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Afterdark – Short Film Starring Me, and Some Notes On Making Your Own Short Film

A couple years ago I acted in a short film, one of the few things I’ve done as an “actor” (a term I use reluctantly), rather than as a host or behind-the-scenes. Directed and edited by the talented Camilo Restrepo, Afterdark is a post-apocalyptic thriller that blends the lines between right and wrong while playing with time and space.

The piece was shot late at night over a couple weekends in early November 2008. Primarily filmed in the basement of a building in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, with one shot taking place in a studio near North Beach. Camilo and his staff had good vision and execution on this film, especially coaxing a decent performance out of me and co-star Clouchard Barbone.

Some technical notes, for those of you like me who love gadgety stuff:
Camera: Sony Z1-U
Audio: Zoom H4 and built-in
Microphone: Sennheiser MKH 416
Tripod: Manfrotto 055XProB; Homemade platform tripod; Dolly cart
Lighting: Bare light bulb; Ikea dimmer; Two worklights; High-power Arri lighting kit (final scene)

Interested in making a short film? eHow has a decent series of videos explaining the general steps and process, to help you organize the pieces needed and get started putting something together. One tip they may have overlooked: always feed the crew and actors. It’s a lot easier to get people to cooperate when they’re not thinking about how hungry they are.