|BTR6M202: The Six Minute Survivor|
Preceeded by The Six Minute UNIT Files
Followed by The Six Minute Doctor's Birthday
So, the CBS Network have made Joe Public face the harsh wilderness of a desert island, and they survived. Next, they made them face the Australian outback, and the average man / woman on the street proved that they could just about survive under those conditions as well.
However, all that is set to change. Forget Africa as the next location for the Survivor series, for the Whoniverse is the setting for the latest test of a human beings strength, stamina, and intelligence. Here, Joe Public must face Daleks, Cybermen, not to mention the possibility of the intervention of the Time Lords of Gallifrey.
Outwit. Outplay. Outlast. The motto of the Survivor series. But do these three ideals really apply when you have to face gurning Cybermen, Cockney Daleks, freezing cold ankle-deep water, not to mention the Rewards Challeneges and Immunity Quests?
Survivor - pah. This ain't no game boy.
Camera Operator: Matthew Kopelke. Camera Provider: David Hutchison. "Ancient Voices: Theme from Survivor" Composed by: Russ Landau. Post Production: Matthew Kopelke. Shot on Location in: Brisbane, Queensland. Special Thanks To: Jennifer Adams Kelley, Steven Hill, Robert Warnock. Produced and Directed by: Matthew Kopelke.
- As the three Survivors climb into what they think is an ordinary 4WD, the doors lock, and as they scream and knock on the windows in an attempt to escape, the 4WD fades away, accompanied by a wheezing, groaning sound, revealing the Mastermind behind the entire operation...
Additional credited cast
Voiceovers (Matthew Kopelke).
- The text cards in the middle where there to cover missing footage (writer Witold Tietze did script there to be white text over a black background at that point in the film as a joke, given that what was being described via the voiceover was not filmable on a zero production budget. Director Matthew Kopelke did, however, modify the text during post-production slightly to bring it's style of humour more in line with where his directorial sense was at).
Things to watch out for...
- A Dapol Dalek and Cyberman appear in macro shots to appear as though they are their full-sized equivalents.
- This film saw BTR's first use of the Shorncliffe beach location, which would later feature in such productions as Deep Undercurrents and A Quiet Beach Somewhere.
Things you probably never knew...
- The battery on the camera ran out half-way during filming, thus forcing Director Matthew Kopelke to relocate production to the BTR Lacaroo Street Studios to film the remaining scenes. This allowed time for the battery to recharge over the lunch break, with the remaining scenes filmed in the backyard, with the exception of the final scene being filmed on the front lawn.
- Due to the low-resolution nature of the master copy, it is impossible to tell, but the Dapol Dalek appears in the Survivor campfire scene at the start of the film. It was placed inside the campfire by actor Stephen Cronk as he thought it would be a funny sight gag if anyone spotted it.
Production Diary: Originally published July 2001
This was a very different style of production to what BTR is used to. We've never done a comedy video before, so this bit alone presented us with more problems than what we're used to - basically, none of us had written comedy before! Sure, we're funny people, but there's a big difference to being a funny person, and being able to write funny comedy scripts. However, this production proved that we do have it in us to write side-splitting comedy!
Thankfully, my friend Witold managed to rise to the occasion rather admirably - although it was at extremely short notice! Although I had asked him to write me a 6M2 script a month ago, a number of events in his life (ie: work experience for his uni degree!) lead to the script not being written until a week before the film was due to be shot! This lead to my actors not getting a chance to learn lines properly, which made filming even more difficult - but I wasn't worried.
The biggest problem we faced with the script was that Witold had written it to last 10 minutes, which meant that I had to chop great chunks of it out to make sure it fit the 6 minute format. Some scenes were merely shortened, while other scenes vanished completely. I also changed the ending quite radically, because I felt the original ending wasn't very funny. However, I hope Witold isn't too annoyed about this, and that everyone finds the new ending funnier! :-)
The actual day of filming (Tuesday 12th June) also had it's fair share of problems. Due to the fact that the camcorder battery went flat barely an hour into filming the movie, we had to relocate to my house and film all the dialogue bits in my backyard! Thankfully, I'd already filmed all the covering shots I'd needed, which left us with the dialogue to be filmed. See if you can pick which bits were done in my backyard - all the close up stuff is a fairly good guide!
So, in summary, the film turned out quite good - not as good as we were hoping, but to be honest, the faults in the film lay in the lack of planning on our part, as well as an inexperience in making comedy films. However, as a first attempt, it's very good (well, of course I'd say that!), and here's hoping that our next comedy film can be twice as good! One last thing - a big "Thank You!" to my very talented trio of actors, who grabbed their parts with relish!