6.30am I arrived on set to meet Gail our lovely location owner. The rest of the crew arrive shortly after and we immediately set up unit in the backyard of the house location. This was to be our main location for the film. Both day 1 and day 2 were to be shot in the same house setting for efficiency. Our first shots were to be all the kitchen scenes whilst simultaneously setting up "Josh's" Bed room. In hindsight the preparation of the light green back ground wall turned out to be one of the most critical set design lessons i learnt. At the time certain marks on the wall did not seem very apparent, however back in the edit my perfection instincts got the better of me and i went about using After Effect to clean up the wall shots. There was actually nothing we really could have done at the time to fix up the wall better and other than using a different back ground for the scene or shooting some plates for composition work but we did the best we could with the time we had.
Some wall shots below for comparison:
The camera we where shooting with was the Canon C300 on its cinema lock setting (ie. C-log) with Colour temperatures set on a scene by scene basis to accentuate the intended post production look. Most shots taken with Canon L primes (where possible) along with the Tokina 11-16 and Canon 24-105mm lenses.
As far as lighting goes I was quiet adamant that i did not want a "lit" look. I do like depth in my shots and as such we tried to layer the scene composition where possible.
For recording the C300 was set to a dual recording mode and as it turns out i didn't record more that 16GB (on 50mb/s setting) per day, so data accumulation was small. At the end of each production day i used Adobe Prelude to simultaneously ingest both cards onto the internal hard drive and also to two external drives (one copy was set to be transcoded to Pro Res 422 HQ setting).
A point to note is that the C300 will not record to dual cards if you have it set to fast/slow mode hence its very important that both cards are copied when offloading and backing up your files to ensure you have all your work! The usual slating and shot log was employed to great effect and it really sped up the edit efficiency.
We created a directors monitor via the HDMI port. This was simply done with a HDMI to DVI connection from the camera to a Dell 24" screen. It proved to be very useful for my grips to light the scene with out my constant input. I have consequently order what i need to DIY a wireless HDMI setup to have a constant director/client monitor as i believe the benefits are really time saving.
Lastly our lighting kit consisted of several LED panels and several Fresnel and Dedo hot lights. I knew in several scenes we needed to create some "Sun light" and the large 2kW Fresnel was what we need for the job. One great system we started to employ was setting up the hot lights for the wider shots and leaving them in position whilst moving in some softer LED's for the closer shots where possible to allow us to shoot more consecutive shot in each scene and have reduced setup time.
This sequence of shots was created to help give the feeling of the passing of time.
The above shots show the same light configured in three different arrangements (with a Close Up of our actor overlayed) to simulate the sun going down and the increasing shadows and contrast.
The actually on set look with C-log was drastically different for the intended finished result as you can see below:
I knew on set that as long as we have some contrast in the scene we could get the rest of the look in post.
Our actor Isaac Money totally nailed it on the first day and we were all super impressed with his performance. Day 1 finished late with all but 2 or so shots completed.