In class we have been speaking a lot about taking pictures on our phones on location in preparation for shooting. I think this process is great because the portability of our phones enables a very free and experimental planning process. However, phone cameras are very different from the video cameras we have been using, so there is always going to be a slight problem in that you cannot exactly replicate the shots that have been taken on phones. Furthermore, the tripods and video cameras are physically much bigger and so they cannot fit into the same spaces that phone cameras can (thus shot types would invariably need to be adjusted in certain locations).
For week 4’s exercise we began by taking several photos on one crew member’s phone of the entire location i.e. not setting up shots properly. This was so we had a record of exactly how the location looked and worked if we needed to refresh our memories later on. We then started to block our ideas for how the scene would play out, using the phone camera to document the different shots. Even though a phone camera and a video camera have different lenses, they still show you what is ultimately unachievable. For example, we were trying to get a shot of one character’s reflection coming out of a door on an opposing glass wall and the other character hiding behind a corner. By being able to track the action through a camera, we realised that the angles were too difficult to capture and that even a fish eye lens would not be able to frame all of the action in one shot. If we had not known this, we would have wasted a lot of time in the real shoot.
One of our crew members also made a rough video of our scene on her phone camera. This was incredibly beneficial because it documented the character movements as well as the shot types. From these phone photos and videos we were then able to storyboard our scene and write up shot lists quite efficiently.