Through My Eyes

Timing was everything.

Relief

with one comment

In my last post, I said some things about an individual that probably sounded harsh.  While I don’t have regrets regarding what I said, I do hope that this person took it as constructive criticism.

Yesterday turned out to be as smooth of a shoot day as any amateur director could have ask for.  Sure, Saturday was pure chaos with running last minute errands in the morning, crewing on another project during the day, and an equipment fiasco/mix-up during the latter part of the evening. BUT, everything worked itself out, and I finally got some sleep Saturday night.  *One thing I have learned is NEVER, EVER commit to being on a shoot if you don’t have enough sleep.  This is especially true when you are directing your own project.

Woke up early Sunday morning, drove to Berkeley to pick up some of the equipment around 7:30, met the crew at Fernando’s house by 9, and started the set-up process.  With only one hiccup (La Boulange’s manager forgot about the order he promised to put aside for me, so when Amie went to pick up the pastries, she had to raise some hell so that they would rush to put it together), we were off to a really good start.

It was difficult for me to get started, mainly because I really couldn’t gauge the extent of how much some of the questions would drain Fernando, emotionally.  (He’s done interviews before, but later on in the day, he revealed that they had never been this personal nor had they consisted of a full day of shooting.)  I started by asking him very basic questions, and luckily, his answers began to give depth into what he’s been through on a more intimate level.  It felt strange (and somewhat wrong) to be asking him certain things in a room full of people he did not know and had just met that morning.  To be so open about your personal experiences and hardships, I can only respect him and aspire to be that honest and brave.  I also know he wanted to go through with it because he has such an important message to communicate with the public.

We didn’t experience any technical issues (except for the fact that during the first data dump, we could not figure out how to transfer files with a USB connection – turns out we were in camera mode and not PC mode!), the crew was more than efficient, hard-working and so patient, I felt comfortable with the location and with Fernando, and we didn’t run into too many ambient noise issues.  It could be a different story when I go through the clips this week as I edit, but from what we could tell last night, we walked away with some amazing footage.

What’s exciting – Fernando talked about so many different things, I’m pretty sure we can turn this into a multi-faceted story, which is more than what we planned going in.  I have 9 days left to edit and polish off a rough cut before we screen at BDFI to the student body and faculty.  That is daunting.  With interning during the day, class at night, more shoots in between, and a two-day music festival this weekend, I am not seeing much sleep in my future.  I have to say though, this has been nothing but an incredible summer so far.  Yesterday was probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, and I felt so privileged to be able to work with such great people – especially my friend, Mark Bracamonte, who did an AMAZING job as DP and with such short notice.  Not only did he provide creative guidance for myself and Amie, he was reliable, so easy to work with, a joy to have around, and even brought a friend to help.  Could not be more grateful towards these guys.

Another thing I’ve realized since being assigned this project is how much I enjoy producing.  It’s mostly about making things happen and making sure everything runs as smoothly as possible.  I find it exhilarating working with businesses in the community to secure resources, collaborating with the crew to make sure everyone has a role and is satisfied with what they’re responsible for, and the sense of accomplishment felt after a successful shoot.  It’s one of the most rewarding roles I’ve ever come across, if not frustrating, stressful, draining…

*All photos courtesy of Deirdre Straughan.

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Written by winniewongsf

August 9, 2010 at 10:39 am

One Response

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  1. Great wrap-up of the shoot. Sounds incredible. Looking forward to seeing the final product.

    AVS

    August 9, 2010 at 11:32 am


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