Jump to content


Photo

Birth of Separation, first production journal...


  • Please log in to reply
40 replies to this topic

#1 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 24 June 2009 - 05:03 PM

Ok, well where to start? A Buddy of mine got introduced to a couple of first time indies here in Philadelphia through one of his PA friends who were looking to make a feature film. He got brought on as AD, primarily as he'd done that before on shorts, and there was much rejoice, from him and from me for him. The production had another DP slated, and so I checked in on occasion, shooting the proverbial, you know, about the project when we were out, not ever thinking I'd be called for it. Well, it so happens that the Director and Dp, and his Gaffer didn't quite hit it off. From what I'm told it was artistic differences [as well as some not to appropriate comments] that eventually lead to this, and the next thing I know I'm getting rather frantic calls from my friend as well as another buddy of mine, who is now one of their producers. They ask if I'm free for 5 days in July, and I almost am. And they say they want me on the project as DP. I know, 5 days for a feature film... frightening....but it's paid, and I could really use the money.
The implore me to read over the script, which I did, and meet with the director, which I also did. And the chemistry began, primarily because we both have a sense of humor, and what I was talking about in terms of visual style was exactly what the director was thinking.
To the script: It is similar in notion to the film "Funny Games," as well as style. As such, it's a pretty simple film, one location, a few hours of "real time," and sparse dialogue (a 54 page script for a 70 minute movie) which is intended to have longer, more drawn out takes. There are 4 actors, of which only 2 are primary, and the location which we've been given is allowing us to rig and leave it there overnight, saving setup/breakdown time. (here's a pdf of what I have to work with in terms of lighting, and yes, this is ALL I have.... http://www.adriansie...ightingFull.pdf <---edit not working, so uploading it here--- Note: Not all lights in use at any time It's more for my reference of where I want heads in a specific room).
Most of the film takes place in the Living room and kitchen, along with 1 scene in each of the following: bathroom (off of kitchen) rear yard, basement, front, upstairs bedroom, and car. On average, we're expected to get through about 10 pages a day, with one grueling day of 15 pages (2 scenes).
This is my first time doing a Feature, and with the budget which we have (not much @ all... about 1/10th of what you'd think a good "simple" documentary might cost), it's going to be a major struggle to shoot the film. But, perhaps because I am naive, I think we can pull it off. We can certainly pull something off.
Here's some tech specs for now:

Camera, Sony PMW EX1, 1080/24p
Lights:
2 Mole Juniors
4 Arri 1k Fresnels
4 Arri 650s
2 Arri 3002
4 Arri 150s
1 1K DP
1 1K Nook (this and the Dp coming out from my closet)
Assorted practical bulbs from 40-300W and some CFLs if power becomes a problem.
Assorted Grip odds and ends
5 50' stingers
4 25' stingers (all 20A rated for all stinger)
Going to build a PVC/Skateboard wheel dolly
Got a Rig-A-Jib (e.g. a jib the sound guy who I work with a lot bought, no idea on specs yet...)
A lot of heart
A dash of naivety
A smidgen of pensive dread!
A hope to get it done
A knowledge that I've shot with far fewer lights (granted on '18/'19 which can get away with far fewer!)

The brief snyopsis:
A woman's incestuous son, who was abandoned at birth, returns to wreck havoc on his mother, disrupting her life as she is expecting her "first " child.
well there's a lot of ways to go with that, so here's my idea:

