This week I am getting prepared for our first shoot for Touch On/Touch Off, which is on this weekend. I decided to do a test shoot using my friend Megan who’s an actor, who generously lent me her kitchen for the shoot. Unfortunately it was raining all day and so I didn’t get to do scenes 4, 8 or 10 with her, because they were all set outside. However, luckily the weekend is looking great weather-wise, so at least we shouldn’t have to worry about adverse conditions on the real shoot day.
The shoot went OK. I was actually surprised some of the shots I had planned for this scene worked out in the edit. I particularly thought that shot 2 would be too close to cut into from a wide establishing shot, however I think the audio and the cut on action eases the intensity. Unfortunately I had to rush through the shoot, because Megan had to leave, so I couldn’t spend much time on the shot I knew would take the longest: shot 3. I really like the pull focus from the phone to Megan as the camera tilts up to follow her hand; however it was really hard to do this shot without a focus puller/grip. I essentially didn’t have enough hands to pull focus, as well as tilting the camera and calling the phone. Thus, all of my takes turned out shaky and Megan never quite ended up in focus, because I wasn’t tall enough to look over the camera to see where I had marked her focus point on the focus rim of my camera. Nevertheless, I think I’ll be able to get this shot perfect with a bit of help. For the real shoot, I will also do some alternate versions of shot 3: I will cut to a closeup of the phone and then have another shot that we can cut to which is just a static mid-closeup of Megan putting the phone to her ear. I will also frame the establishing shot a bit closer to the actor, because I think this shot feels too open and shows too much of bench.
I wasn’t overly happy with the lighting, because it just looked very flat. I did put a small lamp behind Megan as a back light, but it didn’t do much against the sun, which was streaming in from the 2 floor to ceiling windows, directly facing the kitchen. I tested different positions for Megan to sit in around her lounge room/kitchen to see if I could get any better lighting effects. I particularly liked the light at her dining room table (pictured below), because I was using the windows as a back light. But unfortunately, the scene looked very bland, because I couldn’t pull the dining room table out from the wall and so Megan was sitting right up against a white background (which also made it difficult for shooting). In addition, I wasn’t able to expose for both Megan and the outside, so the exterior appeared blown out. On the real shoot we will at least have some more lighting equipment, plus, the kitchen we are shooting in only has a small window at one side, which should work to our advantage in creating offside lighting.