Reflection on day 3 shoot

Shoot day 3 consisted of filming both of the scenes at the train station and the short scene at the coffee shop. Even though we only had three scenes to shoot, two of them were the longest of the film, so it still took a whole day to get through them. I had test shot part of scene two at the train station and scene four at the coffee shop before so these were slightly easier to shoot in terms of framing and camera positioning.

My main problem for the day was exposure when shooting scene two. Again, we were shooting under a verandah area at the station, which was cast in shadow. Thus, exposing the shot became difficult because the actors were standing in the shadowed area, but we had to do a few wide shots where the sunny platform was in frame. We made the conscious decision to expose the actors correctly in the shade and let the sunny areas outside the shelter ‘blow out’ a bit. This was a shame, but it was either that or underexpose the actors, which looked odd because they were the focus of the scene. Letting the background blow out has never been a preference of mine and I don’t think I’ve ever had it happen, never mind, made it happen. However, I don’t necessarily think it matters so much in this scene, and it doesn’t look too bad losing detail in the background, when the main focus is the character anyway. Overall I’m glad I chose to overexpose the background, rather than change the whole location of the scene, because I think the staging works well. The location was perfect for the script because there was a myki machine right next to a bench, where the characters could sit, and you could also see out of the shelter to the walkway. Ultimately we will be able to adjust the exposure (to an extent) when we colour grade the film as well, so it shouldn’t look as bleak by the time we’ve finished with it.

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I am particularly excited to edit scene four, because the performances were inspired: well timed and genuine (I believed them even just watching them through the camera). It was great to work with semi-professional actors (like Will who plays the main character) and professional actors (like Eddie who plays ‘The Ex’ and ‘The Handsome Stranger’), because they know a lot about film, they treated the production process with the respect, they were used to waiting around for crew to set up and most of all, they look natural and sound great on-screen, rarely needing more than one take to nail a line.

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