I've joined a 48 hour film challenge
team and will be the Director of Photography (DP or cinematographer)
on a short film being made this weekend. Initially I was contacted to
do sound. Luckily I had just acquired sound recording equipment and a
boom pole and microphone. Then the DP had to drop out to take a
paying gig (can't blame him for wanting to get paid) and I was bumped
up to the DP role. Yeah me. But this also meant that some of the
camera gear I had on my list needed to be acquired more quickly so
I'd be ready to shoot.
|[Canon T2i with Magic Lantern, a cage, follow-focus, matte box, and shoulder mount rig]|
I've been taking various parts of my
life that I'm not using and converting them to money on eBay to
finance the filmmaking venture. As I mentioned I have sound recording
stuff now and with these acquisitions, I should be able to shoot some
video 'footage' and have it look pretty good.
At least that's what I'm planning on
happening. The world of cinematography can be tricky and I make no
claims to being be best at shaping light or creating the best shots.
I know about coverage, crossing the line, getting things in focus and
hopefully enough about lighting and camera movements to get something
usable and possibly even good. But I'm still somewhat nervous.
I've come a long way from March of 2011
when I made the choice to pursue filmmaking. I'd spent the last 15
years doing IT work and I was pretty satisfied with all of that. I
mean, I'm a big old geek that does like playing with computers and
since I was getting paid for it, all the better. But after two
layoffs in two years, I felt it was time to re-evaluate what I wanted
to do. So I took some re-training time and money and went to Seattle
Film Institute to learn how to make, edit, and write movies. And I
think I did a pretty good job of absorbing lots of information and
taking advantage of the opportunities to get experience. I found that
I do like the standard writing and directing that every film maker
aspires to do. But I also really like shooting the film (or video)
For a year after film school I was able
to work full-time as an editor and DP and just about anything else
they wanted me to do (build sets, move storage, investigate color
correction systems, etc.). But that job is over and now I'm revamping
my skills to include more graphic design, multimedia, motion graphics
and 3-D animation.
A lot has happened since March of 2011.
Much of it good and some of it bad. I collaborated on a short film
that got into the Seattle International Film Festival. I went to film
school. I spent all of my retirement 401-K. I got to work on some
amazing projects during 2012 and 2013. I had a small nervous
breakdown. My second marriage ended. I went through a four month
period that was the most painful time in my life.
I built a lot of bridges over the last
three years and I'm sure I've burned a few too. Didn't mean to but
I'm sure it happened. But now I have a new life, new school, and am
building toward creating things with film and video.
So this is the first film project since
my last job ended (OK, it's the second, but still the first as DP).
I'm taking steps in the right direction and moving forward.