One for the blooper reel, except…
It was one of the least difficult set-ups of the Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre shoot. Just me coming down the stairs – a flash back to when the murderer, fresh from depositing the remains of his victim under the floor boards, goes to open the door for three officers of the police.
All I had to do was go down the stairs while putting on my jacket, hit my mark to pause on a certain step, and then exit out of frame.
Which I did every take.
But on this particular take I left the frame in a particularly dramatic, unintentionally funny fashion:
It helps to keep your eyes on the steps you are descending. Otherwise your foot might overshoot. But looking down at my feet would have not been as good a look for the character at that moment for the movie.
The pratfall brought me down to the floor, and as you can hear from the responses of the crew, it first looked alarming. But after I got up and assured everyone I was OK, it quickly became a source of mirth. Everyone looked forward to this clip being part of a future Tell-Tale bloopers reel.
Except there won’t be a Tell-Tale bloopers reel.
The reason being that this is the only take we have that could be part of a blooper reel. I executed no more pratfalls. Not that I didn’t make any more errors, but nothing that could be considered amusing. There are a few moments of laughter to be found in the hours of footage of every take from our 6 day shoot, but no clear explanation within the take as to what caused the laughter on set, nothing that would translate as funny to an uninitiated observer; heck even I can’t tell watching the footage why we are laughing, and I was there.
So a blooper reel with only one example does not a blooper reel make. This is our one not terribly earth shattering blooper example. Enjoy it for the modest pratfall that it is.
By the way, if you are wondering why the take has the coloring it has, let me explain. This is raw footage for a flashback shot that will in the final film be seen in black and white. We are going for a classic movie black and white look, and Jason Chua, the cinematographer, put a particular filter in front of the camera lens which will help achieve the look we want when the color is later removed from the image to make it black and white.
Oh, and in case you noticed, that non-19th century light fixture at the far left of the screen won’t be in the final version of the film, because the frame for the black and white flash backs will be tighter, just like in those classic movies of yore. So in the final version one will not see what’s now in the left and right sides of this raw footage.
Nor will you likely see this particular take. It’s cute and all, but it would probably kill the gothic mood of the story if the murderer trips and falls flat on his face on the way to opening the door to the police.