Week 8/52

Set up for this shot was pretty interesting. I've had this concept in mind for a while and I'm glad I finally found some black cloth for me to do this (I've been thinking about getting a portable backdrop, too...). I found it pretty easy to light since I knew what I wanted. Basically, I just had some regular fluorescent light bulbs on a Bed Bath and Beyond lamp to light up my back, and then I had an extra lamp lying around so I put that on the floor towards my face with some black foil attached to it to direct the light a bit more towards my hair. Otherwise, my hair would probably have been lost in the dark. I wish I could've had a light on the top for some hair light, but I had no more lamps and there was no way to attach it to the ceiling. I'm alright with that though.

The hardest part about this was attaching the cranes to my back by myself and figuring out posing. Posing right was really, really annoying. Here's a better look at the cranes:

I.V. Locals Remember Tragedy

Nick Bourdakis, Christopher Divis, Ruth Levy and Elie Israel were killed on the night of Feb. 23, 2001 when 19-year-old UCSB student David Attias drove his car down the 6500 block of Sabado Tarde Road at high speed, striking them all. Campus and community members gathered at Little Acorn Park today at 6 p.m. to honor their lives. - from Daily Nexus reporter Patrick Schaeper

Photographing a memorial today (for my school newspaper) was an interesting experience. I felt a little bit awkward wandering around getting pictures while they were having the service, and I almost felt rude. Nobody seemed to mind though, except the photographer who said he was from the News Press. He gave me dirty looks.

Camera Rolling

"Hey Annie, want to go to get dinner next Saturday?"
"I'm sorry, I can't... I have filming."

Yesterday I was kind of lying in bed and going through in my mind how much STUFF I've learned these past few years at UCSB regarding film making. I came in as an 18-year old freshman with absolutely zero knowledge of anything related to film, and today, as a 21-year old 3rd year, I sort of know what I'm doing. I say "sort of" because I think I know enough to get by, but when I compare myself to others who are way more experienced in the field, I am still a little baby.

So today, I decided to compile a bunch of photos from the various films I've worked on and do a little reminiscing, along with a bit of commentary.

Becca Bozzo's Mira Verde
     This was for a GreenScreen production class, the first film crew I ever worked on, and also the first email from the film list serv that I responded to! It was an internship as a production manager assistant, but I sort of ended up just being the production manager. Compared to what I know now all the things a production manager really does, I really didn't do much at all! But it was a good first experience - I thought everything was super cool.
Role: Production manager

Ryan Turner's Lukewarm
Landed a spot on Lukewarm by answering an email from the film list server that was looking for on-set photographers. Since my interest for photography was just beginning to bloom, I snagged this up like Black Friday madness. Most days, I peered through my lens and quietly watched everyone work. I remember always wondering why it took so long to do a scene, haha. At the end of the day, I tried to help people pack up equipment and such, but I always felt like I was just in the way.
Role: On-set photographer

Jasmin Toutounchi's Love Fool
People saw my pictures of Lukewarm, so I got asked to document Love Fool as well. It was for the 10-10-10 Film Festival, which it won! :D On this set, I still stayed the silent paparazzi, snapping pictures and watching people work. It wasn't as big of a project as Lukewarm, so it was refreshing to be able to help out more. It was also my first time listening to the sound through the boom!
Role: On-set photographer

Steven Ray Morris's The Premiere
I'm still taking pictures for sets. I also discovered Tony Ung's ingenious use of DIY film making tools, like his dolly and the three-point lighting with china ball system. Pretty neat stuff!
Role: On-set photographer

Steven Ray Morris's Fotography Girl
I'm still an on-set photographer for this Reel Loud, but look at me! I'm helping pull focus! Well, not exactly in this shot, but yeah, I did! I was so excited.This was my first time staring at a 16mm K-3 film camera.
Role: On-set photographer

Addison Woody Smith's Eres Tu
By being a part of so many films and getting to know people, I finally got to break into the camera department when I got offered to be assistant camera for Addison! For the first time, I didn't have to bring my camera to set. Instead, I helped set lights up and started slowly learning what a "650" was. ;)
Role: Assistant Camera

