Orientation is a short film about Rachel, a girl at a job interview, who gets hopelessly lost.
Dreamed up by a pair of delerious Cinehackers on a jet-lagged ride back from Vancouver, it’s a piece of work inspired by a location we found: an abandoned tunnel under the streets of Newcastle, UK. It’s a weird place: a single stretch of concrete pipe, big enough to drive a bus through, inhabited only by graffiti artists and rats. We’d both explored the place separately and both found that it how ever far you went down there, it seemed to take longer to get out. Orientation came from a single idea: what if it just kept going.
We had no money to make this film but both of us were lucky enough to work in a post-grad facility of a university where we could get access to cameras and tripods. After that however, we were on our own and the location was pretty challenging. As you’d expect, there was no light or power and as the place was completely enclosed and unventilated with no hope of putting in a generator. Consequently the whole shoot had to run on batteries. Lighting was the biggest challenge: not only did we have to carefully build the atmosphere, we had to make enough light to see the kit.
As the budget was so small, we knew we couldn’t waste a moment of shooting time. On the other hand, we had to provide regular breaks for our actor. Consequently, we did a test run with minimal kit and a single camera, noting camera positions and taking it in turns to stand in for cast members as we composed shots. This meant that in theory at least, we could solve some of the logistical problems, before the shoot began.
To be able to do everything we wanted, everyone involved had to take on multiple roles. We relied on one helper per day, plus our actor Rachel, so we had to plan carefully not only to divide up lighting, sound and prop-rigging roles but to keep the equipment light enough for 4 people to carry in on foot.
You can watch the film here – let us know what you think!