“9+1” Production Journal: Day 3

by Thomas

Myself (left) and our two camera operators on location near the Tbilisi Sea. Photo courtesy of Nino Jorjadze, one of Georgia’s most talented assistant directors.

Day Three was ultimately a successful day in terms of page count, but it got off to a bit of a slow start. I thought our first scene was going to be a simple high angle wide shot of a car pulling into a parking lot, but it became a bit more involved. I had tried to keep it simple because there was a crane involved and lots of reflections in the shot. Sometimes having great equipment can be a challenge in itself, because it creates the temptation to use it in ways that are more complex than the shot needs. The important thing is that we got what the director wanted and managed to make up for lost time later in the day. Our last shot during dusk will require some color work to make it match our day look (and perhaps a reshoot), but the core of the scene is in the can.

The lighting department showed some good hustle at the end of the day when we were frantically chasing the last of our light, but there could have been more preparation earlier in the day as far as power distribution. Typical protocol in Hollywood is that we lay power ahead of time to prepare for almost any lighting possibility at that location. Laying that much cable is time-consuming and thankless work (I did it for years), but it’s often what makes the difference between good lighting and great lighting. Something we’ll work on for future shoots.

One thing I’m grateful for today: our camera operators, Goglik and Merab. These guys are talented and totally reliable. I trust them completely, and this makes my job so much easier. I would have no reservations about sending either of them to work 2nd Unit, something that we’ll be talking more about in the coming weeks.

The view from Kostava Street: lazy Sunday and a loving dog. So great to spend time with Abby on my day off.