We shot at Chloe Angus’s dress shop yesterday. VERY NICE location. Gaelle and I had our cameras set to different colour temps (the first time we didn’t look at our LCDs side by side before shooting). Still, the actually lighting in the shop was somewhere between Tungsten and Daylight (actually a bit closer to Tungsten). So, I may be able to blend the footage if performance dictates (although the HVX does not handle any colour correction particularly well at 720p). No big deal, it’s documentary style!
Shooting in this style requires constant vigilance against the trappings and phrasing of traditional motion picture photography.
I don’t want to finish the scene and then “block the next scene” before lunch. This is anathema to creating something completely different and natural. This is also why I avoid using Final Draft to prepare these scripts. The “scriptment” feels different than the usual, and that helps ease the cast into a different approach…something just feels different…
THIS IS NOT THAT
I will, of course, continue to make films in a more traditional way as well. I love filmmaking and I have respect for the way professionals (Europeans in particular) make films.
But this is not that.
So, we avoid shooting out of sequence.
So, we avoid big crews.
So, we (try to) avoid long days (we try to keep every day between 2 and 8 hours MAX).
So, we use natural and practical lighting (a Chinese Lantern and a LOT of practical bulbs on standby for the occasional darkness in the eyes).
So, we avoid booms and use wireless mics (not quite as nice as a PROFESSIONAL Boom Op and Mixer, but the intimacy is worth the trade off when shooting this way).
So, we avoid wrapping cast and extras before the last scene (just in case inspiration hits or a story point gets added, or we need to reshoot an earlier angle).
So, we don’t “block” anything before I have a camera in my hand ready to roll, and ready to shoot the entire scene.
So, we don’t rehearse. I don’t want to see the scene played or the action blocked until I’m filming the scene (if we need to adjust the lighting, etc…then we’ll have to do it all again, but if we don’t need to make any technical adjustments, that FIRST MOMENT is captured on camera, and it feels different from each take that follows).
So, we try to avoid all of the trapping and phrasing and tropes that make a traditional set feel like a traditional set, and we try to create something unique and different, with energy and style and spark.
I think this is the most difficult part of the process, avoiding the usual.
Because I actually love the usual too!
But this is not that.