A Few 35mm Stills from a Film Production



Yesterday I decided to venture outside to get a roll of film that had been sitting unfinished in my camera for almost a year now. This roll of film contained a few shots from a film production I worked on, and a few of my dog. I had no idea as to whether the film had expired or not, and was concerned that leaving the film for much longer might result in some nice memories getting ruined. I had to finish the roll of film by just shooting some random street photographs in the worst weather conditions for Portra 160 film stock, but maybe I'll post those another time.

These stills are from a short film I worked on though, at the height of summer. The day was insanely hot, and I remember working at the location where the house was designed by its owner, an architect that had chosen to make each floor of the house its own room. So you'd have to go downstairs to the kitchen, then downstairs to a living area, then another, etc. This very vertical house was quite interesting. Small inside as a result of the way it was created, and definitely not the type of place I would want to live in if I was stupidly wealthy. It's quite fun being in the film industry and getting to explore such strange locations, though. Homes you'd never imagine being in, or being able to afford. Though with working in them comes the difficulty of ensuring nothing gets broken! That tends to fail, someone eventually ruins something and the producer has to explain what happened. I recall that happened in this location too.

While it seems I took a lot of shots over the three days on this production, I actually had very little time at all. This shoot was chaos! I was constantly moving, constantly running from the gear van and getting elevators and running up and down stairs. Constantly working over breaks while everyone else was eating. Usually I find that I just endlessly grab snacks from the set bar and chug down water like it's oxygen. Even then I feel I had no time, just endless work! I actually don't know if I have another roll of film or not from this production, I feel I did take more than this, but I can't quite remember. I'll find out soon!

Some of the shots contained faces of the crew, so I can't post those. But most of these are just from the environment in one of our locations on this shoot. The expensive home and our second location underneath a fancy hotel in the very heart of Central London. I remember a jazz group were in the same area as us, so I would hear them playing very well as I was running around packing up gear and setting up lights. I think it's the first time I was really able to take some stills with my 35mm Canon AE-1 from a film set I was working on. Usually I just don't have the ability to do so due to time, or the rules are quite strict. Even then I still had very little time to take these, I really rushed to grab my camera and shoot something when I had the chance. The locations weren't all ideal for the film stock I used, as you can tell from the ones in the hotel where the light is more of a tungsten. Under daylight conditions, however, the film stock worked beautifully. I really like how soft the shadows are and how the colours came out.

Though it's one massive shame that Portra 160 now costs almost £20 per roll, and another £12 to get it developed! Getting this roll developed did remind me of how fun it is to shoot film, though. I miss it and really hope that the whole film stock supply issues and pricing get sorted out soon. One positive is that it's clear that the demand for film stock is there as more people discover it, but yeah those prices aren't reasonable at all!

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Awesome pics and great to hear that story. The first pic reminds me of a scene in Tarkovski's Stalker. Great set!


Thanks! I only noticed earlier that our lead actress was actually quite a famous one! From the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre and a few other things. Curious as to what made her take up such a small short film!