Saturday, May 24, 2008

Southern Utah Part 4: Journey's End

Alright, I don't really have any photos for this blog entry. Sorry about that. I've been trying to get the photos (HINT, HINT), but it's been harder than I thought. I'm not sure what it is about folks and their photos, but they're much better at taking them than giving them. So, you the readers of this blog, don't get to see any of the stills from the wheelchair racing shoot. Sorry. If you would like to see photos from this shoot, feel free to leave a strongly worded comment. That way, collectively, we can guilt the keeper of photos into sharing them with us. Sound good? Excellent. "VIVA LA PHOTOS!"

On April 30th, Jeff, Melissa and I enlisted the help of my mother and drove over to the local Shell gas station to meet up with Vance, our wheelchair racer. Jeff's dad had gone back to L.A. so we were in dire need of transportation. My mom was gracious enough to be our driver for this shoot. Which means that she now has a credit in the film. I had a general idea of where I wanted to shoot the sequence, but we never officially scouted the location. I hate going into production without a location, but today we got lucky. We found a great stretch of road leading up the LaSal Mountains. Once Jeff and I settled on the location, we pulled off the road and unloaded the gear. Vance loaded into his wheelchair racer while Jeff and I discussed our plan of attack.

I always storyboard before a shoot. It helps me visualize what I want, so that I can better communicate with the videographer. Today, I went into battle without storyboards. It made me a little nervous. Luckily, the shoot didn't call for any overly technical shots. We basically needed to film a racer pushing down a stretch of road, from several different angles. Not too difficult. Jeff and I discussed a few ideas and then gave Vance some basic instructions. "Roll up the road, out of view of the camera. Turn around and push back as fast as you can." Vance was great. He had the classic "intense" look on his face the entire time.

I was also extremely happy with the location and lighting. Because we started around 9:00 in the AM, we managed to capture some amazing, early morning back lighting. From one angle, the LaSal Mountains loomed in the background. From the opposite angle, the red sandstone rims filled our shots. I was most impressed with was a static, locked down shot of Vance rolling over 3/4 of a mile towards the camera. The red rock encompassing the entire background. It was amazing.

After shooting several pass bye's, Jeff came up with an interesting shot. We placed Vance on the side of the road and filmed him from every angle. An entire circle of camera setups. 360 degrees of coverage, carefully measured so that the lens remained the same distance at all times. The hope is to speed the film up so that it looks like the camera is spinning around at lightening speed. We'll see if it works once it's edited together.

This shoot took no time to complete. In fact, we managed to end early. I enjoyed working without storyboards for a change. It allowed me to work a bit more "on-the-fly" with Jeff. That's not to say that I don't like storyboards. I do. They've been extremely critical during this entire production. It's just nice to try something different for a change.

Up Next...Murderball. With Photos!!!

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