Guest blog by Director of Photography ... PAUL HOWARD
With the first day under our belts, a later start and a lighter day is planned for our second shoot day. The sun is shining, filling us with energy and we're back at The Boathouse Cafe, in Central Park, to shoot a few short scenes with HILDY, played by Randwick student Gillian Fahey and CHIP played by American actor Evan Newman.
These scenes are about Hildy wanting to break away from her brother and see the sights. Her escape comes when her new friend Chip, an NYC cabbie shows her around New York. Their adventures include a Hanson Cab ride around the park and a helicopter ride over the city. Meanwhile her screen brother GABE, played by Aussie expat Zebedee Row and American actress IVY, played by Ashley Griffin, give chase and try to track down the missing HILDY. Most of the cast and crew that went up in the helicopter had not been in one before, so it was spectacular for all concerned.
Shooting with the Canon 5D mkII and the 7D DSLR cameras, has largely allowed us to go unnoticed. While DOP Irene Alligiannis and second camera Mertcan Karacayil, have enjoyed the steep learning curve into DSLR-land, it has taken some getting used to. Instead of bringing a tripod with us, we've relied on a small monopod and the Merlin Steadicam. Pulling focus on the Merlin is extremely difficult, which has been challenging for our focus pullers', Herra Jap and Toby Castles, but the rig does allow for smooth tracking shots with these small cameras.
We're using a Zoom audio recorder and radio mics for the sound, expertly recorded by Tim Brennan. So apart from the iPad clapper board, onlookers weren't really aware we were shooting a film. The director waves at the actors instead of calling action and our 1st AD, Bryan Paxton, keeps it all very low key.
As our cast are busy with other projects, it’s tricky getting them all together on the same day, causing our Producer, Grainne Hogan, a few long nights at the computer.
Lucky, logistics and catering have been masterfully handled by our production team, Nicole Grocott and Sam Pacitorusconi and behind the scenes footage captured by Anthony Redaelli.
The day went off without a hitch, leaving us time to prep for tomorrow, a much more complex shoot, with dance routines and a split crew. So, it's another 6am start and we're thinking early to bed, the only trouble is... 'Little Italy' beckons. We are in New York after all, 'the city that never sleeps,' so we should keep up.