Notes on collaboration

I think I have talked a little about what collaborating on projects has been like throughout this semester, but not as much as I’d perhaps like to, so I thought I’d give this its own bit of focus before I get too busy with editing and reflecting on my own individual work.

For the more recent film projects (ie. not class exercises) I have helped crew on Mimo and Sam’s shoots. Mimo also acted/modelled for me for my first shoot, as well as let me interview her briefly about her clothes, and then Sam did the same by acting in and helping with shoot number 2.

The first thing I did was shoot Mimo at RMIT for some experimental projects that I was using to learn how to best replicate Wright as a director. I also had Mimo bring some of her clothes that reminded me of the fashion you would see in 80s teen flicks, since this was something I had a focus on at this point, and was my reason for asking Mimo to be in front of the camera. I love the way she dresses and knew that in order to take influence (in terms of character) from John Hughes, which was a criteria I had set for myself, I’d need help and Mimo was perfect. My first shoot consisted of just me behind the camera and Mimo in front of it, but I think it did teach me a lot about the benefits of a compliant and willing actor/partner. Mimo was so great and knew exactly what I wanted, even bringing a coat I’d commented on in one of our previous chats, and didn’t complain even though I made her do the exact same action about twenty times!

Next was Mimo’s shoot. Mimo had a crew made up of herself, Sam, Jess and me, my role being camera operator. She also had two actresses from StarNow be a part of her film, and two dogs that she sourced via a Facebook group. It was fun to work on, however unfortunately for all involved it was a pretty hot day, but we worked efficiently and ended up only shooting for about two hours (I think…), where we thought it would take around six. So that was a nice surprise. Mimo was a good director and I think she really ran the shoot well, and I enjoyed helping her out.

I then helped Sam shoot the first bits of his final piece. I can’t actually remember how long this shoot went for, but it was at his place in Footscray with him and his friends in front of the camera, which meant a lot of me behind the camera with Sam in front directing. This was fun. I think with Sam I kind of understood what he was going for since we’ve talked about it so much, and being good friends I felt like I could provide input and ask questions and suggest certain things and know that he wouldn’t think badly of it. A lot of the focus of this shoot was getting the red lighting the way Sam wanted it and shooting as per his vision of the dream.

The next shoot was on Friday and was both Sam and my 2nd shoots (or technically third for Sam, I think, but the second I was involved in). I’d written a small script to film at his place and so we finished shooting his scene with his friends, again with me behind the camera when needed, and then filmed my scene with Sam as my actor and a friend of mine as an extra actor/crew member to help out. I didn’t bother with a large crew since almost all of my shots were close ups, and the sound would mostly be effects and foley I’d gotten separately, so all I really needed was the camera, my actors and a light. I think these shoots went well too. It was a long day of filming – we had uni from 9 to 11:30, then went straight to Footscray and filmed till about 10pm – but I think we were able to keep the energy up and even though I was about ready to collapse by the last shot, it was a good feeling to have it all done. I think it was fun to work with a small crew on Sam’s shoot too, since it meant I got to have some more experience with lighting, helping to dress a scene (aka. trying to block out a window and watching Sam stick towels and pillowcases to walls…), trying (and failing) to recreate David Bowey’s makeup on Sam so that it would show up under red light, filming, etc. I think it was also good to have the experience of working on Mimo’s shoot with StarNow actors and a crew with designated roles and a schedule, as well as the experience of working on Sam’s shoot which was longer and more involved, but didn’t run to a schedule or with outsourced actors or a large crew. Both were interesting and I feel like both will turn out really, really well. I just hope mine does too!


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