Media Production Mentoring

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One Light and 56 Degrees

Filming for MathTacular4 started this morning. The temperature outside was 9 degrees when I left my house, so it was chilly. We shot in a warehouse and had to turn off the heat because the heating units were far too loud. This meant that I got to watch the temperature slowly drift down from 68 to 56. The equipment worked just fine in these conditions, but the actors were getting cold. I made sure I stayed in my t-shirt to keep moral up. People tend to lose motivation if the film guy is bundled up while the actors are in costume freezing.

This reminds me of a story I heard about the set of MASH. In one of the episodes a girl is taking a shower when suddenly the curtain falls leading to embarrassment and, I assume, comedy. I've never watched the show, but the actress reportedly complained that she was the only person wandering around exposed on set. The director then had the crew strip down (he did too, supposedly) so that she wouldn't feel uncomfortable. Whether that story is true or not, and I don't see how being in a room with naked men would make a naked women feel better, the point we can take away from this story is that it is important to do what you can to keep your cast and crew as comfortable as possible. Nine to eighteen hours on set is grueling enough, don't make it worse.

Food is a very important part of retarding mutiny. At 1:15 it was essential that we take a break for lunch because none of us were doing well at that point in time. We did not have snacks on set today and that was not good. We plan to remedy that situation shortly.

Last, despite the many technical aspects of our shoot, we only used one light today. A single Bar Door was the only thing I used to modify the light. That's it. And it wasn't because I didn't have more lights. I did, but I didn't need to use them. That's an important thing: Don't use more than you need to get the look and feel you want. Again, film is bad enough, don't make it worse.

The one light setup:

~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor

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