Friday, August 27, 2010


Did a brief day's work this week on a short film, called "Ethan" about a young boy and his father, played by a young boy and his father, Greg Nutcher (who was in the FITP short film "To Dye For").

Directed by James "Jim" W. Hawk (IMDB listing), and filmed by Tristan Douglas (whose mom Maria was in charge of wardrobe and props), I also did double duty on the film, helping with lighting.

Jim and Maria discuss set dressing and wardrobe for a scene.

Tristan positions the camera for a low angle shot. We obviously filmed on location, which was the actor's home in this case.

Me, with my super-awesome boom set up.

Cast and crew after successfully wrapping all the scenes with dialog. The next day the rest of the crew shot exteriors MOS, so I was wrapped for the project.

I'd gotten a voice mail while we were shooting about another project, which will be a short film in early September. So I'm keeping busy.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Photos from the weekend shoot

Here's some photos from the project we shot over the weekend. It's a pilot for "Jaki's Buzz", which we expect will be ready very soon. Don't worry, there's no spoilers here, except maybe for the fact that everyone worked like hell over the two days to successfully get all 19 pages of the script shot!

This is me in a totally posed shot, pretending to work the mixer that really never worked properly. We ended up recording directly to the camera, and used the on-camera settings to control the levels. To good effect, I should add.

Booming a scene, with Alex Winter on camera shooting actress Crystal Aya. As the production crew had no sound equipment available, I loaned the use of my low-budget consumer-quality equipment to the show.

Above, I'm using my Rode Videomic attached to the upper arm of a mic stand, which extended about six feet and made a passable (but not very lightweight) boom pole. I also used my Nady Duet Encore wireless lavs for several scenes, but they were just a bit temperamental, so we tried to use the boom mic as much as possible.

Colleen Ellis was the other part of the sound crew, helping with boom and utility. As I totally expected, she did a terrific job. That's Jaki on the right, listening to direction from off-screen.

"Ooh, donuts!" Actor Brett Epstein joins Crystal for a scene in a room, which is roughly the size of a largish refrigerator box. How we got six people in there, I'll never know!

On location during the second day of the shoot, Colleen stretches out the boom to get a wider, more open sound.

Cool photo of me booming a scene in silhouette.

The sound dogs at the end of the exhaustive but fun two-day shoot!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

A shoestring political ad


By "shoestring", I mean it cost absolutely nothing (other than a single mini-DV tape and the gas to drive there and back).

I shot this in under two hours at the location, then edited it for maybe another four, counting the extra time it took to recover the hour or so of labor when I accidentally deleted about half the nearly finished project because I was so tired!

I used my Canon GL-2 with my .5x wide angle lens, my Rode Videomic on a mic stand just out of frame for the interior shots and mounted on-camera for the exteriors. I didn't use additional lighting, but tried to work with the available lights. During the editing I used the Scorefitter music from Pinnacle Studio 11. I know I need a Mac, but that's way out of my budget for quite a while.

There's absolutely a few things I would like to have done to tighten the final video up and make it a bit smoother, but considering the very limited shelf-life of something like this, I needed to get it done and posted quickly to have any usefulness. The primary is only a week away, so I didn't have any time for extensive "tweaking".

Anyway, I was glad to do it for free. Kevin Lembo is one of those rare public servants who go above and beyond duty to help people in this state, and it was a real pleasure working with him on this project.