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Shootin’ the Red

April 13, 2009

I am not familiar with what the general consensus is on the Red camera, but it is a magnificent beast in person. Just the sheer bulk of it aided by the attachment of a sizable lens inspires a lot of awe. Fortunately for me, I was lucky enough to crew on an independent short entitled, “Lullaby,” that just so happened to utilize this beautiful piece of equipment. I only got a limited view of the footage, so I will post again later on the quality of the film, once the editing has gotten underway.

It was quite an interesting experience, as well as a testament of dedication and hardwork. The main part of the shoot was scheduled for 5 days, broken down into 2 days of filming and 3 nights of filming. The first day went from 7:00am to about 6:00pm, nothing like a good 11 hours to start off the shoot. The first day was cold, but not to be undone, the second day answered with the cold, and then one upped with a decent chunk of pouring rain. Luckily for me, my position was in audio (shot logging and lav monitoring). I will tell you there are benefits to being in charge of sensitive equipment.

However, the other members of the crew, such as those working in the camera department, had to prove their mettle. In the pouring rain, they moved a huge jib (yes, one quite bigger then the one pictured in the link) onto the roof of the cabin we were shooting at. Which was pretty ridiculous, but quite amazing. After two days of battling the elements, we then battled our own body systems to complete three night shoots. The first night shoot went from 1:30pm to 6:00am, the 2nd from 4:00pm to 7:00am, and for me, the third night went from 4:00pm to 3:30am because I twisted my ankle pretty badly earlier on in the night. I left early, and sadly missed the celebratory end to a very long production.

The film was written and directed by Eric Hurt who runs his own production company Pillage and Plunder Pictures, and was produced by Pat Cassidy of Who Do you Know Here, and shot by Johnny St Hours who also has his own picture company called Piraeus, also you can check out his blog Johnny St. Hours. I believe those three represent the bulk of film production out of Charlottesville, Va.

We also had the good fortune of working with a seasoned veteran in Jack Steinberg who was the assistant director, and has worked in Hollywood for over a decade (he was also an assistant director on a small film called Terminator 3). There was a wonderful cast that put in some brilliant performances. I mean putting up with the intense shooting schedule itself, is a performance in itself. The film has a short cameo by Mark Joy, but the intense performance by Jamee Vance is what will really give the bite to this supernatural thriller. The rest of the cast also put in great performances, particularly a strong one by the films heroine, Janey, a newcomer to acting on camera.

All in all, this was quite a thrilling experience, even though it definitely made me appreciate my passion for post production more. It is tough putting that much energy and sacrifice into a project like that, particularly when your job is not part of the creative process. But the ability to work with this crew and this cast certainly made this experience a valuable one, and I was very fortunate to be a part of it. For all I know, it may be the largest scale production that I will ever be a part of…but let’s hope not.

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