This weekend, I am playing cameraman and director of photography for a short film my dad is working on. It is pretty interesting work, though it sure wears you out after a 14 hour filming day.
Once everything is set up, the work is not physical. Getting all the lights, rigging, and scrims placed so that everything is correct, is. Fortunately I have a lot of help, so I can concentrate more on the lighting and the camera work. Even though running a camera is not physical, it wears you out standing around for that long, fiddling and concentrating.
Watching audio levels, making sure the person did not look at the camera or in a wrong direction, and all the other details on a higher end camera demands energy and attention.
Since I am running both set lighting and camera, there was a chance that I would make a mistake in the key direction. Sure enough, when we were downloading video last night, I saw that the key on one of the scenes was not in the correct direction. It could be explained away as a practical (light in scene), though there’s not one in view. At least he was on the right side of the frame – that’s a way worse screwup. I guess you can’t do everything.
These sort of details look fine when you’re shooting. The key light was lit well and you think that’s all good. But no. When it comes to editing, days or weeks later, this is when these details show up. Having a fine-grained shooting plan or a person who watches those details is very important. On an extremely low budget film, sometimes you just do not have that leisure.
The one huge thing we had yesterday was my aunt Diane’s cooking. She did all the catering for the filming day and totally saved us. She didn’t serve up hot dogs and fruit cups. The stuffed French toast was nothing less than awesome. I could eat that all the time. She made a real feast for nearly 20 people. It was a lot of work and was greatly appreciated. Thank you!
On the subject of the expedition:
It is good to lay off for two days on working out. The insides of my calves were still killing me after I wiped out my five fingers shoes. I always wondered if the shoes actually died. The last pair I had did this, though I wasn’t sure if it was me or not. Now I know that they do come to a point where they need to be replaced.