We swapped the heat on our backs for water from the trees as the sun disappeared behind the canopy of the forest and the rain clouds drifting above. Day 10 of Assassinaut was rocky and wet and rain was on my mind as I tried to keep it off the camera.
Filmmaking Tips and Advice
The drive down to our motel for week 2 of Assassinaut brought mixed emotions as I passed my college and thought about how I used to dream about a career in film. And day 9 proved how fruitful those dreams could be.
Safety is of great concern on day 8 of Assassinaut when we whip out the prop guns for firing some blanks and airsoft BB’s on a short day that takes us to the end of week number two.
Never underestimate moving water and never underestimate film production. In both cases, what looks easy can be deceptively tough. Day 7 of Assassinaut was a lesson in how little things on a set can add up to make one day feel like an eternity.
Today on Day 6 we filmed a pivotal scene in Assassinaut that pushes me to consider how you know if a movie is going to be worth watching. For now, the best I can do is keep things in focus and hope what’s good in front of the camera ends up good in front of the audience.
We braved ticks, spiders, tall-grass, rain, and mud on day 5 of Assassinaut. The camera spent most of the day rigged for handheld shots which has its pros and cons for me, the camera assistant.
Not everyday on a film set is easy or fun – sometimes you have to earn your paycheck. Day 4 of the sci-fi feature film Assassinaut was one of those days where you keep filming and keep grinding until you have your shots in the can, even through all the curveballs thrown your way.
Brandon Tonner-Connolly with Alicia van Couvering write excellently about “The Seven Arts of Working in Film: A Necessary Guide to On-Set Protocol.” The seven arts being:
Imagine that you are in a dark cave with a group of people, and all of you are running around in different directions. In a corner of the cave is a flashlight, which is spinning through the room.
Suddenly, the flashlight lands on a single person. Everyone stops. Until that person does his or her job, no one can move forward.
At some point during the shooting day, that flashlight will land on you. Everyone will be looking at you and waiting for you to do your job, or the production will stop moving. That flashlight can feel like a warm spotlight or it can feel like the high beams of a speeding car, fixing you in its headlights, determined to mow you down. It all depends on how well you understand your job and the jobs of others around you.
This is one of the best guides to setiquette (set etiquette) I’ve ever read, so if you feel you’re still a little green on set, drop what you’re doing, read it, and savor every word.
Nobody is perfect – I’m certainly not – and there’s always room for improvement. As we wrapped the short week 1 on Assassinaut, I spent an after-wrap run thinking about, “What could I do better?” After some reflection, I came up with five ways I could up my game as we head into week 2.
In case you haven’t heard, I’m currently working on a feature film called “Assassinaut” and am writing about my experience as the 1st AC. I took time this weekend to create a page that collects all of the posts in one spot and helps you keep track of our production.
So head here to catch up on the posts and read all future posts.