Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The last 3 days

We just did 3 straight days of intensive shooting.
On Sunday, May 21, a group of Sholom Ber's classmates met us behind a local school and we filmed a fun basketball scene. The weather in Shpittsburgh was quite rainy last week (although the past 2 days have been beautiful) and Sunday morning was cloudy and drizzy too. Just when we were about to call of the filming, the sun came out, so we ended up with a great afternoon for filming.

In truth, it was almost too sunny. If the sun is out and shining brightly, it casts very hard shadows and it is difficult to get a good video picture. You are almost better off with an overcast day - which usually results in a better overall picture. There are ways to cut down the effects of the sun, but a very small crew (just me and another guy named Adam), and a very low budget (we couldn't afford to rent the huge silk diffussion we would need to cut the sunlight) we just did the best we could.

At any rate, the kids gave us three hours of their time after school, and were patient throughout, although we did have to coral them occasionally when they got out of hand. Compared to what it was like to film with mostly the same kids for the first Agent Emes (3 summers ago!!!) I'd say it was a vast improvement.

The whole day took about four hours. We still have to go back with Sholom Ber to pick up some shots we didn't have a chance to get. He was really funny in the basketball scenes.

The next morning, Reuven Russell, the very talented actor/performer/chassid who plays "Betzalel", the leader of "Tov Me'od" Headquarters, flew in from New York. We spent the past two days filming seven pages of the script that involved him. The first day we shot in front of a green screen. This is a device that allows you to extract the performers (or whatever your subject is) and plant them in front of a different background of your choosing. Lighting the green screen, an actual 12 foot high and wide piece of green cloth, takes experience, so I brought in Doug S. a guy who has worked on previous AE episodes. He is very knowledgeable, and we got some good stuff. This scene will also be very funny.

The shoot was in the broadcast studio at Chatham College, which is housed in one of famed industrialist Andrew Mellon's former homes. It is a huge building, and they built this studio where Mellon used to have his own personal bowling alley.

Yesterday we moved upstairs to a fancy oak wood room in the Mellon home, and used it for a couple of sets in Tov Me'od. We tried to re-capture the lighting effect we have seen previously in the AE/Betzalel exchanges. One of hte scenes we did happens to have been the conclusion of the upcoming epsiode. There will be BIG SURPRISES in this scene, but I'm not telling what they are.

We finished up last night at around 12 AM, after which I drove Betzalel to a hotel near the airport where he had a very early plane back to NY this morning.

Now I have to go home and see my wife and kids. Ta ta for now. We want Moshiach now!


Anonymous said...

The movie sounds really exiting! I can't wait to see it!!!!!!!!!!

fun1 said...

cool stuff

Anonymous said...

sounds cool dude