Sans Vie - Week 2
This was to be our last 3 days at the apartment location so we had a hard out Sunday night. We also had pickups to get from the previous weekend, these mostly being the reverse angles of Jolie’s interaction with the garbage man. This was scheduled for first thing Friday evening and the call was at 5:00 PM. We were limited by the amount of time the sun was going to be out since these were day interiors and we had about 5 setups to complete the scene. Matt and Stephan were going to show up at 2 to move about the apartment getting various cut away shots of architectural features and the close ups of the garbage man’s machine. This however failed because Stephan could not make it due to other commitments. But we soldiered on. We were lit and ready to go about 5:30 but the cameras did not roll for another hour or so, so we only got maybe two setups until we lost the daylight and had to postpone the rest of the pickups till later. The rest was getting night shots of Jolie in her bedroom at night. There were some great shots directly over her bed where Mark and I at exactly the same time came up with the camera rig solution to get the lens in the proper position. We took a couple of apple boxes on end and spanned the bed with a 2x4 weighted down with sand bags and place two of the tripod legs on this rig gaffer taping them down and extending the rear leg to get the level. The shot looked great and we had it rigged in about 3 minutes. There was also a shot of Jolie crossing the bedroom and entering her bathroom where we did your classic click on the light gag with a baby baby in the hall since that was where the door led to. Matt really wanted a dark room with just a bit if light on Jolie but camera complained about lack of volume and we struggled with a couple of rigging ideas before we finally just used bounce using a baby baby and a Tweenie off the ceiling with just a bit of shadow. All in all not perfect but when we stopped it down it looked good enough. Thus was the end of Friday.
Saturday had an 11 AM call and was going to be a really rough scene with Paige and Jolie eating. This was an emotional scene as Paige is really trying to get Jolie to come out and she almost succeeds until she touches Paige’s hand and Paige tosses her out. I won’t go too much more into the action but when we shot this stuff there were tears on the set. Dixi and Melissa did an amazing job. Mark Shapiro once told me that we get all these people, crew, production and talent, together for just one thing, shoot the performance. If you don’t get the performance you have wasted everyone’s time. WE worked very hard and things got a bit tense trying to keep the production moving along but in the final analysis, no one’s time was wasted. Again, I say, the performances were amazing.
But before we could get to shooting this we had to catch up on our pickups get some more bedroom stuff and get some cutaways of the fish, Mr. Happy.
Like I said Call was at 11 and we did not roll camera until after 1. We were lit and ready by 11:45.
We did spend a lot of time messing around and this was due to the fact that we did not have a 1st AD worth a shit. Matt had to be available to handle those kinds if decisions and the guy that should have been doing that job, was just ineffectual. So my struggle throughout the weekend was trying to keep from repeated relights and to try to keep from a technical standpoint the show moving. Day Night facing the windows or facing the door. This all became rather trying and I don’t blame Matt it is actually kind of how it is. And somehow we managed to struggle through. Now Matt wanted the dinner scene to be “Warm” Mark and I thought about it and mark came up with the idea that since this was supposed to be intimate and sort of sensual that we would us a Cross Back Lighting scheme.
Basically we put two Baby Babys in the corners and focused them into opposite corners creating a cross lighting. Flood em out and use the top barn doors to cut the light on the walls down to about 2/3rds so when the actor enters the room standing the light is about midriff to the floor and they sit into the light.
The intent was to create a sort of intimate setting that I think actually worked pretty damn well. Yea Mark. Matt wanted more warmth so we added the Tweenie to bang off the bounce card on the ceiling to add some fill. This bothered me since we had this great sense of shadow and light and suddenly it was becoming TV Sitcom lighting, the bad kind that is shot on Video. In reality it worked out ok as we just added volume but I have not seen those dailies yet (or any for that matter) But the editor is telling me everything looks great. I will be happier when I see them though.
Later on Matt told me that even though it was not exactly what he wanted Mark and I had given him art.
He was really thinking of this scene in Kissing Jessica Stein. But I think the warmth of this scene really comes from the depth and layers of lighting of the room and Jolie’s apartment is just too stark to pull that off.
Here are a couple if still camera shots of the lighting pointing at the door Thought these are not exactly what the Camera got you get the idea.
Sunday was more of the same and we went a bit deeper that Matt had wanted to but we managed to finish in the location and were able to wrap out. We had some kitchen shots and more living room stuff and a scene where we see Paige enter the doorway of Jolie’s apartment finally ending with a Matt Morris signature scene, the Paige having a breakdown in the bathroom, which by all accounts came off really well. I was busy wrapping out what I could and being a sensitive scene we just stayed away.