Knowing I have limited lighting I'm going to try to shoot the place as naturally as I can (see lighting scheme above). I'm going to enclose all the windows so only my heads are coming through, though I don't have many, and shoot 'em through the curtains for some kind of motivation which I'll augment later on. I want to treat the location naturally a'la Funny Games, and also because I know it's about the only way I'll be able to shoot quickly, and on the budget we have (oh for want of a 6K HMI Par.. Just ONE!)
I want to play around with camera motion, moving from smoother and more standard compositions/coverage/motion in the beginning, to a locked down, slightly dutched, oblique angled motif once the antagonist (named Jerome) gets into Elizabeth's house (protagonist). As the violence escalates and Jerome's control of Elizabeth is solidified we'll move towards a looser/sloopier/uglier hand held aesthetic (I know, I could do better than that and I'll try to think of something less conventional) with harder and uglier lighting (we're in the basement here which is atrocious with 15" floro tubes along the walls and lots of wine bottles/clutter). In the end, once Jerome has abducted Elisabeth and left a false note to her husband that she's left him, I want to return to the compositions/motions of the first act, re-establish a "normal" which to question later on as the final frame of the film is Elizabeth grabbing at the steering wheel of the car Jerome has kidnapped her in, we assume to crash it but in any case to re-enter a struggle for "control."

For my own Crew, I have so far just 1 confirmed, and that's Chrissy McDermott who just recently started posting here as my 1AC. She wowed me with her native ability when I gave her a shot, as we're friends, firsting for me on a S16mm short, and I'm at ease with her and am certain, despite her inexperience she'll do well. On the short, she only buzzed focus 3 times, and out of something like 10000ft of film @ a T1.3-2.8, I think that sayes something.
Aside from her a Grip turned Director friend of mine, Bernard, whose first short I just shot will be coming on as my Key grip, all around help me out guy. Chances are I'll be glovin' up myself on this and tweakin' (knew i kept those setware hot hands for a reason).
Hopefully we'll have a nice stills photographer, if not I'll fire off a few shots and show you all as I can. We start shooting July18th and should finish the 22nd, with the possibility of the 23rd...
Wish us Luck!

I have faith in my crew, and while I worry about out possibilities, I think we can pull it off.
  • 0

#2 Steve McBride

Steve McBride
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 239 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • New York, NY

Posted 24 June 2009 - 08:34 PM

Looks good so far. Let me know if you need wheels for the dolly, I have 16 skateboard wheels and pairs of bearings sitting in my closet that I'm not going to use. I'll sell them for like $25.
  • 0

#3 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 24 June 2009 - 10:11 PM

Awesome Steve. I'll certainly take you up on that. Do me a favor and PM me your e mail adress and I'll fwd it to production so they can handle the monies (they're buying the dolly which I am so taking home after the shoot (since I'm building it))
  • 0

#4 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4161 posts
  • Other
  • Went over the edge... Central Europe

Posted 28 June 2009 - 09:30 AM

Sounds great! Please keep us updated with how this turns out.
5 days is definitely preety insane, but you can do this Adrian! The little shop of horrors was apparently shot in 3 although to be fair Mr Corman did design the film with that in mind and he cheated a little too, however, you also have more time and the opportunity to get things sorted in advance.

Here are some things to get you thinking, keeping in mind that this is a more conventional film than the kind of thing I would normally be doing but maybe they will make you think about something more sensible, they are ideas to take you to a place of other ideas. Starting points.

I'm assuming this is a horror movie tho you don't say. I get the impression that you have access to the location before the shoot too as you talk about pre-rigging the location. How about you treat the house itself as a kind of character? See the start of Alien, or alternatively some POV shots in the house. These could be shot in the house before the shoot, thus giving you extra footage that doesn't need shooting on the day. If you don't have the EX1 outside these days, then just get hold of any old DV camera for these shots, they are POV so they don't ave to match the objective reality. The advantage of this other than extra footage outside your 5 days is you can also spend some time lighting these shots just right so that you have some extra beautiful cinematography you can work in too. You will have to be careful if the locations are shown in both POV and reality tho because you will need some kind of lighting continuity for those shots I'm guessing.

