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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Looking for studio for 13 people. Click here to reply to this ad

Para leer este blog en español pincha aquí.

When you are working on an audiovisual project there are a lot of overlapping issues, interdependent decisions to take, and this makes things difficult. While we are looking for actors, we are also looking for a studio to shoot the video. This is not easy. We have to remember we will need a green background, for the chroma keys, or an infinity cove, to get that white non-discernable atmosphere. We must also decide how many days we will need, where the studios are, which further services they offer, any possible discounts we may get…

Let’s take it step by step and just grab the telephone- a producer’s best friend. We have to be down-to-earth: our English can be a handicap, and our lack of experience doesn’t help. The best thing to do is to know what information we need to get:

  • Hiring price
  • Dimensions
  • Is it possible to paint it green? How much will they charge for this?
  • Is it available in the shooting days?
  • How many days in advance do we need to book it? Do we have to pay a deposit?
  • Discounts

Eventually we have a list of studios scattered all over the city. As we have a very tight budget we have to focus on to the most affordables ones. Once again we are working with words, suggestions, ideas… everything is too abstract. We need to go and see the studio and decide if it fits our requirements (if we really know which our requirements are!).

Oyster Card is popped in the pocket and we set off to Norh London. There we meet the CGI specialist. Coffees, decisions progressing, decisions going back, redesign of some shots… “We should shoot this with a chroma key. No, this one is better with a white background”. Scribbles, deletions, drafts… This video is constantly changing and sometimes it is one step forward and fifty steps back.

It is midday and we head off to the first studio hoping to find the answer to all our questions.

Its too small! Sometimes it seems that we will never shoot this project and all that we are doing is wasting our time, but we cannot get demoralized.

Hopeful, we go to another nearby studio We haven’t made an appointment, but the studio are professional and friendly and answer our questions.

Things pick up, it seems that we have a place to shoot our video. On our way home we write down which shots will need chroma key and which won’t, so we can make the shooting schedule and give them a time and date. We must take the right decisions in order to optimize time and money. We don’t want 13 actors strolling in the studio for 2 days when most of them can do their role in one single morning.

So, what else do we need? Yeah, right, the glass of course…

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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Busco estudio para 13 personas. Razón aquí

If you want to read the English version, click here.

Cuando se prepara un proyecto audiovisual hay un montón de factores que se entrelazan, que se simultaean y cuya dependencia mutua hace que tomar decisiones, en ocasiones, sea muy complicado. Al mismo tiempo que buscamos actores, también buscamos un estudio en el que rodar el video. Parece sencillo, pero no lo es tanto. Hay que tener en cuenta si necesitamos un fondo verde, para hacer chroma keys, o una infinity cove, para conseguir ese ambiente blanco infinito en el que no se diferencie un entorno en particular; también tenemos que decidir cuántos días de rodaje nos harán falta, dónde están los estudios, qué otros servicios ofrecen, descuentos posibles…

Afrontémoslo con calma y con orden y agarremos el teléfono, ese gran amigo de los productores. Partiendo del evidente obstáculo lingüístico, y de la falta de experiencia, lo mejor será tener claro qué información queremos obtener de las llamadas:

– Precio del estudio

– Dimensiones

– Posibilidad de pintarlo de verde, de ser necesario, y precio de dicho servicio

– Disponibilidad en las fechas preestablecidas para el rodaje

– Descuentos posibles

Y así es como nos hicimos con una buena lista de estudios de lo más diversos y dispersos por toda la ciudad. Teniendo en cuenta lo ajustado de nuestro presupuesto, intentamos aferrarnos a aquellos que ofrecen un mayor número de servicios al precio más conveniente. Sin embargo, nos encontramos una vez más ante el dilema que supone trabajar sobre ideas, sugerencias, palabras… todo demasiado abstracto. Necesitamos ver el estudio y decidir si se ajusta a nuestras necesidades (si es que realmente tenemos claro lo que necesitamos, claro).

Oyster Card en el bolsillo y metro rumbo a North London. Allí nos encontramos con el especialista en infografía. Cafés, decisiones que avanzan, que retroceden, ideas que se replantean… “Este plano lo deberíamos hacer con chroma key. No, este plano mejor con fondo blanco” Apuntes, tachones, bocetos… El video está en continua reconstrucción y a veces resulta incluso frustrante ver que no nos movemos hacia adelante o que incluso retrocedemos. Llegan las 12 y nos dirijimos al estudio con la esperanza de encontrar allí la respuesta a todas nuestras dudas. Demasiado pequeño. Por momentos da la impresión de que nunca llegaremos a rodar el video y que todo está siendo una pérdida de tiempo, pero desde luego que si nos desmoralizamos así por un video de 30 segundos, no quiero ni pensar cómo serán las grandes superproducciones. No perdemos la esperanza y nos acercamos a un estudio cercano, ya por aprovechar el viaje. A pesar de que no tenemos cita nos encontramos con un buen equipo de profesionales que nos despejan algunas dudas.

Bien, parece que ya tenemos dónde grabar nuestro vídeo. En el viaje de vuelta tomamos nota de qué planos necesitan chroma key y cuáles no. Así podremos hacer el plan de rodaje y citar a los actores. Hace falta tomar las decisiones correctas para optimizar el tiempo y el dinero, no queremos 13 actores dos días pululando por el estudio cuando la mayoría pueden hacer su papel en una sola mañana.

¿Qué más necesitamos? Ah, el cristal claro…

Para obtener más información acerca del proyecto “Speak out against discrimination”, pincha aquí.

Para obtener más información acerca de Spectacle, pincha aquí.


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