More movie shooting, but solo

posted by Jeff | Thursday, April 20, 2023, 11:18 PM | comments: 0

I lined up a couple more days of shooting for today and tomorrow for the rum doc. I might have a title in mind, but I need to socialize it more. I came down solo this time, which I'm not crazy about doing, but I expected to do mostly handheld. Diana has to work and Simon has school, so I had to go it alone.

I looked through some of the new footage, 100 more gigs worth, and while most of it is fine, there are some real compromises that may be challenging to correct. I did several standup interviews with food truck owners right around sunset, and the lighting is, at best, suboptimal. I had a light with me, battery powered even, but I was so rushed that I just didn't make the time to do it right. Lighting is quite frankly the difference between good and not good, which is why with the time and patience on the last shoot, I captured some pretty gorgeous images. The forthcoming version of DaVinci Resolve has some crazy AI virtual lighting, and I'm hoping that will save the last interview. I also don't have a lot of experience shooting people of color, which can be a disaster if you don't get the exposure right. We'll see just how much dynamic range my camera really gets.

The emerging narrative is one of community and local business, which is largely what I was expecting. People in this area have seen some real shit over the last few years, with the pandemic and then Hurricane Ian. These food truck folks, and the restauranteurs, very much were at the center of helping people eat even when gas, propane and food was less than plentiful. Each one of these food truck owners has a great story. I'm excited to share it all, eventually.

All of that said, if I can be vulnerable for moment, I am still scared to death that this is going to suck. I caught myself thinking about it, and even having some feelings of dread, during our cruise last weekend. Yesterday I hated the idea of coming down, partially because I was by myself, but partially because I felt like I wasn't going to get anything good out of it. Even now, I'm not sure exactly how I set up that they do this monthly Tiki Bash, because it in and of itself isn't really a story, it's just something that happens. There's plenty of narrative baked into the food truck folks, so I'm good there. Tomorrow I'm going to see some of the bottling in action, and one of the distillers is hopefully going to get as nerdy as possible about the chemistry of the process.

The two most terrifying uncertain things are music and graphics. Obviously I can't afford to license really good music. If I can find someone with a vibe to write some stuff, for a reasonable amount of money, that would be killer. I don't even know what the vibe is, but for some reason, it feels like it should involve a ukulele. I mean, OK, that's not a stretch... there are tikis everywhere I go. But then the graphics, I have some things in mind that I don't think I can manifest myself. And there is some animation, likely to come out of the chemistry bits of distillation, that I know I can't do. I don't have that audio recorded yet, but there could be personified molecules or something, I dunno. I'm thinking big for that.

Those last two things, I have already decided, will be the most expensive parts of the movie. I'm not some dickhead who will go to artists and tell them, "But you should do it for the exposure!" That would certainly piss me off. My totally arbitrary budget for the film is $10k, and so far I've spent about $3,600. There will be more on travel, but I'm fairly certain that I don't need anymore equipment. (And mind you, I'm not counting anything that I've already had for a few years.) It's an expensive-ass passion project, but who knows, maybe I can sell it. See, there's me getting over my fear.


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