Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Word About Casting(and Terrortory)

We forgot to take cast/crew pics until the end, so here's who was there at 5am Sunday morning as we finished(Brad has just left). Left to Right in top pic--Me, my brother Mike, Laura and Stewie. In bottom pic on left is Matt Smith.

One of the huge challenges of working on micro-budget flicks like Terrortory is that I've been my own DP(Director of Photography) on all of my segments.

Now on the one hand it's nice because I'm definitely getting as close to the image in my head as possible without having to talk through it with the DP. On the other hand you don't get any of the collaboration that frequently results in better images than you imagined, which can frequently happen with talented DP's.

But the main setback for me that I get from being my own DP is that much of my focus is literally on the focus and the composition, and I'm so intent on that that I am frequently not paying as much attention to the actors as I should.

Actors need feedback and attention. It's not a dig. Acting is a challenging job in the fact that there isn't a right or a wrong way to do it. Actors can only do what they feel is correct for their character in the moment, so they may not understand what your original intention for that character is. At times this can be a good thing, but at other times it's not. And you need to let them know what you were going for, or let them know they ARE on the right track.

And as I'm listening to the audio on the wrap we shot I realize a lot of what I'm doing is being more focused on getting the shots and the focus(because the lenses we used on this shoot were nice, but had very small depth of fields), and I really wish I had had the time/awareness to have given them more.

It's not a knock on them at all. Brad Masters and Laura Kiser were phenomenal, and testament to the Frankenheimer notion that "casting is 65 percent of directing". If they hadn't been as good as they are then this could have all gone wrong.

Luckily, even with the massive setbacks I had--it was the most problematic shoot I've ever been on--I think we came out with some great stuff. Only time will tell, as I've just begun going through the footage but I'm excited to see what we got!

Laura Kiser and Brad Masters

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