Detroit Maintenance: An MPI Graduate Film Diary

Hello, my name is Felix Rodriguez and I am the director of "Detroit Maintenance".  In the past, I have worked on multiple shorts which pertained mostly to comedy or drama. However, this was the first time I would attempt something in the horror genre. With this being my first time working on a project like this, I wanted to make sure that I had a great crew to collaborate with.  I did not have a budget for the project, so getting crew members was not an easy task.

 

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Thanks to M.P.I, I was able to network with alumni and establish a great crew for the aforementioned short. We were able to complete the project in two days.  Although the first day of shooting was the shorter day of the two, it did not prove to be easy at all. Moreover, the first day was shot primarily in a minivan in which a spider car mount was needed.  It was my first time using it and it required learning and skill. Patience and persistence paid off, as the results were amazing.  In the past, I have used a green screen to do driving scenes and was not nearly as pleased with the results.

 

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After we shot the dialog in the minivan, we wrapped the actors and most of the crew. The D.P. and I went driving around downtown Detroit to acquire images for the opening montage sequence.  This, in short, concluded day 1. 

 

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Day 2 was more grueling, as it entailed working with a bigger group of people for a longer duration of time under extreme conditions. The filming on this day took place in an outdoor setting. The open field was the perfect location, despite the grueling temperature in the mid-90’s. The actors, who were covered in makeup and fake blood, were very professional and worked diligently throughout the ten-hour shoot. The only problem we ran into was the overheating of the cameras from the heat.  

 

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It was a lot of fun shooting this short and creating a vision that was different than anything else I have ever worked on.  I also enjoyed the cooperative and effective crew that I was fortunate to work with. With that being said, I would definitely work with this crew again and recommend them to others.

 

Are you an aspiring film maker seeking a career as a Director?  Then contact MPI today and learn about The Motion Picture Production Program.

 

Are you an aspiring actor or actress seeking a role in a film like Detroit Maintenance?  Then contact MPI today and learn about The Motion Picture Actors Program.

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