day about it.

Day 3

*I filmed this day completely on my own at my parents' house. Again, it took about 90 minutes, but this time I ended up with roughly 28 minutes worth of footage and used roughly 11 minutes of it.

*To get some of the shots and angles I needed--because I had neither a cameraman nor a tripod--I typically used a makeshift stand of trays and boxes that towered high.

*I found I need to practice more cardio after the staircase scene, since I had to walk or run up or down the stairs, then go back to where I came from and do it again. Basically, I was going up and down the stairs for about 5-10 straight minutes to get what I needed.

*The famous kitchen/countertop scene... this was actually not in the script until about 15 minutes before I made it out to the house, as I was trying to think of a little more I could add to the segment. This scene proved I needed to lift more weights, as my arms and shoulders were about dead from having to hold up my weight in the crab-stance (the push-up stance was fine). And yes, the entire countertop scene (with the exception of cut-aways to my hands or feet) was filmed in one continuous take. Also filmed in one continuous take is the "sound freak out" scene, though the movie cuts away twice briefly.

*The script originally called for the apples to be colored, like a Sin City effect. And I know how to do that effect, as well. However, the lighting turned out to be too poor that I couldn't pull it off.

Day 4

*There was maybe a total of 15 minutes of shooting with somewhere around 10 minutes of footage and I only used about 2-3 minutes of it or so.

*This day was used to film only one scene, which is the "Scooby-Doo Doorway" scene, as I like to call it. The reason it was filmed on a different day is I needed at least one other person to pull off one of the effects. And since nobody but me was there on Saturday, I had to wait until there were others there on Sunday.

*My sister was in the room on the right the entire time, so any time I ran in there, I would almost run right into her. My mother didn't enter the bathroom on the left until I needed her to grab the hat as I tossed it.

*This was the only scene in the entire movie where I used an actual tripod--my mother owned one, albeit a broken one. Its legs kept sliding down and we had to make sure not to touch anything or else the whole angle would be thrown off.

*This sequence had to be filmed twice. The first time you could see my sister's arm at the end when she tosses the hat from the room. But this fact wasn't caught until I was changed out of costume and had moved the tripod out of the way. The entire scene had to be redone due to the moved tripod, or else there would be a noticeable shift in the angle of the shot for the last moment. The first time, it only took her two times to toss the hat correctly. The second time... it took quite a few more (which can be seen in the bloopers during the credits of the film).


Anyway, with all of that having been said, here is the trailer for the film. The actual short film itself (which is roughly 37 minutes long) will premiere online in the near future. (Note: The "order of appearance" credit at the end is for the actual film, not the trailer.)

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