Mark Belko's The Thing With 20 Eyes
This was my first time being a director of photography, and I was all by myself, working with a 16mm film camera. Recipe for disaster? Maybe. Something unfortunate happened on the first day of shooting, but we eventually worked through it. I don't really feel like repeating what happened because I am not proud of it at all, but if you ask me in person I will probably tell you. But overall, this was a really fun film to work on. I loved the story and, of course, that thing with 20 eyes!
Role: Director of photography

Daniel Gradias's Tatemae
I shot this around the same time as The Thing With 20 Eyes, so my experience level was still a bit low. Again, I was alone as a DP and reshoots were needed. It was a pretty interesting film to work on, nonetheless. Yes, that is a guy in a bright green dinosaur costume, and I am standing on top of a car because the minimum focus distance was so annoying. I still had so much to learn.
Role: Director of photography

Ryan Turner's Administration
First time seeing someone shoot a film with a Canon 5D Mark II!
Role: On-set photographer

Shane Spalione's How to Read Lightning
Out of habit, I brought my camera to take production stills. But oh hey, who is that working the camera at the bottom picture? :) My lighting knowledge at this point is still wayyy sub-par. But I got to start working with lights and just learn by doing. "Figure out how to make day for night in this room, I'll be right back."
Role: 1st assistant camera

Hugo Eddie Smith's 12 Minutes Until the End of the World
This is my biggest project so far. I got the role of DP for a 106. A year ago, 106s were horror production stories, the "big guys" to me in the film department world. Rowan also got hired as a DP, and I am so thankful for that because I learned SO much from him. Thanks, Rowan, you're amazing. At the same time, since I got into a 106, I automatically got to be in the lighting class, and that was a big help to me, too. Thanks, Dana. So throughout fall quarter, I worked with my awesome 12 Minutes crew, and we recently just finished principal photography. Up until this project, I didn't have enough training with lighting, and that really cost me in terms of knowing what to do as a cinematographer. I don't think I could write enough about my experiences with this project, so I'll just leave it simply at this: I am a much better cinematographer and photographer than I was before because of how much I learned about lighting.
Role: Director of photography

Fred Buckley's Aggravated
This was usually Rowan's role, but since he couldn't be on set, I took over for him for about a day and a half. I think it was the first time I was recommended! Eager to get even more experience, I agreed. It was really fantastic. I really learned that a lot of film making was about solving problems and paying attention to the tiniest details.  This was shot on a Canon 7D.
Role: Substitute director of photography

Dane Sawyer's The Girl Who Kicked the Bike Basket
I'm not going to say too much about this project because it's still in production, but this is for a Reel Loud, meaning I'm shooting on 16mm film again. This time though, my knowledge is far superior than last year, and I am determined to do my best job. I have an amazing gaffer that I've worked with twice already, and I work with the other cinematographers of the trilogy. We help each other out, we solve problems together, and most importantly, we learn from each other. I'm excited to see how this will turn out.
Role: Director of photography

Other projects I've got lined up:
- Chris Witschy's Pass the Parcel
16mm film. Continuing to develop connections and do what I love.
Role: Cinematographer

- Karl Ford's Burial
This will be the first professional production I work on. I'm sooooper excited.
Role: 2nd assistant camera

I hope to continue getting connections, meeting new people who will teach me amazing things, and start working on more independent stuff. I may take longer than you to figure how I want to light a scene, but I'm getting there.

*Some images taken by Kyle Thompson, Jackie Lee, Angela Mathews, Jeri Villegas, and Hunter Armor. Apologies if I forgot you... I forget!

Week 7/52

Something simple shot literally at midnight of Sunday, the beginning of week 7.

Filming recently has just been consuming all my time. I'm currently signed up for about 4 film projects. I wonder how I let it happen to me. I guess I should start saying no to projects. Aside from filming, I got an internship that will take up more time during the week. But overall I'm pretty excited that I'm getting all these opportunities. I just need to manage my time more.

Week 5/52

Humility, that low, sweet root, from which all heavenly virtues shoot.
- Thomas Moore

Yesterday I was having a hard time coming up with somewhat decent stuff.
That day, I was extremely guilty of "fixing it in post."

Some outtakes: