Logline: A guy named Severin once got his kidney cut out. Now his only kidney is dying so he decides to revenge and get his kidney back. The only thing he’s sure about is that the guy works in pizza delivery.
Pre-production: November 2016 — December 2016
Production: December 2016
Post-production: January 2017
Release Date: 18th of January 2017
Equipment: Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera, Boom
So, the writing took quite a long time. The problem was that I had only opening scene in mind: lots of pizza boxes on the floor, dead pizza man, and a guy ordering another pizza. This, by the way, was a real story from my life, of course, without a corpse. I just heard a friend of mine ordering pizza after taking shots, and I wrote it down.
I was suffering for two weeks trying to find a plot for this story, I knew that my character would look for someone because this person took something precious from him, but I didn’t want it to be typical. At some point I was smoking and thinking how badly people damage their liver during student life, and I miraculously found the missing element.
In the beginning I had lots of flashbacks in the script, which were supposed to help to understand how the protagonist knows that it was a pizza man. First, it was a straight flashback, where we could see the whole thing in real time. Then I realized that I don’t like flashbacks in general, and they will require more locations, and I started trying to get rid of them and try to explain everything not leaving the room. Then, this scene was “played” as a video shot on that night. It sucked, I know.
After consulting with our script writing teacher, we decided to make a prologue with an accident in the very beginning, because that was the only option we had to go with. For some people, it’s still not clear, for some it works well.
So, we had three shooting days, based on our main actor’s schedule, who was only available for these exact days. The casting process was kind of messy, one actor, who was supposed to be a pizza man, got sick on the day of shootings, so we had to call our course mate. The first shooting day was outside, so we shot the prologue and outside scenes with pizza men coming. One time I made a mistake, when I told to move the lights for another scene, and then realized that after that we need the same lights as they were before. By the way, it was windy, so even tho we used sand bags, the lights were constantly falling down.
Usually, we started the shooting day from 12 pm, put the lights, discussed the shooting plan, all the shots and camera positions, then actors were coming, we were putting make-up, costumes and rehearse. We finished around 7-8 pm.
Instead of a monitor (which we couldn’t get from the storage) we used a TV screen, but the cable broke in the end of the second day, so some shots were shot hoping that everything is fine.
From the very beginning, when I was writing the script, I was thinking about music in the movie. I knew that using a dark ambient music would make it even more dark and heavy, and I’m also a big fan of inconvenient music, so I decided to pick up something funky, like disco and synth-pop, going against all my crew members, but I think it was the right decision.
To say that we had no fuck ups is like to say nothing. But they were small ones: breaking of the cable so we couldn’t use the monitor, searching for the kidney around all the markets in Tallinn (which we finally got in the amount of 5 for 80 cents), looking for a red cap without logos (they seriously don’t sell it here), looking for bandages on Sunday when all the drugstores are closed, all these thing didn’t really affect our work but anyways.
Also some problems with trying to figure out which shot is already done and which is not, you should have such a person on set, who perfectly knows the script, storyboard and the shot list. Because every time it was like “which shot are we doing right now?” – “I don’t know” (desperate sound of paper sheets turning) – “well, it was this one, but we changed the order, number, whatever…”.
The editing took about two weeks, as we had a flat image, we ought to do a color correction. After we finished editing, we exported the project to DaVinci Resolve, but for some reason (either it didn’t see all the files, or the whole process was taking way more time than we expected) we ended up doing it in Final Cut Pro. Luckily, the image didn’t require much color correction, because we set the lights correctly, and the picture was looking good, so we just added contrast and a little saturation.
Also there was a little fuck up with sound editing, I guess because at some point we changed the sensitivity of the recorder. So in some scenes the voice was too loud comparing to the outside scenes, in some shots I was saying “cut” too early, and we had to cut the sound and replace it with sound from a different shot. But in the end, we managed somehow, thanks to my editor who turned out to be a perfectionist.