Posted 10 June 2006 - 03:59 PM
We got off to a rough start. On day one we had our A camera go down after the second set up. Fortunately we had a B body as backup so the time lost wasn't as bad as it could have been. It also turns out that day one was the most ambitious day schedule wise. We got all the scenes, but had to compromise on converage in order to get the day done. Not the smoothest way to begin.
After that, we picked up the pace but were still plagued by electronic issues on our A camera, a Panaflex XL2. I won't go into detail here, but pretty much everything that could go wrong with the camera did, some of it related to human error. We were using the RDC which doesn't like the older Ultra Speeds I'm using, and that caused and software crash which spread to the camera when connected. This is where the benefit of a large company like Panavision shines. We had immediate response and replacement of the camera. At one point we had 4 bodies on the truck just in case. A smaller house would not have the inventory to accomodate a situation like we had.
A quick note here...all the actors, Matthew Perry, Lynn Collins, Mary Steenburgen, and Kevin Pollack have been very patient and professional. They're all very accomplished actors who are giving 100% on this very small film. Matthew is really going to impress people who see this movie. He's going places with this character he's never gone before, very dark and powerful. It's also worth mentioning he's in virtually every scene of the film so he has very little time to rest. Mary is the most classy woman in Hollywood. Her face takes light well and I enjoyed photographing her. On the subject of actors, we had some really good other ones sign on for the smaller roles.
We had Bob Gunton (the warden from Shawshank Redemption) come in for a few days to play a therapist. Incredible actor. He has one of the best voices I've ever heard. He does so much acting with the tone of his voice and his eyes. Another therapist was played by Brian George. Most people recognize him as the Indian restaurant guy from Seinfeld. Very underrated actor and a very intelligent guy. Rounding out the cast and playing Matthew's parents are Helen Schaver and William B. Davies.
Back to my job...
Vancouver is a very wet city. The sun doens't come out much, except when we're inside! The film takes place in Los Angeles so it's been particulary hard faking it up here. we don't have the luxury of being to jump inside when it raiins so we have to go with it. I haven't been thrilled about that. The interiors are looking great though. I think I've really captured the feelin of LA. My modus operandi for interiors has been to find locations with large windows and use them as a source, even blowing them out slightly when in frame. It's worked really well. I'm really pushing the range of what the film can capture.
This last week gave me a couple of 'firsts.' One was working in a 'real' set. Matthew's guest house interior has been completely built on stage. Very high quality. I've shot partial sets and corners, etc., but nothing enclosed with cielings, sky flats out the windows. My Grip and Electrics have been great. Very undermanned and doing these huge lighting setups with no pre-rigging. I'm very happy with them. My other first was a 'big' night exterior on a residential street with rain. Wow. I never thought I'd use so much light to make something look so dark!
What else...other problems? Some. I got a call from the lab one day saying an entire lab roll was scratched during cleaning (ironic) AFTER it was transferred. Fine by me so long as they so scratch removal for free (they will). I also had to replace my 1st and 2nd ACs pretty early on. Never had to do that on a film before but I needed to make sure eveyone was in sync and knew what was expected of them.
There's so much more to tell and I should have done an update sooner. I've been so tired that my days off have been spent mostly asleep. Expect another update next week.
Posted 10 June 2006 - 06:38 PM
Is this the 3-perf feature you were talking about that would be using HDCAM-SR for a D.I.?
Posted 10 June 2006 - 09:12 PM
Unfortunately I was unable to bring a single person from LA. This production ended up being co-financed via Canadian Content since the director and Matthew Perry have Canadian citizenship. Therefore, I'm the only american working on the film...and they lost a couple of tax "points" for using me. So, the ACs are all local. There's a great pool of talent up here that I've worked with on previous commercials, unfortunately it's very busy and our production is not offering what I'd call competitive rates.
This is the same 3-perf feature I was referring to before. The HDSR transfer has been going well and the producers are very happy with the footage (whew!) I think every DP always looses a little sleep the first few days waiting to get people's reactions to your work.
One thing of note...
I stopped using Kodask's Look Manager. It stopped working on my Intel Mac the day before the shoot so I loaded the windows version onto my computer and ran it under BootCamp. For some reason the couldn't get the iamges ot come out the same as they were under OSX. I'm sure it's user error, but I just wasn't liking it under windows. Instead I've just been taking the digital stills from my Canon 300D and converting them with Adobe Camera Raw. I'm familiar enough with the film stocks where I can make adjustments to the stills and get a close approximation to the film stocks. I will however go to a Kodak KLMS class when I get back to make sure I know what I'm doing. It has great potential.
Posted 13 June 2006 - 04:21 PM
Have you had any issues regarding shooting 3 perf? Everyone talks about the good things about shooting 3 perf, but I've never heard about any issues. Have you had any?
Posted 14 June 2006 - 02:05 AM
Posted 14 June 2006 - 02:53 AM
Posted 14 June 2006 - 03:06 AM
Posted 14 June 2006 - 11:11 AM
The Loc-Pro is not only an expense in rental but the making of the prints, shipping them, and handling them.
Posted 16 June 2006 - 10:15 AM
briefly, why did you replace members of your team? was it more of a communication/ways of working issue more than a simple case of them not being good enough. I am not interested in any dirt (not would I expect you to be the sort to dish it out) but its helpfull to hear when teams dont work out.
Also, when the shoot is done maybe, could you post some stills? Hope the rest of the shoot is less taxing (okay then, at least survivable)
Posted 16 April 2007 - 01:03 PM
Numb tells the story of screenwriter Hudson Milbank, who suffers from acute depersonalization disorder. So alienated from his own life that he makes the chronically depressed look perky, Hudson lives alone, watches the Golf Channel all day, can?t hang on to a relationship, shoplifts in order to get his adrenalin up off the floor, fears that thinking about his dad?s death will bring it to pass, loathes his mother and, in general, is as nutty as a crapshack in a peanut farm. Obsessed with the underlying sadness that infuses his wretched existence, Hudson is a man in hell, but he thinks that his long catalogue of dismally unsatisfying and mutually self-destructive relationships is over when Sara stumbles into his life. He knows she can save him. She knows he has to save himself. Together they save each other. And it?s funny too.