Production

The Secret of P2 Slating

Do this to see your editor weep with joy

Yesterday I shot a political spot with Simon Sommerfeld, a friend who saved the day after I pitched the concept for this no-budget spot to an agency that then said, “We’ll take it–make it as fast as you can for no money.”

Simon is a DP who just shot a feature in P2 using his Panasonic HPX-500 and he brought all his gear and a few crew people along at not much notice, totally saving the day.

He also showed me a great tip for keeping P2 clips organized in post which is particularly helpful as I’m doing the rough cuts.

The first frame of every P2 clip is the clip’s thumbnail, so if you have a slate in frame when the camera rolls you’ll now see that slate on the thumbnail. Simple but brilliant, especially as I haven’t used slates for most of my jobs for quite a while now. I tend to anticipate the roll so the director doesn’t have to call it, which is economical when shooting tape or digital and keeps things flowing nicely on the set. In this case, though, I had a little talk with the director and he realized the wisdom of pausing before rolling.

This is one of those “DUH!” tricks that one would hope one would think of oneself, except that one didn’t and as a result one is extremely grateful that others clued one in.

More on the production itself at a later date as I can’t say much about it until it makes its debut. It looks like it’s going to turn out extremely well, and a lot of that is due to Simon and his technical and producing help. (I wrote, produced and directed on this one so I was stretched a little thin. In the future I think I’ll stick with shooting.)


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Art Adams is a cinema lens specialist at ARRI, Inc. Before that, he was a freelance cinematographer for 26 years. You can see his work at http://www.artadamsdp.com. Art has been published in HD Video Pro,…

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