On Set With… Donna & The Saturday Film Shoots

We catch up with Studio Film School co-director Donna, who tells us what her crew are up to this term:

I am sooooo excited about this term at the Saturday Film Shoots, and I definitely can’t hide it. I’ve been telling anyone who will listen about our amazing film idea, which is to make our own version of a B Movie, a film so deliberately bad that it’s good… Or so we hope!

When we got this term’s brief, “Saturday Night Morning at the Movies” it seemed so obvious. Visits to “the pictures”, to the Drive In… Grease… The 50’s teen movie… A B movie – of course! I don’t know why it’s taken this long to come up with this idea.

So, together with my group, we sat down at the beginning of term to talk about what our film for this year’s red carpet premiere might look like. Normally at this time of year, it feels both exciting and nerve-wracking, because we have to produce a film that’s good enough to show in the cinema to family and friends. Obviously, this is a great opportunity, but it’s also a challenge, there is a deadline to meet and a bit of pressure to find the right idea and do a good job on the set. This time, it’s refreshing because we’re having to make an effort to do things badly – it’s a very different kind of expectation. We want the booms dropped into shot! We want bad special fx! We want cheesy over-the-top acting!

Initially, we threw some ideas against a wall (metaphorically) and decided to see what would stick. Before too long, we had some brilliant comedy characters and a totally B movie plotline, complete with horror, romance and dodgy plot twists that make absolutely no sense whatsoever (spoiler: watch out for the acid rain!). Not to mention some running gags celebrating the art form that is continuity errors. Amazing. And amazing fun. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed more than I have this term.

We researched some examples, such as The Blob, and the more recent Sharknado (yes, it’s a real thing, and it’s terrible), as well as some classic teen stories like The Breakfast Club, Clueless and I Know What You Did Last Summer. This helped us to flesh out our film ideas with some conventions and opened the door to lots and lots of jokes.

Crew members shooting with the oh-so-bad-they're-good Vampire Books on Saturday

Crew members shooting with the oh-so-bad-they’re-good Vampire Books on Saturday

After developing, planning, storyboarding and casting, we’re now two weeks into shooting. We’ve been busy filming some chase scenes, but still have quite a lot to go.

Luckily, we have a few more weeks to finish off, which includes finishing off our ‘Vampire Books’ scenes, which I’m especially looking forward to. There is also the acid rain still to come, as well as an epic car chase… It’s going to be a fun few weeks!

The Vampire Books, fresh from  the Art Department, for their scenes.

The Vampire Books, fresh from the Art Department, for their scenes.

Everyone seems to enjoy deliberately making the film ‘bad’, it’s given us a real freedom to play around and explore ideas, because we have the space to make mistakes. For once, the bloopers might even make it into the final cut.

At the end of term, the film will then be put forward for its big screen debut at the Red Carpet Premiere this September. We’re all excited to share our so-bad-it’s-good film with you, we hope you have as much fun watching it as we’re having making it!

Donna 🙂

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