Monday, August 9, 2010

Medieval Warrior

One of the best things about indie, micro-budget filmmaking is that you rely on volunteer collaborators, and you find them in the most interesting places. I strongly believe that George Lucas's films were better when he had a smaller budget that forced him to compromise: necessity is the mother of invention, or so they say. My case in point is last weekend's shoot of the "Hillbilly Warrior" montage. This vignette of scenes trace the origins of a fictitious, archetypal "hillbilly" back to the old world, where we find him in a medieval battle, a scene that posed the challenge of finding fighter-extras, plus medieval weapons and armor. Our writer, Kom Kunyosying, had the great idea of contacting a local SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) chapter. After a friendly email exchange, and meeting in person at their practice site, they invited us to shoot the 30-second scene at a gathering of three Oregon chapters. I cannot rave enough about this hospitable, and hard-working group of men who took time out of their regularly scheduled event to make us welcome, to suggest a good location, and to spread the word about the movie shoot among the crowd. Not only did the dozen men who committed to being in the movie contributed their combat skills, including their weaponry and armor - even outfitting our actor in their own, handmade period gear - they also gave energetic performances, literally throwing themselves into our combat scene. They designed their own choreography, which was inspired and raised the overall production value of this movie. All this effort was made for the "glory" of helping to make a movie. I am grateful and indebted to these folks, whose generosity confirmed my belief that working on limited resources produces collaboration and pushes ideas beyond one particular vision, toward an even greater end than any individual could have imagined alone.