Undecided Decisions … A meeting with the technical crew.

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Just when we have made all the important decisions and it seems everything is sorted out and we can start thinking about the dates for the shooting day, all our decisions come tumbling down.

Technical problems (re)appear. We speak to the director of photography and he sheds some light on our doubts. At the same time, he shows us alternatives to problems we thought we had already solved.

We decide to have a meeting with him. It is the first meeting that brings together the CGI specialists, the director of photography and the production team.

There are some decisions we need to take up again. The storyboard is lying on the floor. It is the reference everything revolved around. The shooting schedule is also important. We have grouped all the shots we want to shoot. There are some shots in which we need the crowd walking over the glass, other in which we need to see the world above or below the glass. We should point out all the technical details for each group of shots.

We discuss how to get that over-exposed atmosphere for the wide shot, what kind of equipment, lights and studio we will need. There are different possibilities: shots below the glass in green screen. Shots of the crowd walking in a white infinity cove. There are different options…

A)   Build a glass structure/perspex Vs. Shooting in a location with glass floor/ceiling.

B)   Green Screen Vs White infinity cove.

All options are possible. Now, we need to make the right decision. We need to investigate a little bit more…

There are also different studios we could shoot in. The CGI people need to tell us if the spaces we have chosen are suitable for our shots, if it is possible to shoot there, and if the ceiling is tall enough for the shot we have chosen and the angles.

The director of photography tells us that there is a location that might be suitable for our plans because it has a glass floor/ceiling. He will send us some pictures tomorrow so we can get an idea about the aesthetic this location would create.

The conclusion: the easier thing for us to do would be to shoot in a location and in a studio with green screen, so that we do not need to build a structure.

The meeting is over. A million of different options is the result. Everybody has the feeling that there are more questions than answers. We are in a roller coaster going up the hill. We are waiting for the DoP and CGI technicians to decide which one is the best option. At which point the roller coaster will start speeding towards the finish…

If you want to get more information about the project “Speak out against discrimination”, click here.

For more information about Spectacle, click here.

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In a nutshell

Para leer este blog en español pincha aquí.

Everything seems to be on the right track: we’ve found a studio and we’ve decided to get the perspex structure. The studio also offers some extra services that will save us time researching camera and lighting equipment. Perspex has also some advantages compared to the glass: it’s easier to get it and we just need to order it a couple of days in advance (whereas we would need to order the glass with at least 15 days in advance). Summing up: we are all really pleased and “relaxed”. It’s a good time to start working hard on the shoot schedule.

We get hold of the breakdown, we group the shots depending on the actors and on the technical requirements in each of them. It would be perfect if we could work just one day with all the extras and another day with the main characters. Then we could save some money as we wouldn’t need eight extras working during two days when their role of strolling in front of the camera, even if it’s crucial, can be done in one morning. By  “technical requirements” I meant the shots will need the perspex structure. Fortunately, both of the factors are compatible: the shots where we need the extras don’t need the perspex structure.

So we get to the next “ideal” shooting plan (when I say “ideal” I mean “very optimistic”):

  • First day. Morning:

8 extras + main character + 3 background characters (let’s say B, C, D)

Green screen shooting.

  • First day. Afternoon:

Main character + 3 background characters (let’s say B, C, D)

Green screen shooting.

  • Second day:

Main actor + 2 background characters (let’s say E, F)

Green screen shooting and perspex structure.

We are already so familiar with the project that everything seems obvious, but it’s hard to explain with words each shot, so there’s no point in trying to do it. It’s much easier and intuitive to download the shooting plan so you can get a literal view, with color, design, and all that stuff that makes things more user friendly. A picture speaks a thousand words. So if you want to see the first draft of our shooting plan you just have to click here.

If these plans go ahead it will also mean that we would be saving circa £1000 in our casting. But this doesn’t mean that the company would profit; it just means that the money is moving from one point of the budget to another. In short, it’s not bad news, but it’s not excellent either.

Good, good, it looks like the project is up and running. Now we “only” need to book the studio, get the actors there on time, order the perspex and start hiring technical staff. That’s nothing!

If you want to get more information about the project “Speak out against discrimination”, click here.

For more information about Spectacle, click here.


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“The Glass Ceiling” Problems with the glass

Para leer este blog en español pincha aquí.

Today everything seemed to be upside down. We had a lot of problems because of the glass. We could not find a suitable structure to use for the shoot and there were still a number questions to be answered.

Number one: What material should we use to build the structure?

We were going crazy calling glass experts and architects. They explained us the size we need for the glass in order to make it able to support a person weight. They told us that the glass is built with green tints, which is a problem if we are going to shoot in a green cove. In addition to that, the director of photography would have to deal with some more problems because the green color will be reflected in the glass.

Looking for other options.Can we use locations with glass already there?

We tried  to find a location in London with a glass floor that we could use for the shoot instead of a structure. We found different ones… We found a gym with glass corridors, a building made of glass, even an office with a glass floor/ceiling that could be perfect for our purpose.  But, to be honest, we did not feel happy with any of these options… When we talked with the CGI people and they told us that it is really complicated to integrate that space with the images we get at the Studio. So, we forget about that idea.

The final solution…Perspex!
Everything is getting more and more complicated. We make more calls, we seek more advice…

Do we really need to use glass or could we use perspex?

This is an idea we have had for a while and after seeking advice, we decided that it is the best solution. It will not be as heavy as glass, it will be faster and cheaper to make, it will be able to cope with one person walking in the surface and it will be easier to transport. So, finally we have a answer: PERSPEX.

If you want to get more information about the project “Speak out against discrimination”, click here.

For more information about Spectacle, click here.

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