September 8th, 2005


(no subject)

Much weirdness yesterday afternoon. My movie slate was destroyed in some bizarre crap/gravity accident, and I was both attacked by the anxiety fairy and hit with something that felt like the mental equivalent of an allergy. I ended up leaving work to try and hit Cinequipt before they closed.
Things just went downhill from there. I got stuck in traffic, got rear-ended on an on ramp (no damage, but freaky), missed my escape slot and got sucked into rush-hour traffic on 94. I never made it to Cinequipt, so I ended up just noshing my way up to Casa de Bruno for the next night of shooting (more later).

All in all, the day sucked a big throbbing rock.

Today, nothing is going as planned. I ran out of gas this morning, able to make it to the SA but late for work. And I really want sleeeeeep.

PREY: Day 4

I've kind of lost track of the days of shooting now. I think we're on day 4 of actual shooting, so I'll just call it that and go.

Arrived at Casa de Bruno sometime around 7:00. Late because of traffic, but as it turns out I was early for everyone else. Trey was there, and Tony, Kristi was coming from TKD and Sarah was on her way in some semblance of time.

First thing: as punchy and tired as I was, it turns out I was probably the least loony of the bunch. It was punch-drunk city, and there was a lot of laughter at the silliest things imaginable.

Then there was the ancient vampire tome. We didn't have one. What we had was a piece of chamois. Tony spent some time trying to find a sacrificial hardcover book (the paperback version was just silly), and finally found one that was perfect. Since I had bought a hot-glue gun a couple of days earlier and stuffed it in the grip bag, it was just what was needed, and I spent about an hour cutting and pasting and making this thing look like a book that had been around for a couple of hundred years. And dipped if it didn't come out looking just damn spiffy.

Lighting was something of an issue. I had replaced the bulb in the only practical lamp with a color-corrected fluoro so we had scads of light from that lamp, and I set up the china balls on C stands for reflected fill light. Tony wanted a warm look, so I ended up gelling one of them pretty heavy with a double CTO (kind of a flame orange). Since we were running short of time, I didn't bother with any other lights.

Remind me of those words later.

We shot something like seven pages of dialogue. There were numerous things that kept getting in the way, like technical problems with the microphone, traffic, muffed lines, etc. but we made it through and wrapped somewhere after midnight.

Then we watched the dailies.

First, the sound was exceptionally clean. Much happy about that.

But there were two lighting gaffes that I didn't like. The first was that I should have popped a small rim light on Trey. His eye light was great, but his head kind of flattened into the background because it was all pretty much the same color.
The second one was in the close up of Kristi, I didn't have enough light to give her eyes any definition, and it just looks muddy and dead.

Neither one of these is fatal. The performances are good; both Trey and Kristi are solid. It more bugs me bcause I should have caught both of these problems.

Figuring that I don't want to screw up again, I've identified a couple of things:

1.) I was running double duty last night as both lighting and sound, so my attention was divided. Sarah could have been sound and I could have devoted myself to lighting and composition. I also should have run the camera and let Tony concentrate on performance.

2.) I had the video monitor there. It would have taken a few extra minutes to set up. Instead, we followed the LCD viewfinder on the camera.

3.) I bought into the rush of time and tried to take shortcuts.

Okay, this particular issue is more oriented toward close-ups, but we do have a lot of close-ups in the movie.

I also need to be particularly careful when I'm fatigued, as I'm more likely to make mistakes. And this shoot is definitely one that is fatigue-inducing.