Monday, 6 January 2014

Adaptation shoot day (Sat 7 Dec - Producing & Directing)

Today, rising early at six, was the day to shoot our adaptation of Curious Incident: we went over to our location, the flat of fellow students Harry, Jesper and Alex. We met up, and set up for the first scene, where our father and main characters would be talking whilst watching the television. I was D.O.P, setting up the lights per the pre-planned specifications, as well as assisting Jack with camera duties. (The lights were Pampa, and brought the previous night via taxi).

At around 8 or so, our actors arrived, and Jack rehearsed with them while I finished up prepping. Before long, we got the shoot underway: in addition to our team of four, we also got help from the aforementioned inhabitants of the house, primarily in the sound department, with Harry and Alex taking the boom and recorder.

After about four takes, we then slightly re-set up for the next shot, shooting the same scene but from the side. After finicking around with the reflector board to find the right angle,, we got it in the can and moved on. Next was the scene where our main character is investigating the living room for his journal, and digging through the sofa. Once again, not a drastic lighting change, save for some more tinkering with the reflector.

With that done, we moved along to setting up for the hallway, a logical choice as it was right between our first and third location, the son's bedroom (as played in the finished motion picture by Harry's). here, only one light was required, right at the end of the hall. Here, we shot the scene of both our lead, and his father, entering the house respectively.

Next came a shot set in the kitchen, where our lead continues his investigation. Once again, just a solo light. And then came theb trickiest shot, and the one that ate into most of the shoot: the scene in the son's bedroom where he reads his seemingly dead mother's letter. The challenge of this was finding the right timing, in order to sync up with the recording we had done of the actress the other day in the Grove studio. After setting up the light in the room, absolute silence was demanded by our director, and we went take, after take, after take, with even the simplest creak, giggle or whisper botching the sound and concentration of the scene.

After what seemed like an eternity, we broke for lunch and set our father actor on his way. Our lunch consisted of a simple salad and some pasta, cooked by our producer Tara. Done, we then took care of the last major scene, which involved a careful synchronization of both pampa lights with our lead switching on the light in his father's bedroom, documenting the last phase of his investigation. This was broken down into a set of shots: the first handheld, track him as he entered. The second from under the bed, the third of him opening a draw and pulling out a tampon, the fourth him playing with said object, the fifth of him opening another drawer and the sixth, him uncovering the journal, along with his mother's letters. It was an exhaustive shoot, to say the least, lasting till about some time after six, and the heat brought on by the pampas in closed rooms was not exactly comforting, though not insupportable, by any means.

With that wrapped, we hired a cab to take the equipment back to Pat's residence (he and Tara would then return it on Monday), and we made our way home. Really, this shoot was straightforward and not overly complex, but time was the recurring issue, with shots taking longer than we, especially the bedroom scenes, and when you are working ina  warm environment for a long time, you inevitably start to feel a little drowsy and tired, and though this never slowed down us down, I feel it somewhat affected focus, though not to an absurd degree, and we slightly slowed down as a result.

However, the team worked smoothly, Jack handled himself well and was very thorough with the actors, and we managed to keep morale going strong throughout the day, and we extend a great deal of thanks to the flat owners, who let us use their place for the day and were willing to help out, as well as put up with our intrusion for so long!

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