For this shoot, I crewed as gaffer as Deborah needed someone who had some experience with lighting. I have only ever used lighting once prior to this shoot so I could not call my self “experienced” per se, but I saw this as a chance to really brush up my skills in lighting scenes. Also considering that this would be a night-time shoot, that added a further challenge when it came to lighting scenes.
The lighting did prove challenging, but I believe I got the hang on lighting night-time interiors pretty quickly by utilising a lot of soft light to represent moonlight whenever actors were close to windows and by using any existing light within the space as a credible source of light, i.e. the light from the television set.
Sid, although pleasant to work with, offered me little direction as DoP in terms of how he wanted scenes to be lit so I had to use my own initiative a lot of the time to work out how to light certain shots which in turn proved to be a valuable experience as I believe I developed a better understanding of lighting for the camera thanks to this project.
I felt that the shoot itself was long and protracted. In hindsight, Deborah did not have that many shots to get through and that shoot could have wrapped a few hours earlier than it did. I suppose this was due to Rita’s scheduling as producer as she buffered a lot of scheduled time for the shoot in order for Deborah to get all the shots she needed to in as many takes as required. While this does allow us to take our time with setting up shots, I felt it also hindered our workflow as in certain stretches during the shoot things got really relaxed and we weren’t working with a sense of urgency. In my past experience working on film sets, when things keep moving people tend to work harder and better as they get into a working rhythm a lot easier. If there are long stretches where nothing is happening however and the shoot stagnates, then that could serve to demotivate crewmembers and cause actors to gradually get grumpy, hindering their performances on screen also.