Saturday, 3:33pm: crew assembles at Chater Camera to pick up the bulk of the gear and load it into Simon Sommerfeld‘s truck.
We arrive on location at 4:00pm. The shoot occurs at the elegant Craftsman-style house of Craig and Diana, an unsuspecting Oakland couple.
Jono Schaferkotter directs; Art Adams DPs, Simon Sommerfeld gaffs, Devin Baker handles production design. Our talent is Bob Craig; Tim Blackmore and I data-wrangle and fill in as PAs. Paul Kalbach of Artichoke Productions and Art’s intern Ted Allen stop by to help and kibitz. Others wander in and out; sorry I didn’t get everyone’s name.
I set up the data-wranging area and “video village” (my 17″ Panasonic BT-LH1700W LCD) and run cabling to the RED. Art shoots an antique radio, and we snag the drive off the RED and pull the clips from it to ensure everything is working. Opened in REDCINE, the levels are good and focus is dead on. Production proceeds, and I have time to grab some pictures.
6:14pm: Art lines up a detail shot on a gorgeous music box. Note the blue gel; he’s shooting balanced for daylight.
6:15pm: Craig Thomas rides a finger on the disc to keep the drive gear from skipping while the RED ONE records.
6:18pm: Art moves closer in. Matte box holds a Schneider IR-cut filter.
6:29pm: The simplest lighting setup of the day: a simple ceiling bounce.
6:32pm: Art shoots both a lockdown and a slow pan of this toy streetcar.
6:47pm: “Negative fill” behind and to the right of the fishbowl enhances contrast.
7:18pm: A single Kino Flo illuminates the curio cabinet; Art checks…
7:19pm: …on the monitor as Jono discusses the shot.
7:21pm: Art preps. There’s negative fill to the right and left, while the foam core above keeps flare from the window out of the lens.
7:22pm: Pulling focus between the curios and Bob Craig, reflected in the glass.
7:38pm: Art goes in for the closeup.
7:39pm: The $18,000 Ultra Prime has been replaced with a $250 Lensbaby.
7:41pm: This free-floating lens allows a soft, vignetted, tilt-and-shift look.
7:45pm: Tim and Adam start schlepping the data off the RED Drive onto multiple FireWire drives, and we break for dinner. (photo: Simon Sommerfeld)
8:52pm: Art and Jono set up a shot of a ceiling fixture while Bob watches. Bob will be casting shadows on the ceiling, hence the downlight into a bit of foam core in the next room.
9:12pm: Lining up a shot of an antique camera.
9:13pm: A single Kino Flo is all Art needs.
9:13pm: The shallow depth-of-field of the 35mm-sized sensor helps focus attention.
9:34pm: Clips are being saved to two drives for Art, as well as a G-RAID for backup. Both Adam and Tim are keeping copies on their MacBook Pros, too.
10:02pm: Jono checks for lighting and composition…
10:02pm: …as Simon adjusts flags and nets to shape the light on the art card.
10:02pm: It’s the art card that actually lights the shot, and is reflected in the wooden cabinet.
10:32pm: Gracie, the House Dog, has had enough!
11:36pm: We rig the RED on a P+S Technik Skater Dolly for a roving shot of the TV.
11:37pm: It’s like a Hi-hat with three precise, individually-steerable wheels.
11:47pm: Art meters the screen. We adjust the TV’s brightness to match it to scene illumination.
11:50pm: The Skater Dolly can be moved with a light touch to the camera.
11:53pm: This is fun! (photo: Simon Sommerfeld)
11:54pm: Adam crouches low to avoid being seen in reflections. (photo: Simon Sommerfeld)
11:58pm: The footage (bittage?) is rushed to wrangling to check for problems. (photo: Simon Sommerfeld)
11:58pm: In REDCINE at 1:1, the image shows none of the TV screen moir© that appeared on the camera’s 720p preview output. (photo: Simon Sommerfeld)
Sunday, 00:57am: Art lines up for the final shot.
00:58am: Recording the final shot.
Once done, the drive is handed to the wranglers. Adam offloads it to the G-RAID, then hands it to Tim; Tim makes a second backup to his MBP’s disk, then both wranglers make additional copies to Art’s FW400 drives. Having two computers running in parallel let us transfer data twice as fast.
The location is struck and cleaned up, and as soon as footage is copied the drives are handed off to Art and Jono. Jono will edit; Art and Craig will color-correct the show.
Sunday, 1:56pm: four minutes shy of ten hours on location, we depart the scene, allowing Craig and Diana the privilege of sleeping undisturbed in their own house. Art and Simon are headed back to Chater (the gear is booked out later that morning, so it has to be back ASAP), but take the wrong exit from highway 24 to 580, headed into downtown Oakland instead of up to Emeryville. While I have since spoken to Art (who will be describing the shoot in more detail in his upcoming postings), Simon has not been heard from since…