Way to spend a Sunday

Yesterday I planned to have a lazy Sunday, but then I got a call from a gaffer I know. He needed an assistant for a short film shoot. Having nothing else to do I said yes.

The film was a low-budget short. Most of the department heads were professionals, but the assistants were high school kids. Because the scene they were going to shoot was kind of difficult the gaffer wanted a more experienced assistant as best boy.

The scene that was going to be shot was am interior of a bus. But, it was going to be shot against a green screen. Hence the lighting job was a bit more difficult. Originally the gaffer planned to have a HMI placed on top of the bus. Being the lightweight on the crew I climbed up on the roof. The roof was wet, slippery and gave in to my weight. There was also a sign warning us to walk or scratch the gas tank placed on top of the roof. This caused me to utter the sentence; “I don’t think we should place the HMI on top of a gas tank on the edge of a slippery roof of a bus.” Luckily everyone agreed. Hence we had to light it a different way than the gaffer intended.

We used two HMIs to light the green screen. We used Kinoflows and red heads to light the interior.

We used Kinoflows to light from the outside. Notice the rig. A frankenrig made of C-Stand arms.

I have not read a script, so I have no idea what this film is about. All I know is that it was a short film and it has a bus scene. All in all the production was fun. Though I wasn’t prepared for the hours! I thought it was going to be a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon. When I got home 2AM I was pretty tired.

Friday production: Input/Output 3

Every Friday the last weeks we’ve produced a live on tape 20 minutes TV-show for our class. This Friday was no exception. Today was the third weekly Input/Output show. Every week we rotate functions and responsabilities, and this week my responsability was lighting and set design. Being a rather heavy task we were a total of three people on this job.

The theme of today’s show was street art, and we wanted to break with previous set design which had been clean and neat, and create a rough set that reflected the theme. The result was a simple looking, rough set, with a mix of industrial and street elements, most of which we found laying around the storage room and studio.

We wanted to incorporate a skyline in the background, and we first thought of doing so by casting the shadow of a smaller cardboard model. Then we thought about maybe using projectors, but figured they would not be bright enough or enlage the image enough. The solution we ended up with was using redheads and pointing them at the crates and tall stuff on the set and letting it cast a shadow on the background. It required a little work on the barndoors to prevent it from spilling too much, but the result didn’t look all that bad. Not a clean outline of a skyline, but some figures that resembled and created a sort of skyline resemblance which was exactly what we wanted. Together with a rough set we though a rough looking skyline sort of background was just right.

Another interesting experience was having a graffiti artist in the studio. A canvas simply lit by two lights down to each side shooting up created a dramatic and interesting look. Worked well for the shots when he was not being interviewed.

Not happy with all of it of course, but all in all it turned out pretty cool. It reflected the theme of the show very well and it was something that broke with the previous set designs and tried out some new things.