Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fit For Rivals "Damage" Video Shoot - Day 2

The second day on the Damage video set takes place inside of a house. This setting is used for scenes from the past, just before the main character is committed and shackled in a straight jacket. The "flashbacks" give the impression that our character was in a bad place that she decides to get out of. All the shots from today took place in a bedroom and a bathroom. These were the sort of scenes that take 2 hours or more to set up, for 5 seconds of actual footage... but without them, there would be no back story for what’s going on.

The first scene was a "strange bedfellows" shot, which involved setting up a jib arm to hoist the camera 12 feet in the air inside of a bedroom, littering the set with bottles and underwear, and getting the dawn/dusk lighting to look just right while still keeping Renee's face semi-lit. We ended up letting in some outside light through the window behind the bed and through the front of the room, and we used a small soft-box to bounce light off the ceiling to the front of Renee’s face. After a little white balance tweaking, we ended up with something pretty believable.

After we moved from the bedroom scene, we went straight into the bathroom. We used another jib arm to hang the camera directly overhead of the bathtub. By this point in the video, our character has decided to take a nice relaxing bath with a handful of pills and reflect on the days events. A short while later, she is discovered floating at the top of the water in the bath tub. After a scream from her female acquaintance, a hulky rescuer charges into the bathroom and raises her out of the water. Actor Jose Rosete lends his giant image to the roll or our character’s savior.

After a few time extensive camera changes, we filmed a few more bath tub scenes incorporating some lip syncing of the song into the drama of the scene. Most shots were filmed at 24 frames per second, but to get a few arty touches, we over-cranked the camera and the CD audio by 100% and filmed Renee singing, then slowed it back down to give her motions a sort of delayed effect. The movement of her hair and the sloshing of the water will appear in slow motion, but her lip syncing will be in time with the music. A really cool and subtle in-camera trick.

We got Renee out of the tub, let her take a break for a while… up to this point her footage has consisted of many hours in a straight jacket and many hours underwater. We filmed a few quick cutaway shots of pill bottles and facets before we moved on to the final shot of the day.

The last shot is a semi “practical” special effect. We positioned Renee in front of 2 mirrors and turned one of them slightly towards the camera, giving the effect of 3 Renees at once. And through some eye line trickery, we could make it appear that the reflections in the mirror were looking at each other and laughing or yelling… then later on in post, we could cut the frame into 3 sections, and have 3 different takes of Renee on screen at the same time. Its called a “practical” effect because there is no CG or green screen involved, its purely a camera and editing trick. The effect will make the character appear even more crazy, and the performance we got from Renee was outstanding!

At the end of the day, we all plopped on a couch and watched the dailies. And after nearly every other shot someone would yell out “This one shot could be the whole video itself!” Which is a testament to Renee’s great performance and all the teamwork involved in putting this video together. None of us can wait for it to be complete!

Wednesday is our final shoot day, and it is purely a band-rocking-the-f*ck-out shot in a huge warehouse. It should be rad. Look for Ronnie Winter, lead singer of Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, to make a cameo as the band’s bass player for the video.

Thanks to everyone who helped out on set as extras and as crew!

Cast and crew for day 2 of shooting:

Renee Phoenix - Rock Star Lead Singer
Gus Holwerda - Director, Producer
Luke Holwerda - Director of Photography, Producer
Thomas Amason - Producer, Crew/ set construction
Chris Herron - Producer, Crew / set construction
Jose Rosete – “Rescuer”
Alysia Holwerda – “Female acquaintance”
Brad Murren - Crew / set construction
Brenna Stephens - Hair and makeup

...and check out myspace.com/FitForRivals for music and updates.

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