Monday, May 10, 2010

NFTKK diary #5: the shot list and the tech scout

Last week, the big things we had planned were a preliminary meeting with our Director of Photography (D.O.P.) John Tran, followed by a tech scout and then a production meeting. All of that went fairly well.

When we met with John, he wanted to go over our shot list with us and to get a sense of what he would be required to do. Katarina and I scrambled to get it detailed enough for his needs. We never did get it fully completed as we wanted, but it was good enough for him to have an idea of what to expect. He liked a lot of our ideas and seemed excited at the opportunity to try out a few things.

The next day, one of the locations wasn't going to be able to accomodate us as originally scheduled. But we went ahead with the scout of the first location anyhow, and figured that we could have a long lunch and production meeting while waiting for the next location to be free for us. Our gaffer wasn't able to make it, but we still had our 1st Assistant Director (A.D.) Louis, D.O.P. John and Art Director Rose.

When we got to that first location, the room that Katarina and I thought would be ideal because of the old-fashioned look to it turned out to be very problematic. Louis hadn't realized how small the room would be, and Rose saw all sorts of issues that we'd have to deal with in such a busy space. John came right out and said that he didn't like the look of the room, but he could work with it if necessary. But that meant that we wouldn't be able to do a lot of the shots we planned.

That's when I remembered that the artist studio on the top floor was also going to be available that same day. It wasn't what Katarina and I originally envisioned, but it was a larger open space. When we went up there for a look, everyone was much happier. We'd have to do a lot of our own decorating, but the size of the room gave us flexibility to create the right look and to do a lot more camera movement. Kat and I would have to rework some of the shots, but we'd be able to get most of the others.

We just needed to confirm that the room was indeed available for us. Sure enough, it was. So that was a potential disaster averted.

We went out for lunch and talked over a number of logistical things. Louis threw out all sorts of questions and John said he'd be able to send us an equipment list fairly soon. Louis wouldn't be able to join us for the next location of the Glenn Gould Studio concert hall because the time change ran into his previous engagement. But John had shot there before, so we knew it would be suitable for filming.

When we got to the hall, it was being used. But it was soon cleared and we were able to have a look. John had a few questions for the manager of the hall, but was satisfied that we could do what we needed done. He was also pleased to know that the tech that the hall had assigned to us for the day was someone he'd worked with previously.

The rest of the week was spent finalizing a number of details and personnel for the shoot days. That still isn't completely out of the way. But since we shoot later this week, we'd better get a move on it.

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