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Sleep day 3


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#1 Michael Collier

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 02:02 AM

Again I appologize for the lack of pics, my boss has monday's, and the producer (and my roomate) locked the camera with todays pics in the car. Hes at his girlfriends house, so I can't get to them. By tommorow I should have pics for both days ready to post here.

This was a great day. Half was outside, but it was still alright. It actually snowed for the first time this year last night, but it was a light snowfall. By the time we shot, there was only a slight hint of snow on the ground.

We had a door gag planned for this day where karen runs out the door, the camera handheld follows her around. When the door was out of view, some grips were supposed to move the door and the stalker stand where it was, so when we pan back he is there. It worked the first shot, although it took to long to get the door clear, then on take two and three the door broke. With some quick thinking we decided to shoot a shot where I ran in frantic circles around Karen, and in post we will simply jump cut a few times to heighten the tension in the scene, then cut to the first take where the door gag actually worked. I wanted to have the impact of a shot without cuts, but the shot running around was great, I saw at least 4 or 5 2 second clips that would be great to fit in. We shot a few scenes of her running away and getting caught by the stalker to finnish the scene.

For light we ended up just using a bit of bounce in the morning, and nothing later in the day when clouds brought the contrast into the same range as the bounce. By the time we were done shooting, everyone was very cold, and both I and the actress had lots of mud, since the snow melted into the dirt. She had to fall on the ground a few times, so she was worse for the wear. For me it was actually a spur of the moment thing, where I just felt the impulse to drop to my knees in the shot. The sun popped out when I did and came between the two actors and looked great, so I didn't mind the pants being muddy (they are carhearts anyway. Carhearts beg to be muddied and painted and burned.). The sun flaring behind the camera during key shots (they were both backlit) made for a really great shot. It was mid-day again, but we had a low-lying sun with a BEAUTIFUL view of anchorage before us. That location was found that morning. We drove around hillside looking for a location I had found before, but found the spot as we were driving. Minimal interferance by locals. Its a road for only 3 or 4 houses in the upper mountain, so people are very protective (people who had lived there before statehood). Most were just curious.

We finnished the day in the cafe, and that couldn't have gone better. Acting was top shelf, and we really got into this groove of working, and did 3 pages in about 4 hours with a skeleton crew (including a break for dinner). I was getting so into the takes that a short end (250 feet) rolled out WAY sooner than I expected. It was caught seconds after it happend, but we all looked at eachother thinking 'was that really 7 minutes?'

Light in the cafe was provided again by a lowell kit and an arri kit. 650 fres through silk for key light, 750 tota for background light, 150 for hair light and fill light. I had all kinds of fun with flags cutting the light. Usually I work with minimal gear. Blackwrap does 90% of the work. This time I rented a full grip package, and really got into it. I loved having complete control of the shadows and highlights. It was great. Being able to adjust how I cut the light quickly made for faster setups than on video without the grip. By this point I was getting very good at metering and adjusting quickly, as well as loading (my AC got paying work this weekend, so he was out. I was left to load for myself) Even sheri, our lead, commented on how much faster I was at the end of the day than the beginning of day one. The cafe went without incident. The staff was accomodating, and shots looked great.


I have full confidence when I move to LA I can get entry level loading or PA work and be able to perform with minimal training, as well as DP for student projects and small indies. Thats really what I wanted out of this, to reassure myself I was ready to enter into the feild with the worlds best film-makers. I guess I was insecure, but I really want to do well when I move. Its been the one thing I have been thinking about since I was very little, so anxiety and eagerness is building with each passing month (11 to go).

Now I have 5 days to prepare for the next day. Saturday we shoot the last scene of the movie in the hospital, a quick chase inside the second hospital location, a quick scene in a bathroom, and a 3 shot scene with the lead walking into her friends house. Many scenes, but most very short, so it should be an easy few days.

One odd thing I still am not sure about, the bags that held the film in the cans were way too big. It felt like a bag for a 400' roll of 35mm. Not that I am sure what that feels like, but I know how big those cans are, and the bag was aproxamatley twice as big as the other 16mm bags. I am not sure how they got into the short ends, but it made it difficult to carefully fold them in the changing bag to close the can tightly enough to shut and tape.

Anyway, to all those who have shot film and fell in love with it, I know exactly why. Its such a thrill to meter, look at the scenes, make decisions and shoot. I felt like I was on my toes all day making sure everything was right, and I can't wait to see the result. I haven't even finnished this one, and can't wait for the music video or the commercial that I convinced to shoot film. (For the next year, I told all my clients that if they put up the money for film, I would shoot for free. So far its worked pretty well) I have to shoot for the news tommorow, and I am not looking forward to going back to video. Video is dead to me.

Pictures soon to follow.
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#2 Hal Smith

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 03:11 PM

who have shot film and fell in love with it, I know exactly why. Its such a thrill to meter, look at the scenes, make decisions and shoot. I felt like I was on my toes all day making sure everything was right, and I can't wait to see the result.


Sounds like you feel a lot like the St. Louis rookie pitcher did who threw a two run game to open the World Series - "I Belong Here". In his case - Major League Baseball, in your case - behind a film camera!
Mazeltov!
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#3 Michael Collier

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 11:47 PM

Heres the pics from day 3. We were moving too fast to take any during the scene we got in the morning. This is the cafe scene from the evening. These were taken while we were stilll setting up.

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Edited by Michael Collier, 24 October 2006 - 11:49 PM.

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#4 David Sweetman

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 02:33 AM

Awesome, looks like there's lots of interesting visuals possible in that location. You shot on color stock, right? I think I remember you mentioning 7217, but I also thought I recalled an early post saying it would be black and white...
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#5 Michael Collier

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 04:53 PM

it was 7217 (200t color) rated at 160. The bw was the feature I almost had funding for, but then fell apart. That was going to be abou 80% BW and 20% color.

WIth that location, we had planned to shoot with the eyeline flipped in camera, so that the windows were visible. We were supposed to rent a 20x20 silk, and blast light powered by genny to make the windows look like daylight. That would have let us use a lot more depth in frame than we ended up with, since the silk would provide the background light. As it is we only had a tota to light a fairly large protion of the background. You can see I cut the light, filled with a 150, and let the light also provide hairlight (I was going to flag it, but when I set it up and looked at the scene, it was a perfect hairlight, so I only flagged it off the camera lens.

That idea fell through because a freelance job did not (and has not yet) paid me for the days I shot. Its unfortunate because I helped him out of a jam. he needed 2 shooters within 3 hours, and I pulled it together for him, and still have yet to be paid. I file for a lawsuit tommorow (he doesn't return phonecalls either) No call back, no payment, breaks signed contract....lawsuit. And lawsuit for his client if they sell the DVD before I get paid (got to put an embargo on the footage) words cannot describe my desire to get out of ENG and do cinematography full time....11 months, I kept telling myself. LA in 11 months. anybody need a loader or entry level grip in 11 months?

BTW, I did not want snow in this film, but wanted it cold enough that there were no leaves on the trees and you could see peoples breath. We wrapped the outside shots on day 3 (monday) and tuesday it snowed. Hows that for some timing. Its around 27 degrees these days.
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