Loose Ends (2017) is a mini web series produced by Studio Eclipse and my company, Cygnus Films. The inception of the series started when Will Brewster, Robert Smith III, Arianna Tysinger, and myself were incredibly bored during the summer and wanted to make a film. Back when I took an acting class, we had an assignment where we had to interpret open scenes and act them out. I had a similar assignment in my Intro to Film Production class. The concept of "open scenes" is that it's a pre-written script of just basic dialogue. It has no action lines or any sense of direction whatsoever. The purpose is to be creative and build the scene around the dialogue. When we stumbled upon five scripts, we each read them and came up with some ideas and work out which ones were the best. Will mentioned a mobster execution scene for one of the scripts, and I had the idea of two guys hiding a dead body for another. Eventually we made all the scripts tie into each other and have a continuous storyline. We went from writing to getting equipment, casting, producing, and filming multiple episodes within three weeks. This is what we in the industry call "stupid." In the end, we had to cut an entire episode and improvise a new ending to episode 3. The reason we had to cut it is because we were unable to secure a location for it in time. Although it's tough having to compromise with this massive change, we should have expected it with the amount of time we gave ourselves.
The filming and producing of loose ends taught us a couple of big things. We knew of these rules but thought we were clever enough to get around them. first thing is to give yourself enough time to plan. Like I mentioned above, we did everything within three weeks and this lead to a ton of issues. we didn't even film everything we needed to make an edit work well and had to come back for a quick pickup shoot in october of 2017. We didn't even get a sound mixer because we couldn't secure anybody to fill that position on such short notice. We just used a rode mic and lavs that hooked into our phones to get audio. Even though it's a really short project, we should have given ourselves at least a month or two of prep to get everything squared away. The second thing we learned was to always have an assistant director on set. There was a lot of time wasted on this set with just casual chatter and I think back now to how much more coverage we could've gotten within that time wasted. An assistant director, or an "AD" for short, would have kept up in line and kept us filming the entire time.
As of April 2020, the four episodes have been edited into one 10-minute long short film and is currently being tweaked. We've been sending the film to friends as test viewings to get feedback about the project.