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1st plastic surgery shoot


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#1 Bill Totolo

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 02:56 AM

I got an assignment to shoot one of the Dr's in the same suite as Dr. Rey of Dr. 90210.

It was a good introduction for me as it was a very quick and easy procedure. I shot a woman getting a saline implant inserted into her upper and lower lips. It's a new procedure and took less than an hour.

The procedure itself was pretty straight forward and mercifully free of blood. *For those with week stomachs do not read on.*

Actually it wasn't bad but I don't want to offend anyone.

The Dr. began with a local anesthetic. Once the woman's face was numb he opened a path into her lip with a scalpel and proceeded to insert a pair of scissors and cut a tunnel through her lip. Once the canal was created he was able to insert the saline implant and inflate it to a predetermined size, kind of like a sleep number mattress.

It was pretty surreal and I was grateful to have a b/w viewfinder to help remove me from the procedure. But you do have to keep peaking with your other eye to get a sense of what's going on.

The biggest challenge was exposure. Once they swing in that intense surgery light you either expose for the Dr. and let the patient go nuclear or expose for the patient and let the room go dark. I had to dial in ND just to shoot around F8.

It was a first for the producer and myself and we kept checking in with each other to make sure we were ok. My audio guy was a season regular on Dr. 9 so this was a walk in the park for him.

My hats off to all you surgery shooters.
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#2 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 03:44 AM

Once the woman's face was numb he opened a path into her lip with a scalpel and proceeded to insert a pair of scissors and cut a tunnel through her lip.

That gives me the willy's. It's probably worse reading it than actually seeing it.
But hey, everybody needs to have big inflatable lips right!
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#3 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 04:58 AM

That gives me the willy's. It's probably worse reading it than actually seeing it.
But hey, everybody needs to have big inflatable lips right!


I was rather glad of the B & W viewfinder whilst filming an autopsy. The sound recordist was a bit under the weather.
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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 01:29 PM

I was rather glad of the B & W viewfinder whilst filming an autopsy. The sound recordist was a bit under the weather.


Blech. I bet good, crisp sound of an autopsy is awful...just awful.
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#5 Robert Hughes

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 01:46 PM

- Like a dentist office on steroids.
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#6 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 02:18 PM

Yikes. Would be hard to handle being there in person. One of our editors was just working with some surgery footage for a couple days. I couldn't even go in the suite. :blink:
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#7 Michael Collier

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 06:09 PM

Yup, I have shot a procedure with a woman getting botox and saline injections. Not a pretty sight, but your right, the B/w view does help. I found it was best to sort of detach yourself from what your shooting. I looked at it in terms of shapes and shading and contrast, and tried to ignore as best I could what was going on.

At least it was all injections, no incisions were made, which made it easier. Still weird to see a lip start to balloon outward and then saline drip out when the needle is removed.

I was lucky exposure wise because the DR didn't have a very bright light, more akin to a dentists light (in 5600k no less) and the window was open. All I did was turn on some X-ray examining light boxes on the opposite wall to act as fill and sometimes a kicker light, and it worked beautifully.

Autopsy I haven't yet shot....nor would I like to. Our medical examiner is sorta odd, and I think he enjoys grossing people out. I have a friend who shot an autopsy with him, and it involved putting him in the freezer with about 10 bodies as he closed the door on him.

good you kept your grits in!
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#8 Daniel Sheehy

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 12:19 AM

I used to do ENG work for the local broadcaster. Walked in one morning and the first shoot of the day, 8am, right after breakfast, was the Police retrieving the body of a drunk who fell into a drain and drowned.
Not my pick of ways to start off the day.. :(
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#9 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 01:41 AM

I saw people who were shot and hit by cars and all other manner of nasty stuff when I shot news. But I was pretty desensitized to it after doing it for just a short time, so it never bothered me that much, which is why I had to get the hell out of that profession. It started to affect my personal life in bad ways. The only time I seemed to get upset was when it was a child that was hurt. Luckily I'm back to normal now (as normal as I can be) and I have real human emotions again!
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#10 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 04:18 AM

I did a fair amount of filming the troubles in Northern Ireland and you always had to mentally detach yourself from what you were filming. There was also a buzz that could be dangeriously addictive.

You also covered the grief and often met the families, so you had to attempt to remain emotionally balanced.
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#11 Matthew Buick

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 02:48 PM

Good luck on your shoot, Mr Totolo. After reading Brian Drysdale's post I'd just be glad next time that the patient is alive. ;) What will the film be used for?
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#12 Bill Totolo

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 06:41 PM

This is for a segment on E! News. We're using the same suite of Dr's from one of our other shows, "Dr. 90210".

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