( If you look carefully you can see the black cloth on the ceiling )


The movie had too much production value to suffer the lack of camera movement that was imposed on it.  Viewers of movies are used to a moving ” movie camera”.  All I could do was change the camera angle, or do a short zoom ,or dolly to give life to the scenes.  Also lots of variety in far,med,close ups to try and make it more interesting.

The black cloth on the ceiling  helped to make the ceiling less noticeable.  If I angled the camera too far to the right there was a basement pole visible. If I moved it a speck to the left a support pole would show.  Most people never noticed it when it happened.  It was really tricky to film in the small area available which was probably 28 by 20 feet.

Hundreds of Christmas tree lights were placed behind the foggy acetate where the ships blinking control panels functioned.  The extension cords looked like a maze of long spaghetti strings hanging behind the bridge wall.  It took two circuit breakers worth of electricity to run the bridge lights and the cameras quartz lighting.  The upstairs tv could not be used when filming was going on or a breaker would be tripped. Unlike video, super 8mm movie film requires lots of light.  It also took 3 days to get it back from processing. At 24 frames per second one roll provided 2 minutes and 30 seconds of footage. . I could never be sure if the exposures were correct or the scenes were good until the film came back. Sometimes I had to take down a set and then put it back up because of some flaw that we missed until the film came back.

Hundreds of pounds of chipboard (cardboard) was Waterloxed to give it stiffness. Using chipboard saved me a lot of money and it is easy to work with. It was a brainstorm that worked.


(excuse the smudge on the photo)

All the other sets were assembled and dis-assembled according to a pre-planed shooting schedule. Filming was all done in the section of the basement around the bridge which was a permanent set. We rigged one of the cafeteria food dispenser doors so a person behind it could slide it open. I had two sets of cafeteria walls so I could change the camera angle on the actors. The second wall was much easier to set up.

We provided lots of pizzas, cases of local pop, and spaghetti for the actors to eat.  I tried to make them feel like they were in a real movie as much as possible and appreciated. Well that’s enough writing for now. I try to keep the articles short even if there is much more to tell about a subject.