Walt Before Mickey – Single Coverage

Roy (Jon Heder) and Walt (Thomas Ian Nicholas) argue over the name of the studio.

Roy (Jon Heder) and Walt (Thomas Ian Nicholas) argue over the name of the studio.

So, in filmmaking, it is always said that you want as much “coverage” as possible. To a lay person, what does that mean? Well, it means that you’d like as many angles of the scene you are shooting as you can. Wide Shots, Medium Shots, Close Ups, Two Shots, Single Shots, Establishing shots, Medium Close, etc. As much as you can give a director and an editor, the more they have to work with come editing time. This gives the storytellers, more ways to actually tell the story on film. It keeps it interesting.

Well, when you are working on a “Smaller” budget project, sometimes you don’t have the luxury of shooting for 30, 60, 90 days on a film. No, sometimes, you only get 18-23 days as was the case on Walt Before Mickey. Khoa and I were faced with budget constraints. So, how do you save yourself time when you need to? How do you make sure that your executive producers “i.e. the money guys” are happy? Well, you find ways to do less coverage, thus taking less time, thus spending less money, thus getting the project done in the time allotted.

In the film, you’ll notice that there’s only one scene in the film that is shot with only one camera and one angle. It’s the one above. In this scene, the Disney brothers debate on why the company should be called “Walt Disney” as opposed to the Disney Brothers. Walt argues with Roy, telling him that people call the studio who do they assume is in charge? The older brother, of course. He also states, “they’ve taken the rights to everything else I create (meaning Mintz and The Winklers), at least let me have my name on the films.” Roy relinquishes, and the rest, as they say, is history.

This was the only scene that Khoa decided could be handled with only one angle. In doing so, I believe that Khoa was able to convey a classic show down where no one has the upper hand. The camera doesn’t favor either brother. It also shows them isolated from the others and that brings out the true tone of the scene.

Don’t expect anymore of these types of one shot scenes but when you watch the film, I think you’ll appreciate why this was the only one! Enjoy.

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