The shoot yesterday was long, surreal and (amazingly) successful - we managed to shoot every required live scene in the script in just seven hours, including setting up and dismantling lighting in three different locations. Early review of our footage suggests the sci-fi concepts actually look OK, no people animals or furniture harmed and no equipment deposits lost. Also we only had to break into one location Ed Wood-style. Our cast of volunteers were superb and very willing to go along with what must have seemed very eccentric directions. I've also learned a great deal about the difficulties, particularly around lighting, camerawork and continuity - if we do this again it will be faster and better (although probably not cheaper).
I don't want to say anything specific about the content of this 5-minute sci-fi epic yet. The submission deadline for the competition is next week and there's still the CGI animation and the editing job to do. There's still time for things to go wrong but I'm cautiously optimistic. I'll post some teaser stills during the week and a YouTube link as soon as we've submitted.
In the past few weeks I've been watching some very low budget film and TV, partly with an eye to this project, and reading up on guerilla film-making. Now I know what it feels like to shoot for a 5-minute project, I have the greatest respect for anyone who completes an amateur, indie or low-budget feature-length film.