The amount of footage shot yesterday meant today’s shooting schedule had reduced dramatically, only having to film where Peter knocks in Dorris. This allowed time for Joe and I to perfect the lighting for the complicated scene. We also all decided to introduce a shot of a worker scanning items at the checkout for a possible end credit sequence.
My initial plan referring to the blocking diagram was to bounce 2K Arris systematically throughout the frame to light as much of the shot as possible. 650Ws could then be concealed down each visible aisle to light elements of the inside that would be visible to the camera angle. When it came to setting up the lights Joe (DP) and I started working to my plan, but remembered from yesterday the best work ethic would be to place lights and then cable around to accommodate.
I decided to continue with the basic idea of systematically spreading the lights to bounce around the entire scene. The M18 was used for the front of frame for best quality of light/coverage as this is where Dorris would be placed for the collision. Judging by yesterdays Deli counter being able to light up, Joe and I chased the cable for the freezers in the rear of the shot. I tried inserting LED panels and a KinoFlo Diva inside without success, thankfully having chased the cable the freezer was working and able to light up. Once again taking care for the minor lighting details in the shot to make everything that more believable.
This diagram breaks down the lighting construction for the complicated nature of the shot. The larger lights for coverage, the smaller ones for minor details. I was then able to separate power sources to each aisle, evenly distributing the voltage. Once again certain aisles were out of order due to large amounts of cable, with some addition cables taped down for safety.
I am extremely proud of the lighting in this shot and personally feel like it is the best execution for the shoot, and possibly one of the best I’ve achieved. All of the lights are tactically placed to ensure everything is evenly lit with no obvious shadow, then smaller fresnels to bring out minor details including practical lights.
Having spent the first part of the day setting the lighting plan in stone I then shifted some of them to light the checkout scene as this was the first shot of the day. For this the M18 provided an overall wash, with several 2Ks to ensure even distribution of light so everything was evenly washed, free of shadows. This was a relatively simple setup and once again proved really effective. Following this shot it meant a quicker turnover for lighting as everything was pretty much ready to go from the earlier layout.
Having successful filmed the tracking shot in the first take I could then quickly rotate the lighting setup to focus purely on the four aisles covering all angles of the collision. Once again I used the same method of bouncing the larger lights for coverage, then the smaller fresnels for minor details. As these few shots featured a lot of close up angles I utilised a LED panel with tungsten gel to subtle shine on the subjects faces to ensure that “twinkle” sweet spot in their eyes.
Following filming the collision we were able to call it a wrap for filming at Bottleyard Studios. The entire weekend had gone from success to success, with no major problems at all over the course of the weekend. Everyone was well fed and kept happy resulting in a positive attitude on set for the entire time. From my perspective everyone fulfilled their roles perfectly, the acting was strong, making for a speedy turnover over the production period. Having spread the shoot out over two days meant we never felt rushed or pressured so everything was enjoyable. Obviously if it was a expense for using the studio we would have compressed to one day and worked even quicker, but thankfully this was not the case.
I feel like I fulfilled my role perfectly, the fact that I had to deal with floor fixtures rather than the existing overhead rig made the experience much more enjoyable. I liked that I had to come up with elaborate plans to evenly light all subjects, conceal cables and work with safe voltages. I really cannot see anything to do differently in the future. This is the exact type of work I would love to do in the future, I really felt in my comfort zone as a gaffer. I much prefer the indoor environment where I have plenty of power at my disposal to truly utilise the art of light, this is a rare situation of having this much power in such a domesticated environment so I am really happy I utilised this experience to the best of my abilities.