Behind the Scenes – 24 frames by Adrian Abellar
With every project and production, there will always be limitations and deadlines. But it’s how you can adapt and perform creatively under these conditions that truly makes us artists. When tasked with portraying a story while only given 24 frames, all done in camera, I found the task to be quite relaxing…at first. Limiting factors in a project like a limited number of frames helped me to realize that I can work within the bounds of the project without getting too carried away or too ambitious. Which I can admit is definitely a weakness of mine.
I decided to first attack by writing a logline for my story. Basically, it takes a “skeleton approach” to the filmmaking process. This logline would allow me to create a loose plotline to which I can form a shot list and schedule. A large challenge I faced was finding and scheduling with actors. I am lucky to have such willing and caring friends who were willing to take the time to appear in this, as basically a lot of these scenes really relied on the emotion that stemmed from their existing relationship with each other as a couple. The images were then shot all in my house using a single source bi-color light with a softbox and grid and an RGB light bar. Cinematography-wise, I tried to focus on getting better at maintaining an eyelight, having lighting contrast throughout the frame, and utilizing natural light. Another issue I faced was wardrobe and continuity. Only during the shooting, did I realize that I never planned on having my characters change clothes during the change of day. This resulted in my characters wearing the same clothes even when I was really trying to have an element of time passing within the frames.
Being limited to 24 frames taught me that much of the filmmaking process relies on multiple aspects of preproduction and production to work at its highest efficiency. But also when you work with what you have, whether that be a lack of crew or a lack of gear, you need to spend twice as much time planning in preproduction to make up for your disadvantage.