I think everyone who worked on Knot for Sale found shooting in 360 to be vastly different, in good and bad ways, from traditional filmmaking, but props is maybe one area where the contrast isn’t so steep. For Knot for Sale, I went through the same process as with the last film I worked on, my Writ 320 project. For Fortune, though, I was also doing about eight other jobs, so it was delightful to put all my focus into props and set dressing. Plus, I had a small budget!
I borrowed some props, bought others, and made some. The most integral prop to our film was the dozens of cookies boxes that our protagonist Stacey needs to sell in order to prove she’s just as good as her nemesis Madison. I had a great time designing the boxes, putting them together, and coming up with a way to create an easily movable stack. I ended up gluing boxes around a chunk of syrofoam, to make what looked like a pile. Thanks to Adrian and Sara for their input and suggestions! The big moment for the cookies came when Knot for Sale star Aisha throws some boxes at Glen’s house. We put real cookies in the boxes, and Aisha had a great arm (baseball, her dad told me). After every take, the crew would kneel to collect the “ground cookies,” as they were dubbed. Did anyone NOT snack on them?
Watch a video about the cookie boxes here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ez5J7JFNHI0
Set dressing was where I found the job a bit different than for flat filmmaking, only in that a wider eye was needed. We had to be aware of everything that would be on camera, i.e. pretty much anything anywhere nearby, including floor and ceiling/ground and sky. The sky co-operated for the most part. In some earlier scenes, when the tone is grim, the clouds were dense and grey. In the final scene, when Stacey counts her earnings, it turned blue. Thanks, weather. Some residents of Penzance Street also helped us out with their early Halloween decorations, which made the background more interesting and a tad sinister.
I was surprised that nothing went wrong with the props. The cookie boxes got a little wet toward the end of the shoot. Sometimes the real cookies didn’t fall out when Aisha threw them. But overall everything worked. The very last scene of the second unit shoot was the scene with Madison’s mother. She points at a sign that reads “No agents, peddlers or solicitors” and refuses to buy Stacey’s cookies. The sign worked well, and when we wrapped, I took it off set and loaded it with the rest of the props into Sara’s car. Or so I thought. When I got home, I realized I didn’t have the sign. The last thing I remembered was putting it on the roof of Sara’s car as I bent to grab something else. So if you see the sign lying on the road somewhere…
– Holly Lam