Dualogues Day Seven, The day of the shoot. (Working with actors) 7/02/14

by weslar

Today is the day, we are filming the Dualogues – from the day before we set out the first set which gave me, Josh Ward and Samuel Summers the chance to set up cameras, the actors started to rehearse.

After we had all the equipment out which consisted of 3 Canon DSLRS (2 60D’s and 1 600D), a marantz kit with directional mic, boom pole, 2 dolly systems and 1 tracking system.

We have a projected image of sky that would be seen through the airplanes windows but the image couldn’t stretch the length of the plane and wasn’t visible if we had cameras on both sides, we shot each actor individually (still filming as a multi-cam project) and worked our way through a few takes for each with all 3 cameras focused on that person, 3 takes for James, 2 for Joe and we took a few wide angle shots with a manipulated view of the plane so the projected image outside would be visible, for this we took 4 takes to get a variety of movements.

For the next scene we had to have 3 cameras all in operation, but that would be a problem – there is only 3 crew members and we still needed someone on sound duties, Dave Hill helped us out and became our Sound technician for the rest of the shoot.

We move on to the second set, we were all working on moving the first set out of the way and setting up the second as fast as we could, and with that we moved the cameras into position for our first few takes which we got with both actors in shot, since we didn’t have to worry about a projected image. Myself and Sam worked with the actors to get them framed perfectly and we set their markers on the floor with bits of tape, Josh did the same but from a distance to capture from their heads to their feet, and he tracked right and left peering through book shelves to make the shot look unique (because it was set in Bruce’s library).

We did these shots for a few takes and moved my camera as well as Sam’s for close ups, and Josh took his camera and put it on my DSLR rig to film over both actors’ shoulders.

Moving on to the final set-up we had to completely empty the space of everything, put the curtain around and project the image of Gotham City on the background, we lit our actors and managed to get some nice light that would complement the theatrics of the scene, the characters are distancing themselves from each other and the vast emptiness of their surroundings helps lock that motif in, they both give a great emotional performance and with that we made them do the scene multiple times so that in the last hour that we have to film would have as many takes for this scene as possible, which will be better for us because we will have plenty of angles to choose from and have their performance become better each take.

After their emotional scene we called the end of shooting, and began to relax and progress with the next step, I put all the footage in their own folders, each camera has one with a label of who the camera was looking at during the scenes, so my camera is number 1 (Bruce), Sam’s was number 2 (Alfred) and Josh was camera number 3 (wide,etc), I also added sound in its own folder – when it comes to editing I will sit through the clips and rename each one with their respective scene names and in those folders the shots that were taken.

I think one thing from past experience that has helped make the filming of this a lot easier would be the combined knowledge of learning from difficulty and sometimes failure to finally have a filming days flow smoothly, without any confusion or uncertainty.

From this I learnt more about set building than I ever did, a bigger improvement on the set we built the previous year for a film I did called ‘Panic’ we thought more creatively and outside of the box to conquer problems as they appeared.