Thursday, September 23, 2010

On Getting Decked

The portraits of a place assignment made me step back and realize something that I never quite noticed before. Something that probably annoys a D.P. to no end while on a set. Something that has probably destroyed projects, torn friends asunder, and laid waste to entire civilizations.

I think I might be too specific.

Kind of to the point of absurdity.

While I was shooting Decked with Matthew, I noticed that I was trying to control the camera too much. I mean, he was the D.P. after all, there's a certain amount of trust that needs to be given to them (unless they've shot utter crap for you in the past, in which case, why do you even have them back there in the first place?). I don't think I gave him enough breathing room when we first started the shoot proper. As time went on, I began to notice this, and started backing off some. There were a few takes where I told him to just do what he thought would look good.

And whaddaya know, I ended up using a good number of those takes.

I also fed my habit of letting the camera surprise me with this project as well. Some of the B-roll that I shot, I just stuck the camera in a spot that I thought would make something look good, pointed it at the subject, and went with it. No super precise framing, staging, or blocking. Granted, I wouldn't suggest someone shoot a whole production this way, but I do love keeping things simple and being pleasantly surprised for a few takes before going back to the strict stuff.