First thing that got my attention was that bank of flo's in the basement. It's free liighting! They might be ugly but can you work with that in some way esp as this is for a horror film? You could experiment with gels maybe? I suspect that might be weird and not the kind of natural look you are after tho I guess it depends on what exact gels you use and how you go about it. You could make them even more green so they could be used as practicals in the film with a certain look. Maybe with a big piece of diffusion a little ways in front they could make a very soft light? Maybe you can find a suitable shower curtain or something if you can't afford real gels for this.

You made a list of stuff that you have access to, I think you have access to more than this. Get some cardboard, Old boxes from the supermarket are fine. Cut some holes in them in the right shapes and you now have a cookieloris. You want to be careful with this because it's potentially flammable, so don't stick it too close to a 500w light. However you could probably easily have it near a compact flo or even low wattage practicals. If you can clip it a distance from more powerful lights it could work there too. Obviously be careful. You can use real branches and stuff too with the same reservations.

In he same way I bet people have stuff that they don't think of as lighting but that is. Ask around the crew etc. Does anyone have a desklamp? What kind of lights do people have that aren't lighting.

You are probably going to be shooting it sort of documentary style due to the lack of time for setups but if you can program as much beautiful lighting into the locations and really think about the set design in the locations in advance I think you can make it work. Get a camera down there and try out shots and try and imagine the compositions. If you have access to the EX1 you might even be able to get some cutaways in advance too, close ups of objects and stuff. You could take your time to light these objects carefully, the knife, the gun etc. (whatever is significant and a few insignificants too! After all you never know when you might need to cut away to a dog, and in this case you could shootit in advance and have a beautifully lit dog.)

This is just ideas to jog your thinking. You will know what is right for you but I'm hoping these might give you ideas that suit you better.

It's a shame you are so far away or I would definitely be up for helping you guys out.

Good luck! :)

love

Freya

Edited by Freya Black, 28 June 2009 - 09:31 AM.

  • 0

#5 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4161 posts
  • Other
  • Went over the edge... Central Europe

Posted 28 June 2009 - 09:48 AM

Oh yeah and I recommend you buy a roll of baking paper from the supermarket and a big box of cheap c47's, maybe from a dollar store. I always like to have these even if I don't always use them, they are cheap and can be used for non cinematic things if they don't get used for a film.

You may also be able to get clip on lights from the dollar store. They have them at pound stores over here. They are very low wattage sadly because they are plastic but you can easily put high wattage compact flo's in instead as they are much, much colder. Not enough stands? Clip them to things! :)

Could you get hold of a cheap monopod to try and do some kind of pretend steadycam like affect instead of handheld or do you feel you really need the shaky cam look for disorientation stuff. If you go for shakycam please keep it minimal! ;)

love

Freya
  • 0

#6 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 29 June 2009 - 07:22 AM

Hey Freya, all great ideas! Don't worry I'm not making Cloverfield with Hand-held ;)

I do have some other stuff (and own the camera as well) but sadly the location is still being, kinda built. It's a "project house," so it's being finalized right now (floors/windows this week) so not much I can do till we begin. Even then, the small art department we have (all 2 people) will be going through and decorating everything as well as staging it with furniture (from assorted people's houses).

I like the idea of the house as character, but I don't think it works for this particularly. It's not so much a horror film as it is a psychological/thriller-ish film. There's violence, but it's not overly gory, nor designed to be particularly frightful. The only part which really, I think, has some of that "surprise boo!" element is in the basement.
As for the floros, they's a'll differant bulbs and I'm going to Home Depot it and get even more random bulbs and let 'em go ugly!
The house also has a lot of fish-tanks (dunno why?) with those floro fixtures, so I'm probably going to be using the tanks as props and then robbing the fish of their light and tucking 'em 'round in corners etc. I think of it as my free daylight balances kino kit ;) waterproof too!

