Wednesday, 28 October 2009

On location #5

Day five. We're back on set today at a few different locations and with a much easier day than last Friday.

First off the crew all met up at the studio to do what's called a pick-up shot, where we recreate a previous setting and reshoot something we either missed or that didn't work. On this occasion it was quite straight forward as it was a rostrum shot of a document we didn't have first time round.

This in the bag quickly we all had time for a round of bacon rolls.

Then we had what's called a company move, where the entire production team move to a new location. We had a quick shot inside St Leonards Police station, of Ian Rankin fame, involving a simple shot of a police officer, in situ, answering a call. Though it has a screen time of just ten seconds it takes a fair amount of time to set up, hauling equipment into the location, lighting it, directing the actor about the scene etc. A lot of work for just a few seconds.

Our biggest location for the day was at the Astley Ainslee hospital. First shot was in the grounds in a small forested area. We had five professionals from different jobs within the NHS line up side by side on one of the wood's paths.
We then rigged a large light, called an HMi within the woods to mimic sunlight streaming through. The sun was out but we didn't have time to wait for it to be in the position we needed, so lighting it ourselves was the best option. Then it was in with the Steadicam rig, set the camera to slo-mo which all combined to give me a nice slow track along the line of professionals.

We broke for lunch and on our return we were given two blank rooms that we had to make look like four different rooms; a physiotherapy suite, an occupational therapist office, a psychologist's room and finally a GP's room. With clever lighting and positioning of posters and plants etc, we achieved this to great effect. It could be looked upon as starting to look fake, as you look at the lights projecting venetian blinds on a wall mimicking sunlight coming through a window etc, but what would be more noticeable would be a large area of blank wall. It's these subtle differences that a good lighting cameraman/DoP achieve that make my life so much easier.

From 9am until we wrapped we had most of the volunteer cast on set, and though the majority of them enjoy watching the process it can be very boring sitting around all day. I am always aware of their time spent just sitting around, waiting patiently. One of our actors said at the end of the day that it had been interesting watching how it is all put together and what goes into just getting one shot. My thought would be, imagine being an extra on a full length feature film for three months with this kind of waiting around! Not something I could do. I very much appreciate these people's efforts and my thanks go out to them once again.

With all our consulting room shots in the can we had one last shot of the day using the Steadicam. We had to walk through two automatic doors and into the building, through reception then turn right into a corridor. One of our actors, John, who played the part of the GP, was to walk past, leaving the building, then one of our crew, Elliot, dressed as a nurse, walked in front of camera and away and we followed him for the remainder of the shot.

Wrapped by 5pm it was a good, successful and creative day.

No comments: