Making Movies

Hiltner Blog Still

Director Bryan Hiltner (Center)

The kid impressed me. Ever since I’d read his musings about movies on Facebook and seen many of his short films at the old Attack of the Flix screenings, Bryan Hiltner made me consider that his cinephile obsessions run deep, even down to the ink on his skin. It’s also apparent he knows more than my college film studies teacher knew which is impressive because Bryan is not a Professor, he’s a film maker who draws on his cinematic knowledge to make short movies.

For his recent effort titled Elena Vance, Bryan decided to ramp up his production. He raised money, put together a dream team crew and secured locations, one being the holiday hot spot, Peacock Lane. When I was asked to shoot behind the scenes footage and create a short profile of Bryan in action, I was more than flattered. I was inspired to witness movie making. I realized later that it was an honor to be a fly on the wall, with a camera up to my face, observing the intricacies of what a film crew and actors do when they get together under the orchestrations of a director.

In the midst of this activity, I was handed a business card from a gentleman, also holding a camera, because he was taking production stills. The card provided information about Stumptown Movie Makers, a meetup group, that organizes people interested in all kinds of aspects of movie making. This got me thinking that there’s no better way to learn about making movies then to get on a film set. Local and low budget productions can always use an extra set of volunteer hands helping out with activities that may seem to have little to do with film making but support the endeavor nonetheless. And in the flurry of creativity an opportunity exists to experience a movie being made. You might witness anything from wardrobe choices, to an actor questioning specifics on his character’s actions along with an endless amount of technical decisions being made throughout a day or night of shooting. Hanging around the set for 3 or 4 hours was exhausting enough so I had to consider the endurance that was going to be needed for the 6 days of shooting that had been scheduled to make Bryan’s short movie. It’s tough work and sometimes it’s all hands on deck. It’s what you gotta do to make a movie.

Want to get a foot in the door to helping make movies in Portland? Check out:

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