I'll keep on posting as I can when I can. Tonight is some shot listing with the director over a few beers. Any story-boards I do I'll be sure to send along, and next week we go into massive prepro, so I'll have many more updates then.
For now I'm car shopping and recuperating from an exhaustive weekend in NYC shooting a doco... which was.... interesting....
  • 0

#7 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4161 posts
  • Other
  • Went over the edge... Central Europe

Posted 29 June 2009 - 02:46 PM

Hey Freya, all great ideas! Don't worry I'm not making Cloverfield with Hand-held ;)

I do have some other stuff (and own the camera as well) but sadly the location is still being, kinda built. It's a "project house," so it's being finalized right now (floors/windows this week) so not much I can do till we begin. Even then, the small art department we have (all 2 people) will be going through and decorating everything as well as staging it with furniture (from assorted people's houses).


They are putting in floors and windows! Wow! Now thats art direction! ;)

I like the idea of the house as character, but I don't think it works for this particularly. It's not so much a horror film as it is a psychological/thriller-ish film. There's violence, but it's not overly gory, nor designed to be particularly frightful. The only part


Ah! Yes I didn't think the house as character thing would be appropriate but as it's not horror, sounds like the POV thing would also be inapropriate maybe. Oh welll.

Not even sure what constitutes a psychological Thriller, maybe something like the midas touch? I've heard Lost highway being described that way too. Is the inside man one of these?

which really, I think, has some of that "surprise boo!" element is in the basement.
As for the floros, they's a'll differant bulbs and I'm going to Home Depot it and get even more random bulbs and let 'em go ugly!
The house also has a lot of fish-tanks (dunno why?) with those floro fixtures, so I'm probably going to be using the tanks as props and then robbing the fish of their light and tucking 'em 'round in corners etc. I think of it as my free daylight balances kino kit ;) waterproof too!


Please get the light back to the fish as soon as you can tho, they might need it to survive! Maybe make sure the curtains are open and letting in the sunlight while their light is away.

I'll keep on posting as I can when I can. Tonight is some shot listing with the director over a few beers. Any story-boards I do I'll be sure to send along, and next week we go into massive prepro, so I'll have many more updates then.
For now I'm car shopping and recuperating from an exhaustive weekend in NYC shooting a doco... which was.... interesting....


Looking forward to hearing how it goes. :)

love

Freya
  • 0

#8 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 06 July 2009 - 09:25 AM

Ok, so not related to Birth of Separation, but I'm working a music video and we have a sequence with flesh rotting etc... lots of makeup, and flies and mealworms, and apparently, we'll be using real flies... http://www.carolina....tby=bestMatches

thinking of getting a 250 count.... should be interesting..
  • 0

#9 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 06 July 2009 - 10:00 AM

Figured I'd add in some images from the location as it is right now that my AC was good enough to take while we scouted. Kinda self explanatory where each photo is... that bathroom should be "fun" to shoot.

Attached Images

  • DSC_0797.jpg
  • DSC_0804.jpg
  • DSC_0805.jpg
  • DSC_0808.jpg
  • DSC_0869.jpg
  • DSC_0879.jpg

  • 0

#10 Andy_Alderslade

Andy_Alderslade
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1055 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London, UK

Posted 06 July 2009 - 04:19 PM

Figured I'd add in some images from the location as it is right now that my AC was good enough to take while we scouted. Kinda self explanatory where each photo is... that bathroom should be "fun" to shoot.


Hi Adrian, best of luck with this, though I'm sure you won't need it - it sounds challenging but very interesting too. Its a great opportunity and you'll learn loads from it.

Some of the locations of the house are better than others, I really like the basement - its a really interestingly dressed 'set'.

Good luck, Andy
  • 0

#11 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 06 July 2009 - 04:25 PM

Thanks for the luck and confidence, Andy. Here's hoping I don't screw up too badly ;)

Quite true. I'm very excited about the basement especially as it already has little T-4 floros installed (few working) so I think I'm going to mix and match some down there as little specular point in the darkness to keeping it kinda ugly and "interesting" visually, and hopefully keeping viewers from noticing any noise in the blacks.

