You do a great job leaving insightful, funny, and entertaining comments on these posts. It seems everytime I get an email from a reader, they mention how the comments have helped them just as much as the article.
When you work in a craft that is so dependent on how each individual approaches a problem, your opinion can only strengthen what I write, so let’s take a look at the best of them from this week.
This Week’s Comments
Here are this weeks chosen comments in no particular order:
I think number 5 is the key. People get too wrapped up in the moment and think that the whole world will end if they aren’t perfect. Mistakes happen all of the time in the world, people have always had to deal with them and move on accordingly.
You forgot to list the Camera Operator saying “set” or “camera set” before the Director says “action.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked with directors that called action before focus is back to the 1st mark or even before the 2nd AC has left the frame just because they weren’t paying attention and didn’t wait for “set.”
It can really through off the rhythm of the camera dept if the director doesn’t wait for “camera set.”
3. Teddysmith on The Biggest Myth Behind Hollywood Filmmaking
This is how it usually goes down on our two camera sets:
DP: Cameras ready!
1st AD: Picture up!
12 interns: PICTURES UP!
2nd AD: Lock it up!
Director: Cue smoke.
1st AD: Roll sound!
Boom op: Scene 76 apple take one. Sound speeds!
1st AD: Roll cameras!
12 interns: ROLLING!
A Camera op: Camera speeding.
B Cam 1st AC: S***! Wait a second, formatting card..
A Camera 2nd AC: Scene 76 apple. Take One. A camera mark.
B Camera op: B camera speeding!
1st AD: Tail sticks!
B Camera 2nd AC: Tails on B!
Boom op: Tails on B.
A camera op: Frame.
B camera op: Set.
DP: Wait for the smoke to settle! Wait.. OK good!
1st AD: Action!
Some stuff happens..
1st AD: Cut!
B camera 1st AC: Tails on B! Tails on B!
B camera 2nd AC: Tail sticks scene 76 apple take one. B camera mark.
1st AD: Was that good? OK moving on!
It’s my understanding that the phrase was used at some point by some Hollywood studios, and while you’ll never find it on use on any professional modern set, it has roots in common sense, as it heralds back to the era of the Carbon Arc lamp.
For those of you who are unaware, the arcs ran by creating an arc between two carbons (in a similar way to the sodium arc created in HMIs, but much more violent and short lived), which slowly burned away at the carbons for as long as the light was running.
Maintaining these lights was an art form in itself and is where the term “lamp operator” comes from, when a member of the lighting team would be constantly supervising a light, ensuring they were burning at the correct speeds, resetting and replacing the carbons when necessary.
The “lights!” part of the call (although I’m sure it was a bit more formal than that) was a cue for the lamp operators to strike the lights. When you have huge, hot lights that bellow out smoke and make a massive racket, you want them running only when necessary, and used up expensive carbons.
I once got the name Buzz Lightyear. Good with any focus between infinity and beyond. Hahaha, only works if you understand focus I guess. Anyway.
One cannot always rely on the operator to tell you if it was acceptable or not. They’re looking at other things.If we fluff it, we generally know it though. (unless a motor slipped and the preston stops working, in which case it’s a technical issue)
Just like when you crack it, you know you’ve cracked it.If it’s soft and you feel it in your gut that it was not good, go again. Tell the DP/Operator, tell the AD, “one more please” Generally that’s enough to get another take.
However, if you’re working with talent, you may not get that option. 1 or 2 takes and that’s all you’ve got. Still tell them though. Do what you can as quickly as you can to solve it and get the shot. When everyone is watching soft rushes they are not going to remember what was said on set. When it’s soft and you know it and it’s too late, Move on.
And don’t bring it to work the next day. Everyone has bad days. What works it not holding on to it, learn from why it was soft and moving on.
Share Your Production Stills
For the past week or so, I’ve been asking fans and followers of The Black and Blue to upload some of their favorite behind-the-scenes production stills to the Facebook page.
The best and most interesting stills will get featured in an article because, if you’re like me, you love getting a glimpse of other productions at work.
So start by heading to The Black and Blue Facebook page and upload your best behind-the-scenes pics!