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Saturday, 31 March 2012

Filming Session 5: Finishing Principal Photography in the freezing cold. Friday 16th December

Shoot: Poulner Lakes

Date: 16th December 2011

Crew: Myself (Filmmaker)

Cast: Lydia Cresswell and Tom Verrept (Ribbon boy and girl)

Equipment: Canon 600D. Battery Pack. 32GB SD Card

Friday 2:35pm

After the lighting difficulties with the previous attempt to film the final sequence of the boy and girl narrative with the two characters coming together my focus going into this shoot was to capture that dramatic climax when the two strands of the ribbon finally connect. I didn't want a repeat of Moors Valley with natural sunlight disappearing rapidly after 4pm. Having managed to drag Lydia from her sick bed and out into the freezing cold I was aware more than ever of my responsibility as a director to work efficiently and quickly. I decided for this shoot i would use minimal equipment as taking the steadicam would slow me down and due to the increase in editing tempo and energy present as the video reaches its end it felt appropriate to turn to handheld in order to provide that kinetic quality. With handheld filmmaking not only a trait of dodgy homemade videos but an accepted technique in professional productions it felt appropriate to brave leaving the tripod at home and use one of the conventions of Alternative/Indie Rock music videos.

As Tom didn't finish school until 3:20 I used the extra time to re-shoot the tracking shot of Lydia looking at the images of the boy running and then going into the card with the aim to create a seamless transition between the two moments. Although this shot is something of a gimmick I really wanted to have something in my video that was technically impressive and innovative. Taking inspiration from the clever yet playful ideas Indie bands such as Metronomy have used in their videos. However for it to work the close up tracking shot needs to be as smooth as possible otherwise the photos on the ribbon will just blur. Thinking on my feet a little, I set up the strand of ribbon against my white garage doors and then constructed the track and dolly alongside.
 When comparing two shots from both sessions it becomes clear it was worth the re-shoot..

Filming at Poulner Lakes went relatively smoothly. However with the idea to show both characters emerging from the woods and into a clearing it meant I had to be economical with how i shot the limited wooded area we had. Ultimately having begun editing I knew that in reality this section of video could last no longer than about 20 seconds and so I didn't go over board on shots showing them traveling through the forest. Happy accidents often occur during filming and as a filmmaker i've become more and more comfortable going into a shoot not relying on a completed storyboard, for me it can be more effective working instinctually. This way there's no excuse to switch off and not be looking for trying different things out. The two distinct things that came out of this shoot was to have both Tom and Lydia spot each other on the point of brushing through the last branches, I liked how their body language within this action mirrored one another. I also liked capturing the meeting of them stepping into the same frame from a low angle wide shot. The sun had just gone behind the trees and the shadows casting them in silhouettes worked perfectly.

The lighting on Lydia at the end was also fantastic, almost pure Jane Austin as I finally came close to replicating that golden lighting in Warpaint's video.

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