March 24, 2011

16mm film course: week 4


Well, filming a rehearsal. And the filming itself was, of course, a rehearsal for filming. The important thing is we rolled film. I’d almost forgotten what it was like to be on a film set, amateur though this one may be. The barely organised chaos as decisions are made, instructions misinterpreted, clarification sought, jokes made, equipment broken and scenes shot.

With a class this size, and the differing levels of expertise/experience, it’s sometimes intriguing just to watch it all. There are the guys (the class is all male, bar one lady) who know what they’re about, who have done a Film Production paper at the University or just have a desire to be involved in that particular aspect of film-making. There are the guys who, despite not having worked in film before perhaps, innately grasp the technical side of things. There are those (me) who tend to find themselves on the fringe, not having a specifically assigned task and not really knowing anything in particular but just wanting to help out and doing the best they can. And as much as you want to get in there, help out and look busy, sometimes the best thing to do is just step back, and get out of the way.

I may not have mentioned this already, so just to clarify: the course is going to call on us to film a short script knocked out by our course convener, Paul. We each have a scene that we will be rolling camera on; that we will, essentially, be DoP for. Our Tuesday nights will be spent filming, and there is a weekend shoot planned as well. This is the course. We will learn by doing which, for me, is awesome. Frankly I have little to no idea what I’m doing sometimes – I’ve said before I’ve never been on a shoot having to deal with lights and sound recording and now I find myself wrangled into the lighting department. Mainly because lighting seems to be the biggest job – making sure the scene doesn’t “look” lit, ensuring there’s enough light to see everything, but while also keeping it interesting and making sure everything doesn’t look flat. Add in to all of that that I have no idea what all the different lights are… well, it’s almost overwhelming. But hell is it fun. And my scene should be interesting as we'll be shooting night for day. I was hoping for soem beautiful, stark blacks to envelop the scene (it's a little spooky), with one sulphurous light but I don't know if that will be doable now. I guess I shall see!

Aronofsky. He shoots on 16mm


  1. Well, when the 2IC sound is shooting his scene next week, you can help me in the Sound Dept, if you like. We don't take long to set up, then have to help out lighting until they're ready. And I'll happily show you what to do (point mic there, stay out of shot: easy).

    Equipment broke?

  2. Yeah, you know, equipment always gets broken!
    And I'd love to be Sound Assist! It's all about the learning!