Thrill Us! – one of the hardest projects I have done

I became an actor, a producer, and an editor, through one project!

Me and my three friends were assigned the very fun project of making a 2 minute thriller. It wasn’t just as simple as making a quick little vidoe, we had to come up with an original idea, then make a story board, full written plot, characters, costumes, locations, etc. This might sound easy to you, but for me it was quite a challenge. My group ran into many challenges along the way, but ended with an excellent product.

To start us of, we had to actually come up with an idea. For our vision, our story was: four girls go swimming one night in the ocean. They are all by themselves, but having a good time and nothing seems to be going wrong. Then, one girl swims a bit further away from the group, looks back, and someone is missing. She starts going towards the group, but another one goes missing. Then the third girl goes missing, and the last girl is all alone. The movie ends on a cliffhanger, with the last girl floating in the water, all by herself, as two hands reach over her shoulders. I think this is a pretty bomb idea.

We discovered the first problem really quick; filming in the ocean would be so bad and cold, at night, in November. It would be impossible, and honestly pretty unsafe. We quickly fixed this problem by changing locations, instead of the ocean we would film in a pool. So with this pivot we only had to change the location, all the characters and the main idea stayed the same. 

Now that we had everything, we got to filming. Problem #2 came up, when we were 4 days away from the deadline and hadn’t started yet. We also only had one night that we were all available, so we had one chance to get this right. We should have made more time to film, or changed the idea right there and then because only having one night to film is very unrealistic. But sadly, we were to confident and went to the filming site. Then comes problem #3. The pool we wanted to use is outdoor, and unheated. We were so cold that it took us almost three painful hours of going from pool to hot tub before we got all the shots. Now, because of the coldness, lots of our shots were done poorly. No one wanted to be in the water, so filming became hard, and acting became even harder. We had shots that we wanted peopel to be in the background of, but because everyone was cold, we thought it would be fine to leave out those (important) details. 

This is when problem #4 came. The next day at school we started editing, and realized very fast that more then half of our shots were not good enough. And remember how I said we only hand one day to film? That meant our one chance was lost and we had 2 or 3 days left before the deadline.

Our next action would be huge, and have lots of things attached to it. We wanted to get an extension to the project, and change our idea, so we could hand in an actual video that met requirements. Our new and improved idea was still in the same realm as our first ones, but instead of being in cold water, we would film in a forest! I think this pivot was actually so successful, because it lead to a product that I am so proud of. We didn’t have to change our plot to much, because we kept the idea of people going missing, but we just had to tweak our transitions from in-water moments, to ones that would work in a forest. 

We also got help from our friend Zach, who filmed many scenes for us. We also learned from the “only one day to film” incident and made sure everyone was available at least three times before our new due date. Our filming went smoothly, especially since we weren’t in freezing cold water. I feel like everyone could also “act” better, just because of the more time we gave ourselves, and the more comfortable environment. 

This project was pretty rocky, we faced a lot of challenges and for a bit I thought we wouldn’t have any final project, but with problem solving, teamwork, and help from others, I am proud to hand in my video. 

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