A few days ago myself, Sam, Anca and Gergana went to do a rekkie of Costcutter, in preparation for filming on Thursday. We took pictures of the interior to document our visit and to plan out what scenes would work best in what place. The drive there went successfully, following the sat-nav. When we got there we were thrilled to see the size of the store. In our minds it was a tiny Costcutter, much like the one on Far Gosford Street in Coventry. However this one was big, modern and has so much space we can use.  The exterior of the building is in a small cul-de-sac of other shops such as a fish and chip shop and news-agents. The way Costcutter is right in the middle could echo Simons isolation from the world and show how he is trapped in his daily routine.

The house lights in the store make it look quite bright and vibrant. I think that we will need to use other lighting though as well, as the house lights can be quite over-whelming at times and shots may seem over-exposed. It was excellent to be able to go behind the till as well, thus enabling us to scan the whole of the shop from Simon’s point of view, and plan more shots for the shoot date. There is a security TV behind the till as well, which shows every part of the store including the outside area. This may come in handy if we want to get a variation of shots, mixing in a standard static shot with some CCTV footage. The idea behind this is that the audience is drawn into the love story through the static shot, and then drawn back out when the CCTV image appears, reminding them that Simon and Elina are in fact in a store.

The isles of the shop are quite wide, so filming our picnic scene will be slightly easier than anticipated, as we were worried about the cramped isles ruining the look of the shot. The vast array of colour that’s on offer from all the products will, with the right lighting, make this a colourful short film, visually pleasing through out. As well as the excellent floor space I was pleased to find that the store had a stock-room, which is big enough to fit all our equipment in. As a result of this, we can go through with the planned scene when Elina is crying in the stock-room, deciding whether to go with Marek or Simon. I’m still very pleased that we managed to obtain permission to film in Costcutter, thanks to Sam. I really think we can make an excellent short here, and am looking forward to filming on Thursday (despite the hideous 10pm-8am time schedule!)

The store-room, taken by Gergana. As we can see there is plenty of room here to get a nice short of Elina at the desk, as well as possibly having Simon standing down the aisle watching her. We could experiment a lot with lighting as well, such as when he is lighting the candles we can possibly get different amounts of light coming in from underneath the door, slowly illuminating the room.  Having access to this room on the day is excellent as it means we aren’t limited to just the shop floor, and can really use the location to our advantage.

With luck there happened to be a box of staff T-shirts in the store room! Previously we were going to get Simon to wear plain work clothes and possibly borrow a name tag. However now that we have discovered these it shall be the uniform for Simon when he is in the store.

Here would be a fantastic place for Simon to make Elina the picnic. The colours of the sweets and the long corridor would be great for a slow pull-back shot, revealing all the candles down each side of the aisle. I think this picture works well with the house lights, but when the candles are lit we will obviously have to use alternative lighting (I won’t write any more about that, as it’s Shauns role and I don’t know much about it!)

Interior of the store room. Note the kettle which will help us all stay awake throughout the night! This will also be where we safely store equipment when not using it.

All of the items that Simon gets for the picnic will already be on the shelves. This is so that it looks like the picnic is spontaneous and he is collecting things from around the store to make for her. A shot idea is that we have a close up shot of a shelf of wine bottles. The camera pans to the right slowly showing the bottles. Simon’s hand then grabs one of the wine bottles and takes it from the shelf quickly. We are still deciding whether or not to do this scene in a hip-hop montage style.

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