Tonight I'm off with the art department shopping for props, and I get to go to Lowes and grab the stuff I'll need for the PVC pipe dolly. Thanks to Steve McBride for the wheels (which producers are working on procuring for me) and also a nod to a friend of mine, Adam, who donates bits and bobs from his broken PVC dolly for it (mostly the T-bar push handle and a nice piece of 3/4" plywood).

I'm worried a lot about that tiny bathroom... I have no idea how I'm going to rig an EX1 in there. I'm thinking something with a gobo and a cartillini clamp and a knuckle.. we'll see.

I'll be sure to post up some production pics once we start up!
  • 0

#12 Jamie Metzger

Jamie Metzger
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 773 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • San Francisco

Posted 07 July 2009 - 01:39 AM

find an operator that you trust. He/she will help you save time.
  • 0

#13 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 07 July 2009 - 05:37 AM

Jamie,
you know I've been thinking 'bout wanting an Op more and more as I've been shooting more and more. I say this because I know they'll be better than I would be. But sadly, budget is so low on this whole project that I'm already getting eyes from the producers 'bout buying floro tubes.
Hopefully, though I'll come in enough under budget by the end of the week to allow me an Op for certain days, though I think it's unlikely.
  • 0

#14 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4161 posts
  • Other
  • Went over the edge... Central Europe

Posted 07 July 2009 - 09:33 AM

Figured I'd add in some images from the location as it is right now that my AC was good enough to take while we scouted. Kinda self explanatory where each photo is... that bathroom should be "fun" to shoot.


Okay. I really like the room with the Arch, however that bookshelf HAS to go. You need to be able to get a clear shot on that nice arch and then maybe you can track into the kitchen where the action is taking place or something. The arch is nice tho so make good use of it! :)

You might be able to do something with those bars/ gate over the door. Depends on what is in the script I guess.

Are you planning to film someone in the toilet!??? Looks great but er.... ... tiny.

That fan in the kitchen could make a great cut away. I like that fan and the light on it! You could gel that light green or cyan or something (or whatever works for you. Put it on a nice slow setting and film it for a while, with some nice swishing sounds or maybe just silence and force people to watch it a little.

Okay so that last one maybe a bit horror but I have to say it does look a bit like the house of horros anyway I mean what is it with that mains plug half way to the top of a wall!??

Basement is definitely great tho maybe a bit cluttered.

Good luck!

love

Freya
  • 0

#15 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 07 July 2009 - 10:16 AM

And with that Freya, you list some of "my" "good ideas." ;)
Bookshelf is definitively going. Basement is going to get cleared up a little bit. Director wants very long takes (focus on time w/o cut aways, so thinking of a ticking clock to be hung in kitchen for quiet moments).

Yep, bathroom is going to suck. 6' long 6'3" tall and 3'2" wide. Best idea i have so far is mounting the camera over where the sink is for a major shot; an over-head angle (going to put it up inside of the ventilation in there probably) and a low angle. Can only really shoot 1 way and lighting is going to be interesting. I'm thinking of ambiance with a little 150 or maybe a 300 going off of some foamcore in there; maybe. Or, I have some fish-tank floro hoods laying 'round the location. I might pull the floro bit out of it's housing and just hang it on the back wall. Ugly, very blue, and let her go silhouette against it with a very weak eye-light. I'll have to see what'll work once I get in there. Thankfully there's only 1 quick scene in there, no dialogue, just her "birthing" and they gave me an extra hour to screw with lighting/rigging in there.
As for kitchen, I'm thinking of keeping it mostly earthy toned with some slightly blue "daylight" coming in. I only have T heads for out there, so I'm thinking of either balancing for warmer incandescent (~2700) or just throwing some 1/4 blue on the lights. I don't want too much, just a little bit.
Also got a "fog machine," it's total crap, I'm told, but I just need a little bit of atmosphere (last time I dared to use a fogger, it set off fire alarms....)

