Shoot Day 3on Jul 05 in Directing, Project ARTICHOKE by Azhur
The final day of the shoot! Today was all about getting the transition sequence in the can (or in the hard drive) and shooting the opening of the film. Today was also the day that Malte Rosenfeld came on to cover for DP Matthew Cooke (as he was unavailable due to our shoot dates change). Malte had visited the set yesterday to see what Matt was going for and make sure he was up to speed with everything.
It was great to have him on set and help us out and he did a fantastic job of picking up where Matt had to finish off. One of the first things we shot, before getting headway into the transition sequence were some of the shots that take place before Sirhan fires his gun, such as opening the briefcase and having a look at the gun. The main reason we left that to today was because of the big turnaround on set. We shot the majority of shots shooting one way down the length of the room, and today was turning around and shooting the other way (well as much as possible. Due to cast availability it meant we didn’t always have that choice!).
Once we got the small inserts out the way, including the plates for the VFX we moved onto the main bulk of the transition sequence. This is where shooting digital really helps, as we had to reference back to the shots we’d done in the kitchen to make sure they matched up to how Tariq would be moving around the space. It also helped Malte from a lighting point of view to make sure everything matched up with what Matt had done.
I also really enjoyed shooting the sequence where Sirhan shoots the gun. We had one tracking shot that dollies in on his profile, ending just as he fires, then another extreme close up of the gun firing. Now for the ECU shot, because we were in so close, we had to maintain the position of the gun in frame and the best way to do that was to place a stand under the hand to stabilise it. It’s great when the simplest tricks work out!
For a shoot like this it was important to have someone very skilled as Continuity and Script Supervisor. With us was Victoria Gegenbauer who did an amazing job of helping me make sure that shots that would appear next to each other in the cut, but were jumping from location to location matched up. It was essentially important to match the speed of movement, hand placement, where the gun was and so on.
It’s at times like this that I am glad we pulled out all the stops and made sure we had enough crew members on set, doing specific roles, rather than a fewer amount sharing job responsibilities. It’s been such a technically demanding job and having great crew around me makes me a better director.
As you’ll see from the storyboards there was much more sequences during the transition, for example, Sirhan has his arm grabbed by someone whilst in the warehouse still and after he pulls away there’s no one stood there. That was supposed to represent a brief moment from what’s really happening in the kitchen. Unfortunately, as is almost always the case, I had to trim down on shots and that meant removing small sequences like that.
I just had to make sure that the continuity of action still made sense and that meant a lot of editing in my head whilst shooting. You have to always trust your instincts in situations like this and once you’ve made the decision, stick with it and move on.
Ultimately we got everything that I needed to tell the story and I’m so pleased with the crew that was on board this film!
Now onto post-production!