19 July 2007

5 minute dramas Day 1: DoP


First day, and everyone has been really on their toes. We are all nervous and trying to get it all right. Luckily our supervisor today is Ken Saville, sound man extraordinaire and all round calm guy. The first day’s shoot is Merryl’s, a simple story of two sisters and their reunion, family turmoil included. We are shooting at my house, which makes some things easier, as it’s just up the road from film school and we know what we can and can’t do. Plus, since Merryl has been staying with us, she knows the location really well and we have already spent a lot of time talking through the setups, camera locations, shots we want to get, etc.

 If there is one thing I learnt today it is the importance of checking all kit before you get to the shoot. The tripod head is pretty worn and so can only be set to either very stiff or totally loose. Freddie, the camera operator, did what he could with it, but it was hard just doing a simple following pan. The boom is also in a bad way, so that we have had to tape up the extensions to stop it from sliding down during the shoot. Then we found we didn’t have enough gels to gel up all the lights, luckily we shot all the angles against the kitchen windows first so that we were not so reliant on the lighting.

 It’s been interesting to see the crew get together even though we don’t really know what we are doing. Everyone is very concerned with sticking to their task, although there is a lot of mutual helping out, too. We have a whole bunch of actors with us, too. The first-years from Toi Whakaari, the drama school up the road, were assigned to us as actors, but also to help out on the days when they have no acting roles. We are already grateful for the help with boom swinging, unit and general running we have had from them.

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