Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Crew Stuff

Had first meeting with the DP today, and he asked such great questions. The film is a mock documentary, and his first question was about the hypothetical documentary crew who made this documentary -- i.e., how did they come upon their subject, how much money did they have, etc.

This all affected his visual approach. Since the hypothetical documentarians would be small budget filmmakers, he said he normally wouldn't want to shoot HD. He'd shoot it DV, since that's what they would shoot. Of course, we have access to HD, it gives us better chances at distribution and fests, so we're shooting HD (and he's fine with that and agrees with the reasoning)... so we're going to possibly grain it up a little with low lighting. We'll see.

I, for one, was impressed by the question. We traded film clip references, I have him some copies of films I wanted to discuss in terms of their documentary aesthetic. It was a rushed meeting because I had to get home early...

...to have a cookout for my senior level production class. I try to have one class a semester over for some sort of get together at the end of the term. So about 11 out of my 18 upper-level students came over for burgers, hot dogs, and hanging out for a few hours. It's always fun to relate to them as human beings and not as their authority figure. We talked movies, career plans. Two of them asked for a picture with me -- how incredibly flattering.

They had a student film fest in the department this weekend -- an admittedly small affair, but very important to the department. And I couldn't make it in this, my first year, because of the award ceremony I had to attend. They have been giving me such a hard time about missing my first festival, and even asked if I'd record a video intro apologizing for my absence (they asked me to get more and more arrogant about my big award vs. their 'little festival of videos' -- and I gladly did it. It was fun, and I am told got a lot of laughs at the fest).


At 12:30 PM, Blogger AiE said...

I'm curious to know why you're choosing the mockumentary genre. Have you made other films in this genre? I can see some liberating aspects to the genre--the control of narrative filmmaking combined with the flexibility of documentary. But I'm curious if this just "happened" or if you consciously chose the genre, either for writing or production reasons.

At 3:45 PM, Blogger TerminalMFA said...

Actually, I chose it because I had a character I really wanted to follow, one with a really odd worldview, and I decided the best way to understand him was through the lens of someone who could serve as a surrogate, to comment on the action. In other words, through the eyes of the documentarian... if I put the main character in a traditional narrative, it'd be funny, but there would be a lot of contrived moments where he talked about things in order to communicate his view of the world to the audience. With mockumentary, I could explore those things openly.

And, of course, there are some production reasons: it's easier to shoot, because 'rough' spots look intentional. And I was originally going to shoot on digital video, which would look okay with documentary. Of course, now the opportunity to shoot on HD has presented itself, and I could shoot a more narrative-style film on that if I chose to.


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