Friday, November 30, 2007

the good feeling at the end of the day

we were at the park and ride at 6:15 this morning. the twelve hour turnaround doesn't really apply on this show, and since we're so small, i think people are generally ok with that. we arrived the slc airport around 7, and it seems that if you know who to talk to, it's not all that difficult to shoot at an airport. though the cloud cover didn't give us much light to shoot with until about 8:30, but it was nicely diffused, giving a nice look to those four shots. plus, we were able to get enough distance to get a shallow focus, which i like.

brian commented that being in movies often takes you to places you would otherwise never see. we sent everyone else back to the provo airport and we jumped in a truck with the chief operations supervisor and drive far out to on the runways to get shots of the planes taking off and landing. remember in 'wayne's world', when they hang out on their car under the planes landing? yeah, it's pretty loud.

back in provo we were mostly in a small private jet. as a student, the concept of lighting the whole scene for the master and then only needing to tweak for the close-ups seemed impossible. but today we took time and lit the whole plane on both sides, including a green screen in front of the cockpit, then just shot everything. i considered which side to light from based on where the sun would be coming from if you were flying to indonesia, dismissed in favor of actor placement, then reconsidered it as the effects guy suggested the sun placement, and chose to do so upon review of the blocking. it's also a new feeling being the one the effects guy is talking to, him asking me my ideas for shots and asking me how i'm going to light this or telling me how i can best do it to make the compositing work. two weeks ago i was the runt in the darkroom; what happened? [don't worry, i'll be the runt again come spring, and that's fine]. jumping from shot to shot inside the plane, i would have liked some time to touch up each shot, but we worked a long day yesterday and all of us, myself included, wanted to get out in a good time today. looking back over the last three days, we've rarely waited on lighting very long. i suppose some people with 'asc' after their names would tell me i should light until it looks good and defend myself, but, as i write this, i think they would also say that you have to learn to work within your constraints, and i feel good about my ability in that.

walking up the stairs this evening, i wondered how it was that the d.p.s on the disney movies i've done don't seem more worn out at the end of the day. well, one, i probably don't look as beat when i'm leaving set, either; the rush hasn't left yet. second, they have a crew of 10-20 working under them to shoot 3-5 pages. i have to do 7-9 pages with three people. three people for whom i'm very grateful and am happy to be working with. and they're quite good. i sometimes wonder how much of their work they end up doing, and i either say 'yes' or 'no', leaving me to ponder if i should be asking them for ideas more or less. i think it's good to be collaborative; film is extremely collaborative. ask anyone to describe a job on set and you could easily ask 'doesn't the ______ do that?' and, most likely, yes; the duties overlap and fluctuate, and that's fine. while i could ask ryan to start lighting a scene if i'm unavailable, he would do an excellent job, but when he would ask my opinion, there would be things i like and things that don't work for me. and if he were given the same equipment, he'd probably do it totally different than i do. everyone has their style. certainly, i'm still developing and refining my style, but i think i tend to light bold and contrasty, which comes from my fear of being too flat and dull [though those still tend to sneak in at times]. if this sounds at all boasty or braggy, please keep in mind that being an artist brings with it constant self-introspection and sometimes you have to declare 'i'm doing a fine job!' just to keep from cutting your own ear off.

i'm hoping that things will slow down in hawaii. one advantage to living out on location is that when you are separated from your life, you can't try to live it. all you do is film, which means there is less of the real world to compete for your time.

we go to hawaii in 30 hours and i have to first shoot out 11 and a half pages.

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