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BREAKING EGGS (2020-2022)

Big fans of filmmaking and Breaking Bad, myself and friend Joseph couldn't sit still without having a bash at a modern western/ gangster short film. Inspired heavily by Breaking Bad's stand off scenes set in the remotest deserts of New Mexico, we wrote a basic short film script that followed a similar narrative but with a light hearted spoofy tone. 

At the time of writing, I had previous experience learning and implementing filmmaking through this very approach of spoofing a distinct genre of film. However we had no interest in copying a scene or moment shot for shot, it was important this film was also original. The script was short, and not particularly developed, but a solid base to test out practical elements of filmmaking like location and camera work. We then ran this basic script past our other three friends that are crazy enough to make the film, and got to work planning the production.

Original Script for Breaking Eggs

Poster for Breaking Eggs 2 (2022) 

LOCATION

Living in the West Coast of Scotland couldn't be much more different from the Southern US, but a prior knowledge from local hillwalking served me well in finding a spot. We chose to film in an abandoned quarry in the hills outside where we lived. The chiselled rock faces were the only thing in the grassy rolling hills that could almost pass as a desert.

Our Location

CHARACTERS

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Easter Bunny (Joseph McIntosh)

Inspired very loosely by Walter White and Jesse as one, Easter Bunny the creator of a renowned secret chocolate recipe - is a clumsy character who was written for entertainment through his stupidity. His costume reflects his casual personality.

Mrs Gilmore (Eilidh Robinson)

A fairly plain character who links the plot together, Mrs Gilmore was slightly inspired by Walter White in the sense that she's a teacher, but these plot points never lead to anything. Mrs Gilmore survives the film and connects up all the events within. Her winter clothes reflect her conserved personality.

The Candyman (Archie Nelson)

I think the favourite character, the Candyman stands as an ominous powerful and intelligent figure. Loosely inspired by Breaking Bad's Gus Fring, The Candyman contrasts fully with Easter Bunny escalating the confrontation between the two. The tweed suit was chosen to reflect his formalities in a colourful way.

ON SET

We filmed the short over the course of a day in February 2020. We hiked up to the location with all our kit and supplies for the day. The weather stayed dry but it was one of the coldest, windiest days of the month - the complete opposite of what we were looking for. The sun disappeared early and left us shooting in cloud. Everyone had jackets they could wear between shots, but despite our efforts, it was a freezing shoot - especially filming on top of the cliffs. We used walkie talkies to communicate between the top and bottom for all the shots looking up or down, as the wind was too strong to shout and the walk up was long. However we made do with what we had, Joseph over heated the battery on his computer to turn it into an effective hand warmer between takes.

On set

After shooting all day in the cold and vowing never to do it again, I was then tasked with editing the film. A lot of drafts were made at different paces and we chose our favourite to settle on. I remember the film looking awful after the initial cut, due to the ridiculously distorted built in sound and light changing in the footage.

To tackle this, I colour corrected the film as much as I could, trying to balance sunlight shots with cloudy shots which helped, but obviously could not be fully fixed.

In terms of sound, a big job lay ahead to salvage our dialogue... 

The biggest achievement for me making this film, was creating the sound design - ranging from correcting terrible audio recordings to making a full original score for the first time ever. Joseph and I split the sound work, where he focussed on creating most of the music, and I focussed on less elegant job of saving wind damaged audio. 

While the outcome is far from perfect, I was happy with my editing and mixing of takes to save the audio the best I could, and I think most of the final mix was made from audio from the day. We tried doing some degree of voice overs to replace particularly ruined recordings, which involved leaning out a window to bring our studio setting closer to that of the quarry, so a final cut was made using the best outcomes from both techniques.

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SOUNDTRACK

Asides from the end theme, Joseph composed both pieces of music for this sound track using Cubase and a mixture of acoustic and VST instruments. We were both inspired by Dave Porter's work for Breaking Bad, which is full of weird percussion sounds and distortion plug ins, so tried to keep a similar feel in our music. 

This was our first time writing music to fit an edited scene of film. changing tone, tempo and style according to a video rather than a musical bar was interesting, and great fun. The music was bounced down into a file with a small section of film audio so we could match it up with the final project.

BREAKING EGGS 2

Yes... despite threatening never to go back to the quarry again, we did. The main take away for me with these films was to develop my skills in all aspects of production, but particularly sound design work. Breaking Eggs 2 was the perfect project to take this even further, as well as making a second light hearted film that many people enjoyed watching the first time.

Unlike the first project, I carried out this film alongside my Advanced Higher Music Technology Course, which I achieved an A for. The focus was sound recording, mixing, and composing for the opening scene.

Myself, Joseph and Archie now this time wrote the script for this film. Much like the first one, the narrative was quite basic. We only saw the story as a carrier for a film that had a very technical focus when making it, so we had some fun with the writing, making it even more ridiculous than the first one.