Super 8 Wedding Film – Lauren and Adam

This is a short wedding film I shot in October 2013 for my brother Adam and and his wife Lauren. I’ve been shooting Super 8 film for a long time now and with this film have decided that I’m going to enter the world of Super 8 wedding films. So pass on the information and if anyone out there would like to have their wedding filmed please get in touch with me. I will have a complete website with all the information soon!

The Good Soldier – Notes 16 – IT’S A WRAP!

From The Good Soldier Production Photos

Yesterday (Monday, 8/17/09) was a milestone for both the film and myself. We completed the film production phase on The Good Soldier. The film is already on its way to California for processing and transfer. And I am on my way tomorrow as well – to San Diego for a vacation.

I will spend Friday in Burbank at Yale Film & Video supervising the transfer of the film to digital. By the days end I should have the entire digitized film on hard drive and the actual film on reels.

The shoot yesterday went really well. We had two scenes at two different locations. We started at the gym for the first scene. There was almost a continuity issue but luckily Erik caught the fact that some characters were wearing gloves in previous scenes and we’d forgotten them in the scene we were shooting. Thankfully he caught it in time for us to quickly re-shoot the scene, this time with gloves on.

From The Good Soldier Production Photos

Then we rushed down to Norman for the second scene. The “bedroom scene,” as we are calling it, went really well. Thanks to “Dr. Joe” for letting us use his house – it was the perfect location – I couldn’t have asked for better. It was a fun scene to shoot – maybe a little awkward for the two characters but they both did an awesome job and we all had fun making jokes about the whole situation. We even had time to play a little Rock Band.

Oh yeah, one more thing – we finally had a light burn out. Just before shooting the bedroom scene one of the lights fizzled. I guess we lucked out that it happened on the LAST shot. That’s one piece of advice I never took: always have extra bulbs. Next time I will.

There are some more pictures from the film uploaded to the Picasa site – scroll down for the latest ones.

The Good Soldier – Notes 8 – Film Test RESULTS

I received the processed film back from Yale Film & Video today. I can’t tell you how nervous I have been about this test footage episode. The results of my first film test (using Ektachrome 64T color film) was a mess. Completely overexposed. Completely worthless. So going into this test shoot I feared that I might do one of a number of things to muck it up, namely, screw up the light and overexpose, screw up the light and underexpose, or get everything out of focus. Any one of those things would mean not only a waste of time and money but a need to go back to the drawing board and re-think this whole idea of shooting black and white Super 8 altogether. Given the circumstances, I felt, just prior to watching this film, that I might a) cry if the footage sucked b) cry if the film footage was miraculously gorgeous or c) remain at a happy medium if it was somewhere in between. Obviously, option “C” was the biggest gray area going into this.

It was with some reluctance that I ran the film through my projector and adjusted the picture to the screen height and distance. I paused more than once and might even have said a little prayer (though, truth be told, I don’t really pray, just in circumstances such as these) before twisting the dial to run. The lamp flickered on, the film raced through the projector shutter and then: light. Picture. Clear. Clean, Focused. Utterly beautiful, black and white with a hint of sepia tone. There before me on my old, somewhat yellowed, Da-Lite pop-up movie screen was an image as beautiful as anything I have ever shot on camera before. Everything about the picture was what, and perhaps more than, I had imagined. It was scenario “A.” And for a moment I thought I felt the tears coming. But no – this was just the beginning of the film – the whole thing couldn’t possibly be this perfect.

The second “take” came and it was blurry. The light was perfect but the picture was blurry. And soon enough I realized what had happened – the camera focused, at the beginning, on the slate and not the action/talent, so when the slate was moved I was left with a close focus rather than a further away focus where the action was. This will be an easy fix and one that I will be more aware of during the actual filming. I was feeling closer to option “C” but still with the high of option “A.”

Then I was taken by surprise again, the next scene, take 3, appeared almost more beautiful than the first scene. I picked this shot from the outside of the building looking in through an old window, the glass missing. The light is just such that it accents the actors face through the window and the shadows are still there for contrast. I can’t wait to use this same shot in the film. I was nearing option “A” again.

There were a few more experimental shots that I did, all with good results. Only one of the later scenes had a focus issue – none had a light over/under exposure issue, which is what I was truly afraid of. With Tri-X film there is not much “latitude” in on the film in terms of light so if you are off by an F-stop (or God-forbid, two) then you are screwed.

The pictures I am including here are of still shots taken directly off my movie screen – they probably don’t really do the actual pictures justice as I’m not the best still/digital photographer. But they should give a sense of the scene and the lighting.

All in all I consider this test-shoot a huge success. There’s an enormous sense of relief in knowing that I can do this. I can set up a shot, understand and adjust for the light, depth of field and focus, and come away with footage that it is worthwhile.

I’ll take this footage and get it transferred to digital and mess around with syncing it up to the digital audio we recorded. Given the results, I feel that it is time to move along to the actual shoot. I have pretty much everything I need now, including the re-assurance that this whole thing IS possible.

Next step is going to be a read-through rehearsal and then shooting begins. Thanks again to everyone who was there for the shoot. And a special thanks to Erik, for his willingness to be on camera for this.