For the basement I got some night ugly T12 bulbs in 24 and 36" for the existing fixtures. They're low CRI and around "4100K" according to the box. I'm glad as I wanna have some of that "ugliness" of the less than full spectrum in there mixed with properly balances T fixtures both streaming in through the front (gonna build a box 'round 'em to keep out daylight) and some hidden 150s/300/650s down there up in the ceiling studs. ) I want areas of light and darkness for 'em to move through, and we'll see how that works.
  • 0

#16 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4161 posts
  • Other
  • Went over the edge... Central Europe

Posted 07 July 2009 - 10:56 AM

And with that Freya, you list some of "my" "good ideas." ;)
Bookshelf is definitively going. Basement is going to get cleared up a little bit. Director wants very long takes (focus on time w/o cut aways, so thinking of a ticking clock to be hung in kitchen for quiet moments).


I'm glad I'm not totally off base. I'm not too up on thrillers. In fact I'm not even really sure what consitutes a Thriller? Race against the clock type stuff maybe? Yes I probably shouldn't have said cut away, was typing and thinking out loud really. I was just excited by the thought of that fan in close up. I think there is a war movie that actually starts out with a scene like that with a fan turning on a ceiling and the sound of it, and then the sound turns into the sound of helicopters and it is vieeee-et-naaaam or something silly. I think long shots of the fan going slowly would build up tension (a bit the opposite of the war film) but I'm not sure how much long shots like that would work as a cut away, depends on what you are cutting away from I guess. A long cut away like that might be a bit too Jodorowsky or god knows what. I might do it but then i might do a lot of strange things !! ;)

That fan is great tho. Okay we don't get a lot of ceiling fans here where I live (which is a shame as we are having a big heatwave) but that one looks special to my eyes. I like the dome on it a lot. It's one of the best features of the house! A clock might be better if it is a race against time type thing tho as it is like time is running out more than the other kind of tension. Depends how the film works really.

Looking forward to seeing the results now I've seen the house. :)

Please look after the fish.

love

Freya

Edited by Freya Black, 07 July 2009 - 10:58 AM.

  • 0

#17 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 07 July 2009 - 11:00 AM

I'll see if I can "procure" the fan and shoot it out to you. And yeah, the opening of Apocalypse Now is fantastic with the fan and the choppers. I'll see if I can just "roll on" the fan for a bit, while changing setups; give 'em a little something extra ;)
  • 0

#18 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 27 July 2009 - 08:43 AM

Well, we were able to finish it all up in 5 days. Granted, most of the days were 16 hours days, but neither myself nor the crew nor actors really complained too much (mostly because we had pretty awesome craft services, all prepared for us on set to order) and we all knew how long the days would be going into it. I mean, after all, we were aiming to shoot well over 11 pages per day all of which has a longer beat, to the point where one 1 paragraph scene stretched out into a 13+ minute "dolly shot." And even then we only moved through 1 room...
The biggest issues we had was this one scene that just wasn't working for the master. Every take, something would happen. Skipped lines, makeup just sweated off, stunt hits that just didn't sell, or, towards the end,a flag I had to gaff tape up to the ceiling (couldn't drill into it and a C stand would shadow) falling and bonking me in the head. Not that I ruined the shot, but rather that 1/2 of it looked totally different from the other 1/2, and towards the end of the shot my shadow (which that flag was subtly blocking) appeared right across the actress!
I won't have any production stills to really show until production releases them, but once they do I certainly will. I am also going to work on getting some screen grabs up. I have all of the footage baked up (11.5 hours of footage) on multiple drives, but I don't want to post anything till I'm cleared.
The other big issue on set was my tripod....
We had a "jib" bought from e bay, not the best of things, you know, but something. The damned thing was super shaky in general, so i just used it as a taller tripod, no real movements, just to get the camera up high. So, decided to use my O'Connor head/tripod just to rest it on when it came down. Well, the combined weight of the camera and the jib arm, and I'm guessing the unevenness of the ground,
sheered one of the feet off, first day. So, the quick fix was some gaffer's tape and gorilla glue, which worked fine to just the weight of the EX, but now I have to wait around for production to replace the tripod. Everything was insured and I just need to track down some good legs for my 50D head. That's the next project.

