Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Chasing Cane

This past weekend I had a great experience that I'd like to share. First - the back story...

Last year, a friend from college, Roy S. Ford, self-produced a short film called "Chasing Cane: At What Cost." It was the first of a four-part series of short films, and it actually won some awards on the film festival circuit.

A few months ago, Roy announced on Facebook that he was preparing to shoot parts three and four of the story. Directing is something I want to do eventually on a more serious level. I've directed commercials and television segments and even some short films with the kids for fun, but I want eventually to work on some HD projects, some short films and some longer films. So I e-mailed Roy and asked him if it would be okay if I came out to the shoot to watch him work. He graciously agreed, and even said I could bring my camera along to shoot some behind the scenes shots. He said he would be shooting on a DSLR camera, so I was particularly interested in seeing his setup and what he did. The shoot was broken up into four days - I missed the first two day because I was at a conference in Chicago, but I would be able to make the last two days of shooting.

On Saturday morning, I drove out to the Woodlands for day three of the shoot. He would be shooting scenes from both parts three and four of the films. Everything was very professional. He had plenty of lights - even though he only used a couple. He had a boom mic and an operator, a makeup artist and a detailed shot sheet. He was using real actors - not just friends or relatives or people he pulled off the street. And the best part of the day was that I got to meet some really, really nice people. Everyone was great!

So throughout the day, I clicked away during rehearsals and in between shots (I didn't want to bust a shot with the clicking sounds of my shutter). And I even got to jump in and work with the crew on lighting and as a grip. I did some camera work on a couple of scenes that Roy was in because he was shooting with a Canon 60D, which is the very camera model that I use at work and shot all the footage for an internal documentary with.

On Sunday, the shoot continued with some exterior scenes and a couple of really emotional scenes inside a house. The actors did such a great job, and it was very moving to watch them work and get into their characters. And when it was all done at about 10:30 Sunday night, it was a wrap on Chasing Cane. I'll post again here when there are more details on when more of the series will be released.

I had a really fun, really interesting and (most importantly) really educational couple of days. I genuinely enjoyed watching Roy work and direct with a very gentle style, but yet with a very forceful vision.

These are some of my favorite shots that I took on the shoot. You can see the entire set on Flickr here.






















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