I had the great opportunity to shoot the second season of a web series called, “Pretty Darn Funny” which follows Gracie Moore, a mom who gets more than she bargains for when she forms an all-female comedy troupe in efforts to clean up the local comedy scene. Season 2 launched with this [really, really] silly parody of “Footloose” from the point of view of under-appreciated moms.
Last week I was hired to shoot some testimonials for an infomercial. We shot 13 people at a couple of beautiful homes over two days. We shot on the Red Scarlet with Zeiss high-speed primes (f/1.4). I had plenty of light in the lighting package but ended up using hardly anything for these setups. I’m still baffled by what we got and how we got it. The shots were gorgeous and high key; but because of the native 800ISO of the Scarlet, the high speed of the glass, the desire to have soft backgrounds, and the lack of ND filters, I needed to use so little light that it was almost disturbing.
It’s always interesting to look at a photograph or a scene in a movie and then look beyond the frame that’s been given. What you see is usually surrounded by a bunch of junk—equipment needed to make the image look the way it does. Take a look at these two shots from today, followed by a corresponding image taken from my camera phone while I was shooting. Yeah, yeah, I know.
On the particular Red One camera that we are renting, there is a knob on the back that keeps falling off. About every other day, it unloosens itself and decides to play hide-and-go-seek with us like an ejected hard contact lens of old. “Where’s that knob now?” is the scene as one, two or even three of us at times crawl on the ground looking for the blasted knob. We usually find it pretty quickly, and thankfully. This time, I didn’t know it was missing until our key grip, Evan, called and told me he happened upon it while cleaning out the bed of his truck. It was amazing that he even noticed it drop as he shook out a furniture pad. Saturday was Evan’s last day on the shoot but he graciously volunteered to bring us the knob to tonight’s shoot. The awesome part is that we needed to rent some last-minute grip equipment anyway and he was able to bring it to us because he was already coming down to drop off the knob. It couldn’t have happened a better way! Thanks, Evan!
Saturday, we were shooting on a road out in the boonies that the producer found where we could shoot a scene that was a bit more complicated than any other scene in the movie. He told us that “nobody EVER comes out here.” Well, maybe on any day except this one. Hahaha. It still makes me laugh as I’m writing this. To his defense, there’s no way he could’ve known—at least in the timetable we had to find a location and shoot. So after finally finding the location, we did a quick scout of the road. Three or four trucks drove by in our two minutes out on the road. As the rest of the crew showed up, we figured all would be well—a couple of passers by we could deal with. While we’re setting up the camera rig on the pickup truck, a couple of random cars came by into the parking lot we had setup as base camp (it was an old military camp cemetery). Okay, no big deal. We think, “Nobody ever comes out here, huh?” Little chuckles.