Monday, February 11, 2013

More Movie Magic - 15 & 16 January

A couple more days on the TV show “Justified” found us on location in Altadena in the foothills of the San Gabriel mountains.  Didn’t get a lot of pictures as I just couldn’t really get a good perspective for interesting shots.  There was a gun battle that would have been cool to share, but shots are fired only when we’re filming and then I’m too busy working to take pictures!

On the first day, though, Coccinelle did get her first glimpse at California nature, since we were shooting in a foothills area and some of the surrounding property was a pretty good example of this natural setting:

We even spotted some shamrocks:

The last few hours of our second day we shot a scene that takes place between two characters who are driving around in a truck.  The most controllable way to do this is on a soundstage, with what’s seen out the windows being added in later…but the end result is almost never going to seem really real.  The easiest way to do it “live” is to put the vehicle being shot on what’s called a process trailer – a flat, open trailer with railings all around.  Cameras can be set up on the deck or the rails for a wide variety of angles, but most importantly everything is secured and the actor behind the wheel doesn’t actually have pay attention to his driving while performing in the scene, but there is actual movement as the trailer stops and starts and turns, and all the scenery is real.  And of course, you can always shoot from inside the car, too, which is easiest of all, but also the most limiting in terms of what you can shoot.  (There’s also little room for more than the actors and the camera – often the sound mixer and director are in the trunk!)

Or you can rig a special camera mount directly onto the vehicle, which is what we did (the camera was also set up in the bed of the truck and then filmed the scene through the back window).  Coccinelle was intrigued as the rig was being assembled and the camera secured, and very pleased to have a chance to check it out for herself:

And here we are while waiting for the mount to be switched from one side of the truck to the other as the sun was lowering to the hills -- Coccinelle, my shadow, and me:

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