Sunday, August 20, 2006

Up Close and Personal - Camera

Nick is the Director of Photography and clearly one of the single most important people on the set. It is a joy to watch Nick work. It is great to see Mark describe the effect or mood that he would like to achieve and then to watch Nick get to work figuring out shots, lighting, angles, actor positions, etc. In many ways I stand in awe of Nick because he has this natural talent for making the dramatic shot that I find so elusive. I expect there is more to that than a simple matter of experience.

Adam is the 1st Camera Assistant or Focus Puller. So much about shooting a scene of a movie is about choreographing all the action into a unified whole. This includes the obvious (actors movements and lines), the not so obvious (camera movement), and the subtle (what part of the scene to focus on at what point in the action). Focusing the camera is important enough so that there is a person specifically assigned to adjust the focus as the scene progresses. This is rehearsed just like lines and movements. Adam is friendly and kind-hearted and has used his big SUV to haul a number of things out of ditches (and ponds).

Laura is the 2nd camera assistant and operates the clapper board. She ends up on practically every take we do. Despite long hours Laura is always upbeat and has a kind word for anyone who chooses to engage her in conversation.

Ben is the grip. He is responsible for the dolly, associated track, and other camera hardware. Ben is not shy of the camera.


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