Macbeth the Movie

Macbeth! We all have read it, normally in high school English class, or maybe you read it on your free time….Whatever floats your boat. Anyways, my class and I had the endeavour of reading Macbeth. I wrote a few blog posts on the actual play, here, here and here, so check those out. After lot’s of prior work, we created something awesome… A movie! We wrote, planned, filmed, and edited a whole movie (almost). Almost, because of COVID. Lets get into it. 

The third quest
My quest marks improving

Before making the movie, we did a lot of prep work. I was worried for this part because I knew it was going to be a lot of writing, but it ended up working out way better than I thought. We had to write something called a quest. The layout of it was to be given 3 quotes from the play, and we had to choose 2 to analyze in well written paragraph format. We had to include how the quote relates to the before, during and after the quote in events, how the quote highlights
the characteristics of the character, and the significance of the quote/relationship with themes. The first one I wrote was eh, the second one I wrote was good, and the last one I wrote was awesome. This isn’t luck, it was hard work. I made sure after each quest, I knew what I did wrong (not being specific enough, saying something is something when it’s not, proper punctuation, fully understanding the quote, etc) and how I needed to improve. This assignment was important to me, I wanted to do well.

Us brainstorming in class

We started by all pitching movie ideas. We needed to include the following: the a rough overall Macbeth plot line, in a 50s setting. My pitch was a secret society in a boarding school, with things like communists, love, betrayal, and all that wrapped into it. The class liked it, and we went with it. Everything’s a little blurry, as this was about 6 months ago, but I do have vivid memories of it all. Anyways, we were given roles. I wanted director or director of photography, but I ended up with production manager, which ended up being pretty similar to both of those. 

We started with things like script writing (by Jesse and Logan) costume’s (by Maggie), set decorations (by Isabelle), all the filming times (by Adlih), as well as also as a class fully storyboarding the whole movie. Also, a big part of the prep was reading the script. We spent many classes going over it by reading it as class and improving it. There was SO MUCH prep. But, it was fun. The class was very united, and we didn’t argue too much which was surprising. Something to mention is that, this Macbeth movie project is kind of cursed. My brothers grade, as well as the last years grade 11’s have attempted to make a Macbeth movie, and not to be harsh, but both of their groups ran into big problems, or just didn’t execute it properly. Why I’m mentioning this is because we went into this movie making process wanting to break that curse, and I would say we did, besides COVID rudely interrupting. 

After all of the prep (which I could go on for HOURS about but I’m not going to due to not wanting this blog post to be 100000 words) we started casting and filming. I’d tell you the cast, but ill just let you watch the movie later in this post to see who plays who! Anyways, the filming process was chaotic, but fun. I loved being on set and helping execute stuff. And fun fact, a lot of the filming was in my house, so I had to control all that! As production manager, I didn’t have a super specific role like “actor” or “writer”, I kinda just filled in the gaps. On the first few days of filming, I directed a lot of the scenes. This was because at first, I was one of the only people who could handle the chaos and create what we wanted. But as a few days went on, our director (Giorgia) glowed in the spotlight. I’m used to bossing people around and running stuff in PLP projects, so I kind of showed Giorgia the way, and she took the advice and went with it. It wasn’t in a controlling way, I made sure to never step on her feet and just be there if she needed me. 

(A little funny video I made on a day of shooting…)

Also, on days our director of photographer couldn’t film (Lucas) I filmed. I got to use Lucas’s scary but lovely massive camera. I also was boom mic technician. Not to mention the whole flip my house from 2020s modern to 1950s school dorm room.

A bedroom I designed for a Lady Macbeth scene

I’m only listing the things I did because I feel it’s important all of us PLP kids in this class share what we did and remind everyone, because it was such a hard and busy thing and we didn’t necessarily get to stop and appreciate each other on the way. Maggie did a great job at costumes, Jesse and Logan wrote a beautiful script, Adlih did a epic job at planning all the filming days and making sure everyone could show up, and Daniel did an incredible job at editing. I could go on forever with all the awesome things my classmates did, but I just recommend reading some of their blogs to hear about it. 

A happy day on set with Mr Underwood and Mr Zanker

After all the filming days, it came to an abrupt stop when our main actor Macbeth (Marshall) got sick…. Then came spring break which turned into school never again thanks to COVID. Although we didn’t get all the footage, we have hope to one day finish it. So, heres the kind of sort of finished movie. I’m really proud of it, and all my classmates. I think we killed it. 

This project was a highlight of my year, which I mention in my TPOL post. I broke a lot of comfort zones for my self and embraced new things. I let myself be okay with not having the roles I initially wanted, which was hard but was a good lesson for myself. I worked really well with the class, which was surprising as almost everyone in the class is as stubborn as me. I’m glad our class worked so well under that amount of freedom, we were were just given many empty classes that Alivia, Giorgia, Jesse and I ran. But…the thing I’m most proud of personally, is the immense amount of heart and soul I put into this movie. I genuinely cared, and worked my little iPad brain to it’s hardest, so I could do my part in this movie. I hadn’t felt this passionate about a project since the last movie project, the Simon Trailer. I loved feeling that passion again. All of these projects remind me of what I love, and thats filming and directing. It was incredible seeing my pitched movie idea come to life due to all the hard work and dedication everyone put in. 

Thanks blog, have a good one! 

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