I'm very happy that all my lighting plans worked very well. There was some issues with shooting into the living room where we had to pull the 1/2CTO off of the window because it was just dark enough outside that I couldn't blow out the window (which was large) and was seeing the tape which kept the 2 sheets we had together. So some of those will be very cool light coming in. I'm not too worried about it, in terms of continuity or the like, it's in the far BG and was always a "little" blueish compared to the light we had (which was normally 3-4 1K heads through 216 from outside to "mimic" sunlight). It was great that none of the windows faced E or W, so lighting was pretty consistent for 90% of the day. Towards sunset the ambient level falling into the room fell really fast, so I had to sneak in other heads. I, as I often do, planned for too many lights on my original plots and wound up just not rigging some of them.

The basement shooing worked really well with some ugly floro flicker and strange color shifts. I did this purposefully, opting for lower CRI, 4700K tubes put into the very old fixtures there, as well as stealing a fish tank hood which read purple, and hiding it up in the ceiling just to give a very very light splash to show where a wall is. I'm concerned I might've caught my shadow in the shot... but... not much to do 'bout it and hopefully no one will notice. It's very subtle (not like the crane shadow in What Dreams May Come!)

Also, I wish we had 1 more day as we had to rush the driving sequence and change our location (which was 45+ min away). So instead, just wound up driving out to Folcroft ish, PA which is rather suburban looking. We were lucky that there was little traffic and the police were very happy to have us just show up. They even gave us a little escort for free! But we were loosing light, sadly, so we got multiple takes of the same action/line (some had static on them) but I think in editing it'll really work well. It won't be as long as the director wanted, but, with the cross-cutting that's intended I think it will work well. In fact, I mentioned we just cut every time the car turns so it's very disorienting, and then back for the good take of her grabbing for the wheel.

Hmm.. what else? That's about it for now.
Was in Detroit over the weekend working on another shoot out there; but that was pretty straight forward. For anyone out in "the big D" I recommend The Lager House on Michigan Ave.

As soon as I get more I'll post it up.
  • 0

#19 Rob Vogt

Rob Vogt
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 437 posts
  • Other
  • New York

Posted 27 July 2009 - 11:55 AM

Nice job Adrian. Can't wait to see some of the grabs. 5 day features are rough! 5 day shorts are rough when they're 16 hour days! Good luck finding replacement sticks, it's always a bummer to loose gear, even if its getting replaced. Are you also going to look for a replacement jib or was that the productions?
  • 0

#20 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 27 July 2009 - 12:05 PM

Jib belonged to the sound guy and it survived the whole or-deal. Damned thing was a tank! As for sticks. For the moment things are alright and I'm going to probably work with the producers and give visual products a call. It's where I got the head/sticks originally, so shouldn't be too big of a problem to get 'em replaced. I'd rather have had the sticks take a bit of battle damage than a light or the camera proper. I can work 'round w/o sticks if need be. Ironically, too, we only had 1 and 1/2 days on the sticks at all.
  • 0


Willys Widgets

CineLab

Visual Products

Rig Wheels Passport

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

Technodolly

FJS International, LLC

The Slider

Tai Audio

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Metropolis Post

Wooden Camera

Paralinx LLC

Aerial Filmworks

Opal

Glidecam

rebotnix Technologies

CineTape

FJS International, LLC

CineLab

Metropolis Post

Rig Wheels Passport

Technodolly

Ritter Battery

CineTape

Willys Widgets

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Tai Audio

rebotnix Technologies

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Paralinx LLC

Glidecam

Opal

Visual Products

The Slider

Wooden Camera

Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc