Part of pre-production is testing camera and lenses. And since this is indie film, I hauled the main actress for the film along with me to do the tests. Since it’s my daughter and she’s not SAG, all I really had to do was get her a hot chocolate on the way…
Yesterday, I told Journey’s school teacher (her mother) that the lead actress was needed on set for camera testing.
So Journey and I loaded up film gear and snacks from Mommy, and headed out. Stopping only for hot chocolate with whipped cream (gotta keep talent happy).
|On set at the Cashiers Historical Society!|
At the Cashiers Historical Society, Journey explored a kitchen full of antiques while I tested camera and lenses.
Industry Note: If this were a studio film, I could never ask for the main actor to come to set for camera tests. Brad Pitt would be like, “Seriously?” But when the actress is your daughter, and it’s indie film, you can do things studio directors only dream about doing!
|Journey helps her Daddy with exposure tests on location.|
One big item for me was testing exposure. Check out the image above — Journey holds a gray card. This card is “middle gray” (which sounds like a place in Lord of the Rings).
Middle gray is part of the Ansel Adams zone system. It’s one thing filmmakers use to set proper exposure. The colored screen on the back of the camera is called “false colors” and it assigns a color to certain exposure levels.
|Journey also wanted to get behind the camera and study exposure.|
I’m shooting this film on the Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera using Sirui Anamorphic lenses. When we’re actually shooting the movie, the sets will be lit much better than a single light with no diffusion like I used for testing. But even with that, the resulting image is still pretty cool:
|The Journey holds a card for exposing to middle gray.|
See how wide the image is? That’s a 2.4:1 aspect ratio. You get this by shooting with anamorphic lenses. Wide aspect ratios give the film a more epic feel than a normal 16×9 frame.
So that’s a wrap for this update!
In the last email I asked for ideas on how to define all of you — Busy people who care enough to get into behind the scenes info about my film (thank you!).
A few responded with great ideas, but one idea ruled them all:
Virtual Crew from Jerusha Emerson.
I love it! Thank you Jerusha.
So that’s it, you’re now virtual crew. And calling you crew means you’re literally a part of the film.
Hey, maybe there should be a virtual crew section in the credits?
And as crew, you’re the first to hear this update:
We’re planning production for February!
Originally it was planned for September of last year, but that’s just filmmaking. You push ahead, one step at a time. It’s the filmmakers who never give up that get stories told.
Thanks for cheering me on. I really appreciate it.
And thanks for sharing the film! If you know anyone who would like to see more, send them here:
Next up I’ll show you completed costuming for Reckoning!
As you may or may not know, I'm a filmmaker by trade. And something is in the works that might interest you or someone you know! It's called Write & Direct, and if you want to make movies, it's your inciting incident. It's your catalyst in the journey of becoming a filmmaker. There's nothing else quite like it.
Launch date: 1st Quarter 2022. Find out more below.