View Post

Random Memoir: Arthur Kane and the Puffy Shirt

In Notes From the Set by Rod Santiano2 Comments

This scene in New York Doll always gets one of the biggest laughs… and to think I almost missed it! Back in 2004, I was shooting the first documentary I had ever worked on called New York Doll. I did it as a favor for a colleague and friend, Greg Whiteley. Little did I know at the time that it was going to be a bit of a big deal. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should check it out.  It’s available on Netflix.  So there is this scene in the movie where Arthur is getting ready for the concert at Royal Festival Hall in London. We see him previously talking about what he might wear to the show and then we see him emerge from the hotel lobby elevator with the above pictured “puffy shirt.” (I actually, only now, looked up a photo from the Seinfeld “puffy shirt” episode and never realized how close to the shirt this actually was.)

View Post

The Only 2 Things Billy Joel Ever Said To Me

In Notes From the Set by Rod Santiano4 Comments

“This is it?” and “I need some space.”   One mildly annoying thing about the film industry is that, regardless of how simple a shot may be to get, you almost have to put on a big to-do to make the producers feel like they’re getting what they paid for. Sometimes, if given a blessed situation, all you need to shoot a scene is a bounce card or nothing at all. But take a few hours to put an 18K HMI through a double 12×12′ silk and now you’ve got a production even the biggest movie star can be proud of walking on to! Maybe I’m exaggerating… or maybe I’m not. My point is, sometimes you really don’t need much of anything to get a good looking shot.

View Post

Shooting Robots in Sub-Freezing Temperatures, Part II

In Notes From the Set by Rod Santiano3 Comments

Well, I didn’t have to bear the -8ºF temperatures after all. We were able to get the shots we needed in the “cooler” rather than the freezer. Someone is watching over me, for sure. In my last post, I mentioned a sequence of the project that I referred to as the “life of a pallet” and had wished that I could show you some video. Here it is below. I’m at the Chicago Midway Airport right now writing this post and have a few hours to wait for my flight home so I quickly cut together something for you to look at. I have not color corrected this and I don’t have headphones so the sound is just what it is. Most of the footage you will see was shot at 6400 ISO with existing lighting—which wasn’t much at all. It was pretty dark in the cooler. The shots in the loading dock were shot at either 800 or 1600 ISO. The 6400 ISO footage is pretty noisy, but I can’t complain too much because other cameras would’ve probably been a lot noisier.