This past weekend the film crews had a technical workshop. During hands-on, 1-on-1 sessions, they got a chance to get acquainted with their roles in their teams and the equipment being used during runthroughs at Bryan Fowler's house. We addressed issues like filming style, camera-shy subjects, getting b-roll and the interviewing format among others.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I'm at home listening to a Norwegian pop/rock group on iTunes. The last few weeks have been a big journey, but all inside my own mind. I've taken a couple of days off of my work each week to focus on preparation for my responsibilities as director. S T O R Y—how do the characters, what you choose to shoot, how your team behaves, and even how you move the camera, help tell the story?
So, these last two weeks have found me absorbing as many ideas as I can, immersing in the project. I've talking to people (characters, crew, my Producer and Director of Photography) to glean from their fruitful minds. I've researching for hours on the internet topics as obscure as, "who are Mall Santas? how do they get jobs? who hires them? what is their training and qualifications? can I hire a Santa in Norway?" Mmm, maybe not so much that last question.... Also I've watched films. It seemed like a good idea to watch a doc film on making doc films*. What does all this mental work lead to? Because, often it seems as valuable as talking to oneself in an empty room.
It starts to pay off when you can see its practical application - being able to say "yes! we could weave this character's story in like this, and we DO want to shoot this but NOT this." Or, "we definitely need to move the camera like this, and get this angle and this camera movement for this part of the film. For example, the Norwegians have this shooting style that is really sweet, lemme show you..." Wait. There are those dang Norwegians again.
Hmmm. Norwegians. Norwegians? What do they have to do with Black Friday? Ahhh. iTunes. Dang it! I gotta stop listening to iTunes while I work. I think it might somehow skew the project.
*It was actually a great idea by the way. Check out the DVD "Capturing Reality."
Friday, September 3, 2010
I've also touched base with some fantastic people over the week. I had a long conversation with documentary filmmaker Paul Kim. Paul is a guru of social commentary docs. I was able to gut-check story concepts and production ideas with him. His insights really helped focus my story objectives.
Some of the other amazing people are Ellen and Candy. I met them at Niedlov's (a local bakery) for an afternoon water and snack. Not only was their acquaintance a pleasure, but with their help, I feel a lot more solid about production and securing great retail venues like Hamilton Place, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Toys "R" Us, etc. It's awesome to talk to people that are just as excited as you are about your project!
We've got a logo in the works. Kris-to-pher Haughton (kristopherhaughton.posterous.com) is taking up social media torch. Tom Wentworth is supplying solid advice from his NBC Studios experience. Stephen Tilstra carving moments out of his busy life to contact locations. And my producer, the dreaded Stratton Tingle (twitter.com/strattontingle), is kicking butt and taking names.
High-ho September! Happy Birthday to me!