Timing is Everything–With Some Luck

A client of mine has had a heck of a time pulling together all of the elements for multiple shoots in Denver. At least they are all for the same project right? This last one was suppose to be an in and out sort of shoot. Well that changed to include an overnight. Sure thing, we’ll get it done. Then I got an email reminding me of an educational opportunity that was happening in Denver the same day I was going to be there. Would it all work out? Sure! Maybe? With some luck.

That event was Alex Buonos Visual Storytelling 2. It is a multi-city, summer long masterclass. The closest event for me was in Minneapolis and the schedule would not allow it. But being in Denver the same day, that had to be luck. Having my client’s shoot get pushed to late afternoon was practically intervention. I kept my 6 AM flight and went right to the hotel for class. And we got into it quickly. Lots of topics were covered and they all revolved around the theme of tight deadlines, fast planing and being resourceful in the field. Pretty important material for today’s production environment.

The best demonstration, in my mind, had to do with explaining and executing “poor-man’s process’ for shooting car scenes. After lunch I came back to the room to find what looked to be a Shelby GT–but it was just a fabric skin to emulate a car. That’s a neat trick in itself. The scene was tied together with a translucent fabric background to replicate a street at night. Shooting lights through the fabric where headlights “were” added texture. Then a spinning light tree was used to give motion to the lights. This then gave motion to car as it “passed” under the street lights. Spin the lights faster and it appears the driver is moving faster. Works the same was in reverse! Great demonstration.

What was very helpful through out the day was the technology employed to bring the audience closer into the environment of understanding the decisions being made. For example, the placement of a 24″ monitors at each table of 6 people. Wireless TX/RX for both cameras on stage and a switcher to help control what we saw and when. With the large monitors we could get in and be critical compared to watching the washed out overhead projector. Very well planned out.

And of course, when time came I had to slip out the back door to get to my shoot – the whole reason I was there to start with. It all worked out with timing and some of that luck.  The luck part could have been the 4 straight green light I hit on the way to the location. Or divine intervention. I don’t know and not going to question it.