This past weekend I had the opportunity to be on the set for some green screen shooting for Heart of An Empire (click the link, check it out). My friend, lets call him “Jay” (his real name) has been working on this documentary for several years and is in the final editing process. This weekend was some green screen work for the intro to the movie. When he called me up and asked if I wanted to help, I was more then glad to do it.

The shoot was pretty cool. In Attendance were:

Although everything did not go perfect – missing cables, dead batteries, video transfer problems, the “star” of the shoot was delayed – it was, in my opinion, a very successful and entertaining shoot. Even though I don’t have any experience in making movies (not legitimate ones at least) I did get to do a few odd jobs.

  • I walked back and forth in front of the green screen to help test the cameras and equipment before Chris arrived.

  • Turned some lights on and off (after appropriate instructions from Jay)

  • During the shoot with Chris, I became the prop master. For each take I would look over the Sand Trooper costume and straighten out, reattach or correct anything out of place so that it would look as perfect as possible for each take (and man there were a lot of takes)

  • Helped out as Jay needed (if Jay says jump, I say, “What!?”)

I learned a lot that day. I learned that the lights on a movie shoot are hot, hot, hot. No amount of air conditioning can stop the heat. And if it was hot for me, it was much hotter for Chris in side the armor. I also learned not to lick the lens of the camera; Jay wasn’t very happy with that.

I also got to hang out in the almost completely unknown offices of Bedford Falls Graphics (Matt’s company which does the website for Heart of An Empire – it’s in the same building as the studio).

And Matt was filming a Webumentary episode for the website, which contains a brief interview with some of the crew and also me. So check it out on the Heart of An Empire website – it should be published soon (should be episode 11).

The end result of the shoot looked great in the raw footage and will look even better once the background and opening credits are applied.

Overall I had a great time and would gladly do it again. It’s strange, I normally I like to be the center of attention, but it was great to be a part of something larger them myself. This isn’t something I get paid for (and I don’t expect to be) – all I ask is that Jay and Matt make my website link bigger on their “Friends of Heart of An Empire” section of the website each time I help out. After all, I am a media whore.

Look for Heart of An Empire in theaters, hopefully in 2007.