Crew of One: Marlon Stafford

Longtime reader Marlon Stafford recently completed “Recession Proof,” a gritty, dramatic short film shot under severe time, location and equipment constraints. I think he did a great job with it, and asked him a bit about his work.

Marlon, can you tell me a little about this project?

The script was written by Lamar X. Prince. I called him and asked that he write me an ambitious drama suspense short film that is shootable with limited locations. He promptly completed and delivered the tailored script via email to me in a timely fashion, I read it, loved it, and immediately began pre-production.

What was your production process?

The casting was done by me via craigslist, with the exception of Roy Tighe (Frank) who is a good friend of mine who i had planned to work with when the right script came along. I also scouted the bank location which was stolen. the short was shot in 3 days (two Saturdays and a Sunday).

How much of a crew did you have for this? Were you a “crew of one?”

I was most certainly a “crew of one” through all three phases of production. Besides casting, breaking down the script, scheduling the shoot, rehearsing the talent, and shopping for light craft services (which reminds me: don’t feed children Krispy Creme doughnuts before having them act) , I also operated the camera and the Zoom H4N handy recorder simultaneously, while looking out for “real security” and helping talent with dropped lines. I did have a more experienced editor, Daniel Robinson, review my timeline on Final Cut and shave out all the excess dialogue and fluff in order to move the story along at a steady pace

What was this project shot and edited with?

“Recession Proof” was shot on a Canon 7d with a Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L ll USM lens along with a nifty 50 mm 1.8 to boot. It was edited on Final Cut X.

Is this an indie project, or a film school assignment?

It’s an indie project. I’m just an indie guy, not a student filmmaker (respect to them though).

Anything you care to share?

I would like to thank you, Alexander Fox, publicly for creating and publishing the 5D Film School video series and eBook, they have been, and will continue to be my solid battle-plan for approaching future productions of all sizes with confidence.

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