Last Monday, we shot “The Drop.” It was an extremely smooth shoot. Everything went along as planned and there were no hangups. We got all of the shots we needed and everyone who was supposed to be there was on time and working efficiently to get things done. It was by far the easiest and best shoot I’ve been on so far. Things couldn’t have gone better.
On Wednesday we shot “iDate.” It took awhile to get all of our gear upstairs and to get everything set up, but once we finally got started things went well. It took several takes to get everything right, but I believe we got all the shots we needed.
Saturday was the shoot for “Homeless Man.” It was by far the longest of the three shoots I was a part of last week. We worked quickly though, we just had a lot of stuff to do. I feel like we were pretty efficient and that we stuck to the storyboards closely, not getting too many shots that weren’t on the list which was good. It was a long shoot though as I said and I began to lose my patience toward the end. But once again we got a lot done. I believe there was only one scene we did not finish and it will be shot at a later date.
Overall, a busy but successful week.
I am a bit late posting my reflections for our second production week, but I didn’t actually do any production. Instead I was at a wedding.
So far this week is going alright. I am supposed to start working on the next shoot, “iDate,” tomorrow (Wednesday) and then I have another to work on, “The Drop,” either this Saturday or next Monday. We potentially have actors for the Drop, but I’m not sure what their schedules are. Hopefully they will be able to help us out. I will update with full Week 3 reflections next week.
The first week of production is over and it went by fairly smoothly. We got almost every shot we needed and only in one day of shooting. The shoot last Saturday went well and without any major issues. Ole used Byron’s jib for almost all of the shots. It was interesting to watch him work with it. The jib was very versatile and I think it was put to good use as it helped illustrate the large space we were shooting in. Our actors did a wonderful job and they looked wonderful on camera. Costuming really helped to define each character.
Overall the biggest challenge we faced was the ever changing light since we shot over a 6 or 7 hour period. This made it difficult to light scenes evenly and consistently which led to progressively different looking shots. I don’t think this was the intended effect that Sahar might have wanted, but in the end it looked really nice. Also, we had some issues with media. The card kept malfunctioning and the direct sunlight also kept making the camera hot. This wasn’t a huge issue, we found backup media, but it was a cause for mild concern and on future shoots I will be sure that having enough media is paramount.
I had fun working on this shoot and although it was long, tiring, and a lot of work, I learned some new things and got some valuable experience. I’m excited to see how the end result turns out!
Scene Fragment Exercise 2
This is my second scene fragment exercise. I felt like this project went very smoothly. I didn’t have any major hang ups. For the most part everything went without a hitch. As far as things that worked in this short, I feel like I had some nice camera movement in the beginning, especially the shot of Nick going up the stairs and pulling out his phone.
The biggest challenge for this exercise was to only use 3 to 6 shots. I could have easily used several more shots to make this short more interesting. One thing I could do better with this short is pay more attention to continuity. There are a few continuity problems in this short. For example, when Nick knocks the book off the stairs it falls on Russell but in real life, it wouldn’t fall on him at all. As seen in the first shot, Russell is sitting against the wall. The book falls off right in front of the stairs. For the book to actually hit Russell, Nick would have to drop it from the left side of the stairs (in relation to the second shot). Why did I shoot it this way? Because when trying to drop the book off the side which would hit Russell in real life, it would get caught on beams which would have hindered the fall and it was difficult to get a clear and interesting shot. In retrospect, I should have relocated Russell in the first shot to avoid this problem altogether.
The second big break in continuity is that when Russell throws the book in the trash, there is no bag in the trashcan. This is because the bag kept falling into the can when Russell would throw in the book. To avoid this I took the bag out but I forgot it could be seen in other shots and did not re-shoot them without the bag in the trashcan.
These issues were mostly due to hastiness when shooting. I wanted to finish shooting by a certain time and thus tried to finish shooting as soon as possible. Ultimately this hurt my project in the end. Next time, I will be sure to relax and take my time shooting and setting up the shots. You can never spend too much time preparing or checking your work.
Scene Fragment Exercise
This is my first project for my cinematography class. The objective was to show a person waiting for someone else, the person being waited on shows up, and they leave together. We were only allowed 4 shots to show this sequence and it had to be as cinematic as possible. I also tried to add a bit of a story to my interpretation. I’m really happy with shots 3 and 4. I feel like they look the most cinematic. I also feel like I did decent job editing the scenes together in a cohesive timeline, paying attention to continuity, match on action, etc.
If I had to do this over again I would probably reshoot the first two shots. I would try to get a shallower depth of field in the first shot so that the first character is in focus but the background was not. I would also reframe the second so that it is more of a different angle than the third shot, I feel like they are just little bit too similar and I also feel like the second shot could be more cinematic from a different angle. As far as other criticisms go, the sound wasn’t very consistent throughout because I was using the internal mic. Were this a full length production, I would have used a different audio source. Also everything is just a bit too bright, I would probably iris down a tiny bit more given the chance to redo this project (Also I didn’t remember to white balance. Oops!).
Overall, I feel like I did a pretty decent job with this assignment. My partners were easy to work with and shooting and editing went by without a hitch. I am pleased with the end result and can’t wait to get started on my next project.