Saturday, January 7, 2012
___At the end of November I shot a commercial for a drug rehabilitation center called Cliffside Malibu. It was only a one day shoot in which we had to capture 3 interview set ups as well as various b-roll of people interacting on the property. The biggest challenge on this job was getting everything done before sundown, which in late November, was at 4:45 PM. Myself and Director Matt Rowe knew this would be the biggest challenge as we scouted the location the week before. The Clinic was located in the hills of Malibu with a gorgeous view of the surrounding valley and ocean. I could have shot there for 3 days and not covered everything I wanted to on the property. Matt and I broke down the coverage based on the clients boards and scheduled the set ups in a way that made the most sense based on the position of the sun throughout the day. I also made a detailed list of the lighting fixtures and grip equipment that would be used on each set up so that the G&E guys could be one step ahead of Matt and myself at all times. We knew this was the only way we had any shot of getting everything in the can before sundown.
We shot on two Sony F3's with RED Zooms. During the interview setups, our A Camera was always on sticks while our B Camera floated off key side on a slider. For the interior interview setup we keyed with a book light (1.2 HMI into a bounce board back through a 6x6 frame of light grid with siders). For a back-light we used a 22 Kino on a menace arm. On the fill side we just flew in a bounce board to get some return from the key. The key was relatively frontal anyway as the client was looking for a soft, even feel for the whole piece. We also used a Joleko to put a slash and or window pattern on various background elements. We then covered various windows and doors with double net to take the natural sunlight down a stop outside and gain a bit more detail back in the windows. We were really testing the dynamic range on the F3's all day, which was something I was concerned about because I knew from the scout that we would be dealing with areas of extremely high contrast. NDing the windows would have helped us a lot but we just didn't have the time or personnel to make that happen efficiently enough with our schedule.
For the b-roll shots of people interacting on the property and surrounding landscape our A Camera was almost always on a jib while our b-camera was on a slider. It was important to us that the camera always be in motion to add the the pieces relaxed, serene feel. For exteriors that were not extremely wide, we were able to sneak in a mirror board through a 4x4 frame of 250 to add an edge or to fill in faces here and there. We also used a 12x12 frame of 1/2 soft frost to knock down the harsh sunlight on some tighter exteriors. By the end of the day, we were so pressed for time that Matt and I broke off into two separate units to take full advantage of golden hour. Overall it was a great shoot and the final spots are looking good.