Dragon is a three minute comedy that Gulliver Moore and I wrote and produced in 2014 about a dragon delivery man who stumbles across the wrong address whilst making one of his deliveries. Dragon has gone on to win numerous awards and has made official selection in over fifteen festivals.
The idea emerged after we decided to enter the 48 Hour Film Festival in London, where we ended up with an offbeat short called Pot Plant - which ended up winning the Audience Choice award. We enjoyed that experience so much that we wanted to do something similar - an under three minute short that could be shot in a day and we ended up with Dragon.
One of the initial unexpected challenges that came up when shot listing for ‘Dragon’ was how to shoot around the crate; we had two main characters moving around the full perimeter of the crate and we wanted to make sure that we didn’t ‘cross the line’; very basic craft, but we had to be sure we didn't make it confusing for the audience. In this instance we decided that the 180º rule wasn't hard and fast, and was not as much of an issue as we were expecting.
We created a basic full storyboard of the entire sequence. This helped with making sure the crew, Gully (The Director) and myself, were all on the same page and to help further alleviate any issues with blocking and line crossing.
DRAGON STORYBOARD EDIT
As with any micro budget short film, when it came to kit, we used whatever we were able to get our hands on. In terms of lighting gear, we were limited in that we were only able to get hold of 3 x Arri 800w Redheads and some bounce card along with some grip equipment to hold it all up.
The 800w’s were never going to really be enough to provide any sort of real kick; the entire scene is a daylight exterior, but luckily the shoot day was set to be overcast with no rain and we had plenty of poly to help bounce as our primary light source. We used the Redheads on the opening shots by the door way to provide an extra lift.
BEHIND THE SCENES GALLERY
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We shot on an FS100 using Nikkor SLR primes we had managed to borrow. Much of the film was entirely shot switching between the 28mm and the 50mm. For the fisheye shot (the viewing hole in the door) we used a Samyang 8mm f/3.5.
One of the practical limitations of the FS100 is, of course, the lack of built in ND filters, but we had been able to get hold of some ND filters and a Vocas swing-away Mattebox. Gully and I had decided that we didn’t want a shallow depth of field. We wanted to show off the surroundings of the house and try and make the surreal sequence feel as grounded and ordinary as possible - so most of the film was shot at f/4.0 were possible.
If you want to see more behind the scenes of Dragon be sure to check out the behind the scenes video that was shot on the day.
BEHIND THE SCENES VIDEO