I know there are a lot of people who know about film making and how it works. For those people this is one experience from one film maker to another. For those who are students or are just wanting to learn any and everything there is to know about film and film making, let me tell you a story about having to shoot a student film in a grocery store over night.
Now this grocery store experience was not like a normal go into a grocery store and shop for groceries experience. As a class, we were filming a student film that required us to film a scene in a grocery store. Under normal circumstances we might not have been locked in the grocery store. But because this was a student film and not a professional one we had to abide by the rules of the manager at the grocery store who wanted his store to run normally during the day and safe at night with us there. Therefore, we were locked in the store over night from 8pm-6am.
What did this mean for us? It meant no smoking breaks for those who smoked. No going out to pick up something to eat. If we were hungry we ate something there in the store and then paid for it once the store opened in the morning. This also meant that those who were claustrophobic did not step foot into the store.
With all of this in mind, the night started like any other for filming. Everyone arrived at the grocery store around 8pm prepared to film and take on the responsibilities given to them before the shoot started. That night I was given extra responsibilities. Instead of only being in charge of set propping, I was also in charge of keeping a list of the number of film takes and the recording of how long each take took.
Once we were locked in the store, everyone started setting up the film equipment. We were having to film in the produce aisle so I started to display the props the way our director wanted it.
The filming began. There were many practice takes, takes and re-takes. As the evening turned into morning, tempers started to flair and patience wore out between students and volunteers. One student and volunteer got into a heated argument that had to be broken up by our professor who was witness to the incident. I don’t know, there is just something about being locked in a grocery store through the night that makes people claustrophobic and let their tempers flare when they wouldn’t normally. But that is filming movies for you. If you can’t stand the thought of a situation of having to be locked in a store over night then you might need to rethink think about filming, because it happens.