Studio News

BAR TRICKS wrapped!

A month ago 40 talented, creative and venturous individuals, from all roads of life, gathered at Nu Boyana Film Studios to find out the answer in Making the Movie Class – the second take of Nu Boyana Film School. The Master Class officially started on April, 20th and became a logical extension of the Screenwriting Master class. The international jury chose the student script “Bar Tricks” to be turned into a full feature film by the end of the new movie making adventure. During the six weeks of pre-production and shooting the students, under the guidance of seasoned mentors, were going towards the discovery.

Photo credits: Ves Sarafov. Bar Tricks crew half a way there.

Photo credits: Ves Sarafov. Bar Tricks crew.

 

An amazing and unforgettable journey into the world of filmmaking for our film school students and their devoted mentors.

Once a reporter was asked to describe the process of filmmaking in a couple of sentences and a metaphor was born. “…Filmmaking is like cooking a sophisticated dish in three stages. First, to make a script, we combine a talented writer and a remarkable story. The third stage would be a mix of visual and sound editors with a great technical skill and creative vision.” Yet, with step two, the actual shooting of the movie, the amount and proportion of ingredients was unclear: an ingenious director, an incredible cinematographer, a great props team, anything else? What does it take to make a movie?

A month ago 40 talented, creative and venturous individuals, from all roads of life, gathered at Nu Boyana Film Studios to find out the answer in Making the Movie Class – the second take of Nu Boyana Film School. The Master Class officially started on April, 20th and became a logical extension of the Screenwriting Master class. The international jury chose the student script “Bar Tricks” to be turned into a full feature film by the end of the new movie making adventure. During the six weeks of pre-production and shooting the students, under the guidance of seasoned mentors, were going towards the discovery.

While Nu Boyana said goodbye to Golan Ramras, our friend and screenwriting mentor, two extremely talented and enthusiastic moviemakers arrived all the way from the US to guide the students in their filmmaking journey. For Laura Beth Love, a Los Angeles-based producer and cinematographer, Bulgaria was a totally new adventure, while for Ambika Leigh, an award-winning director, editor and producer, it was not the first Nu Boyana experience.

 

Would-be filmmakers ready for the journey: location scouting.

 “I can definitely speak for the Bulgarian crew, in particular, here, at the studios. World class, world class crew here! They really blew me away!  …The next generation of those respectful, hardworking crew members will come out of this Nu Boyana film school,” Leigh said.

 

As for the student body, some of our aspiring screenwriters chose to continue their acquaintance with filmmaking at Nu Boyana. Vanya Doneva, a TV director and actress, enjoyed the screenwriting class and decided to deep into the art of production with Making the Movie:

 

“I believe that movies start from the story. It was a great experience and Professor Ramras is an amazing person. Now I’m in the deep water and trying to swim. I’m directing a movie for the first time and that’s so exciting! ” said Doneva.

 

The newcoming film school students of different ages and occupations, from Bulgaria and abroad, completed the manifold crew. Ves Sarafov, a photographer residing in Toronto, Canada, believes that one would have a hard time finding a similar filmmaking program anywhere in the world:

 

 “It’s a wonderful program to get into this Nu Boyana facility and for 30 days to part of actual movie making. Usually schools start from something small and graduate with like a short film. Here we grow so fast, on the second week we start shooting a feature length movie, no jokes!”

 

 Indeed, making a whole movie in 20 shooting days, with a team of amateurs, sounded like mission impossible. Nonetheless, the goal was set to create a real, quality, marketable product. A film that after the post-production stage will be ready for festivals and distribution to the wide audience. But first and foremost, Nu Boyana Film School is an educational program where the learning process and diverse hands-on experience are the objective.

It’s time for the set decoration!

Thus, even with the threat of sacrificing efficiency, the mentors implemented a rotation schedule. According to the plan all students were changing their responsibilities between the three departments – directing, cinematography and general production as well as the positions within each, every half a week – a real crush course on making a movie. Such an innovative practice received a positive feedback from the students during the first week of classes:

 

“After switching positions, those, who already have experience in the field help out the newbies. It’s like a family of 40, I’ve never experienced such thing before, completely outstanding!” said student Mira Stoilova.

 

“Bar Tricks” story was unfolding at the footsteps of Vitosha mountain. The student crew made use of all Nu Boyana facilities, including the sets, featured in such blockbusters as “The Expendables” and “300: Rise of an empire”. In the view of the studio size and the scope of the production, the first week of the class was entirely dedicated to the location scouting, the casting of actors and the briefing with ARRI Alexa cameras.

Vitosha mountain observing filmmakers in the making!

Vitosha mountain observing filmmakers in the making!

The project would not be possible without the passion and professionalism of the mentors. Not only they showed patience in guiding the students through the first arduous days of pre-production, but also strive to create a positive atmosphere on set.

 

“Ambika, our director is like an energizing battery. And Laura Beth is such a great professional! It’s amazing to be under such wonderful mentorship that they represented – high spirited women with the knowledge!” said Sarafov.

 

It’s hard to overestimate the the role of the Bulgarian mentors and the actors that joined the project on voluntary basis and were extremely helpful and supportive on set. They also noted the high level of professionalism the students developed early on:

 

 “This is my first experience in the big screen movies. For me Nu Boyana Film Studios is a dream come true.  I heard that they are students but seemed very professional to me. Everyone knows what they are doing. There is so much action going on and everyone is very friendly,” actress Alexandra  Arbekova said.

The mentors: always on set, always helpful and understanding.

It’s not easy to understand each others’ ideas, get to the common ground and reconcile different egos. But as “Bar Tricks” director Leigh said:

 

“The actual making of the film is a universal language. Literally, there are words that are not specifically English or, I really don’t know where they are coming from, maybe English, but they are used by every country in the world and signify certain equipment on set”.

 

Regardless of all the obstacles and having lots of fun on the go we can officially announce that the filming of the first Nu Boyana Film School student feature movie “Bar Tricks” was completed at 4:00 am on May 23rd 2015. What’s been Making the Movie class for the students in these 5 weeks? A crew of 55 people, 20 shooting days or 240 hours, 8 locations both in and outdoors, 4 days of sleepless night shootings, 50 actors and extras involved.

May 23rd, 4:00 am. Done with the night shooting. It’s a wrap!

This amazing jourmey was unique for everyone, but halfway through the shooting process they were summarized in a hashtag #ittakesavillage. To make a movie it takes courage, creativity, cooperation, patience. It takes dozens of people becoming a family, a working organism. And “Bar Tricks” crew became one.

What are these talented, inspired and ambitious filmmaking pros up-to next? Some of the students are getting back to theirs permanent jobs, others start brand new projects with Nu Boyana Film School on the wave of mutual inspiration. Some will continue their film school experience. Just in two weeks we are welcoming other talented industry professionals that will show how a movie comes together in our Post production course. But that’s another story. Do you want to be a part of it? Drop us a line at students@nuboyana.com with your CV and a motivational letter. And remember, once Nu Boyana, forever Nu Boyana! #moviemagicmadereal

“If it can be written or thought, it can be filmed.” – Stanley Kubrick

by guest author: Olya Amburg

 

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