What is so awesome about shooting in restaurants — good restaurants — is you get the satisfaction of a finely prepared meal without the guilt of paying for it. In fact, someone is paying you to eat it.
Tales from the Front Lines of Movie Making
Most Recent Articles in "Production Stories"
Even though their performance is fed through a lens and molded by an edit, there is a live performance aspect to actors in front of a camera that crew on set experience. On this stage, I’ve watched some of the most hilarious things take place. Today, I want to share three of those funniest stories with you…
Filmmakers love music. Ever since the first films were produced, there was music set to them. It’s the silver screen’s partner in crime. For film crews, well, we love music too.
As a camera assistant, my job is inherently physical, rough, and full of sweat. Meanwhile, their job is mentally draining, emotionally exhausting, and full of a different kind of pressure. At the time I envied their ice cream cones, but I didn’t bother to consider the weight on their shoulders.
One thread I’ve seen weaved throughout my career is the appearance of – to borrow a term from caving – “squeezes.” Squeezes are the nearly impossibly thin gaps between two large rocks cavers have to experience.
Producers, I think, cringe at the thought of an “early wrap.” They cringe in the same way a struggling business trembles when you bring in a 50% off coupon. Both want their money’s worth and both, though they know it’s a fair deal, can’t shake the feeling they’re getting shafted. So whenever I’m on a shoot supposedly ready to wrap early, I wait a few moments for it to really sink in.
There are also two types of squibs I’ve run into in my day: the compressed air squib and the explosive squid. Each has their advantages and disadvantages (mainly cheap vs. pricey), but there’s a good reason why I have always considered compressed air squibs to be a waste of time. Here’s that story.
And though it’s a challenge to pull focus on Zeiss Superspeeds, it’s that dance between myself, the camera and the lens – when everything falls sharp as a tack – that made me fall in love.
If you want a true sense of the presence of a film set, you have to step in front of the camera where all the lights point on you, where the camera is pointed at you, and where everyone’s attention falls on you. For some that experience is exhilarating. For others, daunting. For me, it was a chance to have fun.
You can think you’re being safe, think you’ve done it all right, and then when you least expect it – and least want it to happen – the forces of nature will show you you’re human. It’s the human element that we have to fight against on set to make sure accidents don’t happen.