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The making of Car Park

The film won a Gold Standard award and a sponsor's prize from Focus Music.

The inspiration behind Car Park was in fact, the location funnily enough. The location came first, the story came second - not strictly the right way to approach a film but then we are not the type of filmmakers to be too concerned about that !

Preparation was the key to the success of the film. Much time was spent taking photographs of the location to help work out shots for the storyboard, practising the shots with our video cameras and of course, making sure the remote controlled cars did what they were supposed to do!
'Car Park' with camera on dolly and tracks. Shooting schedule for 'Car Park'.

Our storyboard was created using Keynote (a Mac based programme which is very similar to PowerPoint). The photographs of the location were inserted along with a picture from the internet of the vehicle one of the characters was going to drive. The characters were created from basic shapes. Camera moves and dialogue (where it was required) were all annotated on the storyboard and then eventually a shooting schedule was drawn up from that.

Picture of part of the story board for 'Car Park'.

Shot 5:

Camera opposite entrance captures car
going into entrance and up first ramp.

Technical requirements:

  1. Tripod
  2. External mic from PD-170P
    capturing ambient sound
  3. Camera speed low
Shot 6:

Back on roof - see MS of Man 1
pacing looking nervous.

Technical requirements:

  1. Tripod - but slight movement of camera
  2. External mic from PD-170P
    capturing ambient sound

The main shoot lasted a day with a further morning to capture one character's journey to the car park. All shots were filmed using a Sony PD170 and Canon XM1 camera, either hand held or using various stabilising equipment such as tripods, dolly and track, steadycam and a monopod turned upside down to capture the feet of the characters and the remote controlled cars.

Interestingly, the more complicated shots went okay but the relatively easier shots took longer. The scene where you see a close up of the bags being put down and the cars being taken out, proved more difficult than you can imagine. Two people trying to prise out a car from a bag and placing them down at the same time had us crying with laughter after the tenth take !

The storyboard and shooting schedule was invaluable on the day and also came into its own when we moved to the editing. This was done using Final Cut Pro with the soundtrack being created using Logic and Reason (Music and sound processing programs running on Apple Mac computers.)

We wanted to apply a certain style to the film, rather like the film Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Colour was desaturated slightly to remove that 'video look', a filter applied to get the overall style and then checked against television specs to ensure the colours did not exceed them. A first draft edit was created and then a soundtrack built up around it including sound effects of police sirens etc. A final soundtrack was produced and then a final edit produced to match it.

Shot from 'Car Park' before colour processing. Shot from 'Car Park' after colour processing.
Shot before colour processing.

Shot after colour processing.

The film was more than a joint effort and that is the key - from the initial idea, the camera work, the editing, the soundtrack right down to the catering on the shoot ! Watch out for the two characters showing us their 'real jobs' later on in the year…

See their website: www.amberwoodmedia.co.uk/borderline - Bob Vine     March 2006

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Page updated on 10 October 2011
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