Firstly, I’d like to say, you know when you write a post, save it in the wordpress app as a draft because you want it to be really good and then when you come back to edit it got deleted because the app is abysmal….yea….
We were so lucky that our shoot had to be dragged out across the weekend. I’m really happy that we postponed the night shoot from Thursday to last night – it really allowed for a better flow and a better performance from cast (and crew). Putting my producer hat on, it’s definitely one thing I will remember to consider when scheduling shoots in the future. Working at the venue, indoors first meant that we were more relaxed (we also had much less to shoot). It also allowed the Director a greater opportunity to work with the cast on their performance.
It was just better then being out, in the cold, worried about the rain and trying to keep everyone else happy and get on with doing our own jobs well.
The shooting experience just goes to show that watching and listening can only help you so much. To really learn how to make a film, you have to make a film. Having been involved with some shoots before I definitely had some great experience to bring to the table, but AD-ing, and working on our own shoot has taught me the most.
– the DOP and Director need to have faith in one another, and themselves. The DOP needs to be confident that they can produce great shots, and the Director needs to have confidence in them also.
– taking a five minute break to step back from the situation is not a bad thing at all, and may speed up the process in the long run
– a good first makes everything ten times better (ours were amazing thanks Ella and Michael). Being able to say okay, lets run through lines and let he crew set up, or just take over when the Director needs to deal with stuff is the best AND they keep the shoot running to schedule (invaluable!)
– those extra people; the slaters, the one’s who maybe just stand around are always useful. Even having makeup girls sit with the van while we go and do a take around the corner is something that I did not think of but would have been stressed out of my mind if I didn’t have. Even the Slater is important! Last year, I helped out on a pilot, I was a first year, and I was a keen bean – I felt like my potential was not fully utilized when all I had to do was slate, however, I now realize that is important and you neeeed those extra people. Always.
– if you’re the one doing audio, continue to check the levels on the camera. It’s not enough to presume that just calibrating I and checking it when you turn it on, and then back on again is enough. More needs to be done…. good thing I got those wild lines….
Having a calm and relaxed crew and cast is an amazing thing. As are the extra people on set who are there also to keep balance and ensure that no-one cracks it at another group member.
The second day of shooting was much harder, but a challenge we were ready to face after a break and being able to analyse our footage and our personal performances on set. A team conversation after the first shoot was positive and productive in providing feedback to each other about how we could work better, more efficiently, and more professionally as individuals, and as a team.
We concluded that I needed to let go more and keep my mouth shut about framing suggestions (as vetted as I am in my script and in the production), and that the DOP and Director needed to work separately. Nina needed to be confident in what she was shooting and how – not needing to ask and check every frame with Caley. This resulted in a much smoother, and better quality shoot on Monday night, with really great footage to show for it.
The conclusion I have come to is that everybody should try and get on a set before shooting their own work to see and understand how crews work well, and maybe even how they look when they’re falling apart.