Synopsis: Tim, with the help of his friends, is throwing a surprise party, filming it and posting it online to shame his cheating boyfriend Jordan.
The challenge of a one-take film is laid out in this behind the scenes look at our film – Surprise. Our goal was to keep a high energy throughout the film by introducing plot points that would take it one step higher each time while also surprising the viewer at every moment. With over 30 cast and crew members; some of which were hidden as extras in the film, it was organised chaos at its best. Rehearsals went on during the day until night where we filmed a total of 14 takes with the 2nd last take being the one.
We shot the film in one location with the Sony A7SIII and 16-35mm f2.8 paired with the Rode filmmaker’s kit, NTG2 and a Zoom H6. It was a dance between the camera and sound team, weaving through the crowds while trying to keep an eye on each other. The set was lit in all 360 degrees so that we could be flexible in where we looked while allowing the actors freedom to roam and behave naturally in a party environment.
We used the RODE Filmmaker kits extensively, hooked up to an external recorder, and used an NTG XLR with boom pole and pistol grip to capture ambient sound alongside the dialogue of the primary actors. This was a particular challenge considering we were shooting with extras that didn’t know what was going on.