TRAIN STATION Director's Corner: Rising Above!

Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing some observations and experiences from the "Director's Corner" of our most recent film, Train Station. Check out the stories, ideas, and experiences that make up one of the world's most unique film experiences!__________________________________________________________________

How did our filmmakers manage to solve some of the problems independent filmmakers face? The main problem everyone faces is the lack of budget.


“But the smaller the budget the more creative you have to be to solve your problems.” says Aditya Pawar.

And where there's no budget you can always count on your friends to help you out as some of our filmmakers can confirm.

Nicola Barnaba: “We didn't have a budget, but a lot of good friends came without problems.”

Nicola Barnaba and his shooting crew look like they had a lot of fun!

Rafael Yoshida: “I shot with zero money, but got help from friends.”

Kevin Rumley: “I had to be creative and find ways to make a cheap shoot look amazing and I think I did it.”

Taking the independent filmmaking route also means dealing with limited access to locations or having an uncontrollable environment.

Xavier Agudo: ”We were shooting on a real live street fair with an environment we couldn't control at all. I inserted my actors into this real life environment and let them interact with it. So we had to be constantly aware of things that needed to be adjusted, react to unexpected situations, deal with a crowd surrounding the action and trying to look as invisible as possible as a film crew.”

Xavier Agudo shot his segment during a real live street fair!

Some of our filmmakers had to film their segments on one of the battlefields of modern civilization, golf courses:

Fore! A dangerous place to shoot

“Most of the golfers were okay about us being there and we had to keep moving out of the way when the tee was needed for real - which was fine - but there are some complete twats who play golf and we had to grit our teeth when dealing with them as they thought we shouldn't be there. There were a couple of golfers I'd've liked to kick in their balls.”, Craig Lines recalls. This does look like a dangerous place to be.


Daniel Montoya said shooting on a golf course: “put everybody at risk of being hit by a ball. Funny thing is that as in the previous segment, the golfer gets hit by a ball, we ALMOST got hit many times, so, sometimes we were shooting and somebody far away will yell at us to get out of the way and you could see the whole crew and actors moving from side to side running, I'm sure it was entertaining for the regular golfers at that place.”

The moral is stay away from golf courses. And for your own sanity's sake don't look up golf casualties, the statistics will terrify you.

Sometimes a lack of budget means you have to cope with extreme weather conditions like some of our others filmmakers can attest.

Athanasia Michopoulou who shot her segment in mid-July in Athens during a heatwave recalls: ”It was a physical challenge for everyone involved to be filming under the sun at 44 degrees (Celsius). Because of that, we also had problems with the camera which was overheating and we had to stop filming to give it time to get back to normal levels. lots of water, sunscreen and an umbrella saved the day!”

The heatwave during Athanasia Michopoulou's shoot

At the other extreme, Hesam Dehgani remembers what shooting his segment was like: “We started the pre-production a few weeks before January. Tehran gets very cold and snowy that time of the year. When we set the shoot dates, all weather forecast websites were telling that we'd have heavy snow in those days. Almost 80% of my segment were happening in outdoor locations so we were a little bit afraid if everything goes well. Fortunately, there was no snow in those days (but the weather was like -10 degree centigrade). The snow started right when we wrapped the shoot!” Hesam managed to dodge one of indie film's most sly adversaries, the weather.

Hesam managed to dodge one of indie film's most sly adversaries, the weather.

Yango Gonzalez struggled with another formidable opponent: “I had to shoot but it was the rainy season (we have a lot of rainy seasons in Bogota). Just two days before shooting it was raining the whole day. I made a ritual that I've made for other films and that always works. I went to the street where we had to shoot and I made a salt cross and I lit a candle.”

If you have rain problems when you are shooting your film you might want to try this… if you dare awaken the rain spirit.

Compiled by Train Station director, Adrian Tudor.

Train Station premiered in November 2015 and is currently making the rounds on the festival circuit. Worldwide release coming 2016. Keep your eyes peeled to!