Production Journal - ''These Days'' - Week 1



So we finished week one today (Friday). We actually only worked Thursday and Friday on a character’s documentary and student film (these will be movies in the movie).

We shot the documentary stuff on day one. It went pretty good; it was all mostly available light shooting (as it was a documentary). I used two cameras on some of it. I am a little concerned that the logistics of both cameras might actually slow us down more than help us. That said, the time we save in coverage is pretty substantial. The biggest problem was that we moved so fast we ended up 3 hours ahead of schedule. It was only a problem because the location we planned to wrap in could not close down until latter in the day (a coffee shop). We killed some time while the producers tried to get us in earlier, which they seceded in.

The only real issue was the matter of how documentary looking the “documentary” should look. I felt it should look pretty unrefined, but the director wanted it to look more polished. Fine by me.

The director and I are still feeling each other out. The night we wrapped day 1, he called to talk to me about the days work, and he expressed interest in having more input in the composition, but was nervous about offending me (I think some bad experiences in the past with other DPs). It told him I didn’t mind at all, and thought that he should frame it up in a way he was happy with, and I would then give my input.

That brings us to day 2. Day 2 went pretty good. It was a mock “student film” shot in black and white (we shot in color, but I turned the chroma on the monitor down to view a black and white image, and then in post we will make it black and white). All night interiors, so I had to black out all the windows. The director told me he wanted to make it look as good as possible with the equipment we had (a kino that I never used, a 650 fresnel, and some china balls). I mostly just used the china balls, and practical lamps. We were all really happy with the look of all of today’s work. The director was much more hands-on with the composition after our talk the night before, which I was totally fine with, and he seemed real happy with our coverage.

The only real challenge of the day was that I was working with less crew as some were off doing the load-in, but we really did not need much in the way of crew as we had “a light and a half” (as the AD would put it wink.gif ).

Tuesday we start back up and into the “actual” movie. It is a tricky location (really small), but I have some ideas . . . more to come.

I didn’t really take any pictures as there was nothing all that interesting. Here is one from day 1, just a character talking into two cameras during an interview. I was just augmenting daylight from windows with a Kino Flo just to give a little shape to the light, pretty basic.

Kevin Zanit