Wednesday, 21 October 2009

On location #2

Another long day, but a very productive one, and the first day with actors.

We were all on set for 9am, which was once again back in the studio. Today we had various actors who will be playing parts in drama scenes at a later date, turning up to be filmed rotating on a turntable. First job is to get there central line of their body, from the middle of their head and down through their torso, to be exactly in the centre of the rotating platform. Then the camera's focal plane had to be set to match exactly.
In short, when the platform is rotated we needed the person to remain central on the screen and not drift off to the right or left. Sounds simple, but it takes a while.

So we're ready to shoot, we start the camera and the cameraman shouts "speed" (the camera is running at the right speed) and we rotate the platform. We film this in slow motion, the same way we did yesterday, in order to end up with more frames and thus the ability to make the shot twice as long when we come to edit.

There was a visual special effects shot to start today as well. In one particular scene of the film we have a brain superimposed on the side of someone's head. So today we filmed the person who will be the human element of this. As they rotated we brought them to a halt side-on to the camera, then zoomed in. In the edit we will then match a digital version of a brain to the same rotation and make it appear gradually, when we will see small electrical impulses firing off at various places in the brain. This will be achieved by the genius Smeegs, our post-production wizard.

Next up I had interviews to do with several people who were not actors, but represented real carers of people with dementia. It's difficult as director, and interviewer, not to be come emotionally involved, but that said it's also a huge privilege to be in such a position of trust to be able to ask these questions and share these people's stories.

My next task was to listen to actors recording voiceovers in the sound booth. The finished film will be entirely narrated, and the visual scenes will depict what the narrator is telling
us. This is because the end
result will be translated into several different languages, and so by having the film entirely narrated it makes it easier to translate, and subtitle, into as many languages as we need. However, to create a little change on occasion we have several actors talking as if they have had a personal experience of what is being described, and though we don't se their faces, it gives the viewer a change from the main narrator, and adds depth to the finished piece.

Finally we mocked-up a meeting room and filmed a carers support group chatting through one or two problems. We were wrapped for the day and cast and crew could head home. Myself and the producer then had our end-of-day two hour meeting on progress to date, and started planning for tomorrow, which, weather permitting, is all outdoors at various locations.

No comments: