23 July 2007

5 minute dramas Day 4: Gaffer


Corey’s shoot today, at his house in Newtown, and pretty crowded it is, too. It seems as if all the furniture is in the hallway, and the rooms are still pretty full. As gaffer I am responsible for lighting, but since we are still a few bulbs shot of a full set of lamps, there is little scope for me except to black out all the windows.

Unfortunately the house is in a bit of a state, being inhabited by three male students, and in order to tape up the windows I have to clean the frames first to make sure the tape sticks. Yuk! Our supervisor today was Charles Edwards, which was lucky, because it gave me an opportunity to learn about how to do much with few lights. The most impressive setup was a scene in the bedroom, at night in the dark. With a reflector board underneath the actor and a redhead pointing into the corner of the ceiling, heavily gelled with blue, the room really looked like it was in the dark, without losing the image of the face. Magic, and something I can’t take credit for.

 Today I learnt that I am more interested in performance than clever shots. Watching the actors work with a difficult script - they were basically speaking their sub-text rather than any real lines - I figured out how important it is to put performances in front of the camera that go beyond cliché.

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