One week to go before my big shoot. The rehearsal process has been invaluable. Tomorrow night I’m rehearsing at the actual location. I find this to be essential because blocking like a stage play with pretend objects and furniture isn’t the same.
Once actors are in a real shoot location, everything feels new and distracting, so rehearsing with no crew or cameras with the real place with everything the same, we’ve got it covered. This also helps with the repartee with actors in that they have an even greater level of trust because they won’t be standing on those marks for the first time in front of the crew. I want there to be trust and solid foundation with me before the cameras, lights, crew, and other elements of a shoot surround and separate the actors from the director.
Now comes the fun part, creating a shot list and being flexible enough to change, re-arrange, accept, and work with other ideas. The formula for most directors is to be responsible for 50% camera, and 50% actors and performance. I tend to be 75% actors and 25% camera. I prefer to work with a camera person who wants a little more creativity and less interference, but understands telling a story with the camera. I want there to be a relationship between the camera angles and story, plus the emotion therein.
I’m bringing my A-Game to this shoot. This piece is another one of these ideas that’s been rolling around in my noggin’ for a while. I think my own skill set is more apt to pull it off than ever before, plus some of the people I’m working with are top notch in our market, like Greg Sabo. We’ve wanted to do something since my brief chance to work with him on the single day of Pick Up shooting on HORRORS OF WAR. He worked with John on his half and my sole experience was shooting the plane interiors and insert shots. Greg’s done many things that kick ass as a DP, so I’m looking forward to this.