Moon Over Bourbon St. – Aaron Johns

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My main roles in this project were being the DP and editor. Marisol wrote the script and directed. This is the first time I went into a shoot having full storyboards and shot lists, which helped tremendously when scheduling. Thinking of it as individual shots instead of the full scenes also helped, as I could edit it between shoot days and insert the shots as we got them. Knowing where each shot would go in the final edit helped with efficiency, not having to shoot additional coverage “just in case”. I’ve attached one of the storyboarded shots alongside the final version in the film. My favorite part to shoot was the confrontation between the drunk man (played by our director in disguise) and Louis, the vampire. Very difficult to hold in laughter and not ruin the takes.

The project was shot in five days in various parts of Houston. Securing locations was the most difficult part. For the girl’s apartment, I emailed many apartment complexes and reached out to every friend I had in Houston to no avail. We ended up doing those scenes in Marisol’s dorm, using decorations and lighting to make it look interesting. Louis’ bedroom scene was filmed at a friend’s place, and the exteriors were a combination of UH campus, Montrose and Rice Village. Rice Box, the neon-lit restaurant, was where we picked to film the exteriors of the restaurant scene, with the original plan being to go to another bar to shoot the interior scene. Some issues came up with that bar, and I had the idea to film inside Rice Box. They were very welcoming and let us shoot inside while they were open, turning down the music and letting us film. That helped a lot with continuity, as well as being a great-looking place.

I enjoyed the challenges and conveniences of having a crew of 2-4 people. It made transportation easy, though there were times where I wished we had an assistant camera operator or a grip so we wouldn’t have to split the other jobs between us as much. Huge thanks to Lawson Whitford and Maggie Montero for coming to help with the shoot, and to Fernie Reyes for lending your bedroom. Overall, I’m proud of how the project came out.

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