A fisher 9 on a sled dolly, on beam track for negotiating wet uneven terrain at higher speeds with long lenses
Finding the right location can take effort, but here it was well worth it!
Manhandling a camera from the days when everything was made of metal and each day ended with aleve
Jimmy Jib at near full extension (I have no idea how I came to be standing like that)
Crispus Attucks grabs the bayonet of a Regular. A resin bayonet is used for actor and crew safety
Snow machine combined with haze and smoke
In real life snow acts as a bounce source. Placing white sheeting on the ground helps in creating that same effect of diffusing the source.
bungi rig in gator
The joy of a spinning mirror, glass optics, an eye piece heater, and that low hum of film during pulldown
Attempting to get to a stop of F-11 (sometimes an F-22 is required!) with low asa film stock. Much easier these days with high asa digital cameras, and intense, but still cooler LED lights. Years back Clairmont Camera suggested their Zeiss 100mm macro was the go-to recommend lens due to great resolution and contrast when stopped fully down.
International campaign for Seiko watches using Milo Motion Control with 35mm Mitchell camera (due to it's precise pin registration. Back then an optical view finder provided the best view on set, but navigating through a maze of C stands to get there was a huge ordeal.
These days 24p is a feature of most every camera. Back in 2002 the Panasonic DVX100 was a game changer. Small enough to rig easily, cheap enough to have multiple cameras a on low budget shoot, and that flip out viewfinder worked great for handheld.
24.5mm Elite anamorphic lens. A lens almost impossible to filter without having a mattbox bigger than the camera itself
Pyro at night using a dana dolly, which makes small moves easy when every piece of metal you touch is at zero degrees
Night lighting with 6k par and flame bars and trying to balance the two
Sometimes you climb the mountain (or dune) to get the shot, sometimes the shot is right in front of you…prepare for either.
Shooting a scene featuring a 'Crankie' for the Yorktown Museum
PBS 'For Love of Liberty the Story of America's Black Patriots' (WW1 reenactment) Lots of real barbed wire at this location and ground of shale. This translates to all the crew in torn clothes, and constant cleaning of cameras
Military Channel 'Triggers: Weapons that Changed the World' reenactment
So much easier today with digital outputs on the camera that near the clarity of the image shot. Way back everyone on set relied on video taps when shooting film. Standard defination, and possible flicker required great reliance on the optical viewfinder.
Somewhere in Death Valley
All week we wondered if we could have a quick ride in that tank and at the last moment they gave us one
Brilliant lenses with gorgeous coatings to shoot peeling paint and fading colors.
Keeping the floor free of stands for 360degree steadicam coverage
3 camera “Cinerama” rig
Wheel chair rig for slow mo shot on buckled sidewalk
Hand held is half finesse and half weight wrangling, though when the lens is huge and heavy you often need to add weight to the rear…so here using a 1000' mag…it was then balanced but weighed a ton.
The innate ability of an actor / actress o find their key light always brings a bit of joy and relief
Waiting in the backlight
Yes, I agree those wires are mess. The shot looked good but traversing the set was a nightmare.
Finding potential shots during a location scout
A 'free' location might translate to; always have a few n-95 dust mask in your set bag
Most every camera operator loves a gear head. Universally, every camera assisstant hates carrying one
Ladder Pod. Always a concern when working close to wires due to the potential of electrical arcing, not so much the case here as everything is static, but especially concerning if wind might increase, or moving objects such as jibs are involved
Day for night in 100 degree heat under visqueen. If one thing is clearly understood about modern digital cine cameras is that they 'love' heat and moisture…so those extra safety takes might just become 'the take' but that said when was the last time you heard 'going again there’s a hair in the gate'?
One last meter reading during last looks. One aspect of using a light meter; if you wave it around enough you will find the stop you like:)
Wearing black tends to hide the reflections but grey / silver hair does the opposite
Hair and makeup for historical projects are at the heart of the look of a project, and today with 4k, 6k, 8k, and beyond, every small detail can be scrutinized
If the ground should portray that a bombardment has occurred, get a tractor. Dirt, weeds, trees and other greens are part of the 'look'
Actor portraying Andrew Jackson for The Hermitage
Preparing to film Patrick Henry's Second Virginia Convention Speech
Scene illustrating the need for the 4th Amendment (secure in your papers)
At times a dolly is suggested for cutting from the budget (especially in the past few years where gimbals seem to be on every set) but for working those ever so slight adjustments of bumping up or down a few inches, a dolly really proves its worth
Nicole, makeup extraordinaire
If i've earned on thing over the years about makeup; schedule and shoot those scenes early. Heat from lighting, sweat, as well as movement diminishes the lifespan of the appliances
Great makeup by Nicole
A metal base was created with cross runners for stability. Beam and Cross were kiln dried, but even after the drying process the entire weight of wood was still several hundred pounds, and the weigh of the actor adds even more weigh, but weight that is off center, so designing this out required more consideration than you would think
Shooting against green screen is common and provides a lot of advantages. BUT, there can be issues when using smoke-haze. In this instance I had high resolution backgrounds created on paper and fabric (I think the pixe of the digital plate was approx 19k wide). Using these printed backgrounds allowed use of atmospheric effects, but also aided in composing, adjusting focal depth, and providing a look that I feel would have been much harder to achieved if done in post
Not exactly sure why I'm still wearing a jacket in the studio, but having extra pockets does make a shoot run smoother.
Learning lesson: when attempting to lift fabric with a wind machine, realize that murphy's law is ever present, and the best moments are during rehearsal, but elusive during the actual shot
In spite of heat, cold, rain, snow, bugs, living out of a suitcase, and long hours – if you still wake with excitement about what you can do…keep doing it.
That's a wrap