Well it is Easter in Sydney – the rest of the world may need a couple of hours to catch up !
So continuing our production blog.. I figured I would give you guys an insight into one day of pre-production for a major fxphd shoot.
So this was my Thursday !
Day starts 5AM
Start by answering forum questions and posting stuff for the new Zoic story on fxguide – since 5 am -Jeff is doing most of the work on the podcast -I just need to add images we finally got approved from FOX.
I got into the office around 9.15am at the Tech Penthouse with a very large latte. (BTW I really recommend the Zoic podcast – it is a cracker – really detailed – I may do a later blog on podcasts but today is on production).
John and I independently spend on average 2 hours a day answering questions in the forum and emails at the start of each day – due to time zones that means we do this hours apart and hopefully tag team.
At the office I needed to clean off the flame which was going out on a job – while I am at NAB – no biggy but archives had to be checked etc.
10AM I had a meeting with Angie our producer re the shoots on the whiteboard… I love whiteboards.. this was a long discussion as we have currently scheduled …
– The helcopter shoot for the day after Easter, and the day before I fly to NAB
– The stunt shoot for when I return
– A one day shoot for a film clip ( i can’t name the band yet) – but we fxphd can use the footage
– A new pilot shoot for the secret project (more at NAB)
– A web hook up shoot for a new project that may happen in late May
– Fxphd background fundamentals shoots for me to camera (with the new HD cameras and lights)
– and the Zombie shoot …
now just the last one – we had a shoot date for the three day shoot.. and this was fine,.. then we lost the Viper to a feature in QLD for 5 weeks – no problem – it only delayed our shoot a couple of weeks, as this would be partly when I was in the USA.. but then we discover our makeup effects guys have to fly to Europe for a shoot for 3 months. So go this date.. no camera, go this date no effects… riiiiiight. More on this later, cant solve this now – but circle it on the whiteboard – several times!
11am and we have to get the gear for Tuesday’s shoot as everyone is closed over Easter. We call to pick up the gear.. and discover the camera missed the courier last night out of Melbourne and will now not arrive until 1 hour AFTER the helcopter is scheduled to be finished on Tuesday.
An hour later and Debby – our marvously office manager in the Melbourne office has arranged for the Camera to be flown up Express same day delivery. Meanwhile Angie, our producer, has solved the DOP being at the shoot, issues like the needs of the camera assistant, and “oh the local council just declaring we cant fly the chopper low at the location”, – the same location Angie has just worked days to secure – mail box drop – film at, and block the road off at – so we can fly this chopper in low and fast without danger. Angie deals – she is brilliant.
Meanwhile Jimmy is picking up the Codex deck in my car and getting the pipe dolly built for the afternoons filming.
12 midday… and we have a meeting with a director and producer about a feature film, good meeting but it takes a couple of hours.
2pm I grab a sandwich, while Jimmy sets up the lights and the P2 for filming my next Background Fundamental intros. We only have an hour as we have a conference call at 3pm. We now film in HD for BKD and we are testing the new firewire option for the P2 camera – so we can avoid P2 cards. Jimmy has some issues – but this guy can work any machine – any piece of software, anyone ever made – he has an amazing talent for working our anything ! Jimmy get is to work, but I have now only 30 mins to record 22mins of dialogue. We dont even try the teleprompter.
3pm – We finish on time ! But the conference call is moved to 5pm.. I see this as a great a chance to solve the camera problems. With Angie and I working the phones we start solving problems. Problems such as the call Angie has had while I was filming to say the Viper will not fit in the nose mount of the helicopter (!) . A few calls to Queensland where the seriously helpful Andy is on location and we discover he has a solution – we just now need an SR deck that will work off 12V inside the Helicopter and 3m of cable – but finding a portable SR deck with 2 hours till close of business before Easter !!! Meanwhile Angie has done call sheets, solved council problems and solved a hundred other problems I did not know we even had…
I also sort out gear for the making of fxphd crew, since we need to film it and film us filming it… we always need two crews.
I solve, 4 x 12 v batteries, a video split, tripod, lens (we want to now shoot tests after the chopper shoot – to make sure we have the right gear for the main three day shoot – the one we still have no camera for.. (still on the list to be solved)). And BANG I solve the SR deck – thanks to an old friend. Fxphd is only possible due to the generousity of companies such as BroadCam, Panavision, Thompson and others. These companies are so helpful and so generous – that even with no notice, busy and slammed as they are themselves – they make time to help us out. I really love this industry.
4.30 Jimmy and I head out to get more gear, Jimmy calls around to find SR stock, we have run out in the office and with an 8am call time on Tuesday and Easter shutdown- we have 30 mins to find some 🙂
While we go and start meeting people and picking up a dozen or so camera boxes… Angie solves another 100 problems – she is brilliant at not letting anything phase her.. the secret to production if there is a secret – is to work with people who are not drama queens. People Like Angie and Jimmy just never scream, never get worked up – and just solve problems. One of these problems Angie solves is my conference call I am no longer around to have.
6pm and I have another meeting and solve our camera for the three day shoot !!! Whoaaa… phone our guys in QLD to let them know and wish them Happy Easter and fly back to the office to meet with Prof. Rose about her CS3 classes – which are looking great. I say goodbye as I will not see her until Vegas. I then met with Doug re FCP and record a podcast about the coming term. Jimmy will work back tonight to help Doug with recording his next FCP class and wait for the main camera.
7.30 No camera – Jimmy offers to wait – I head home to see my family. Mental note: buy Jimmy large amounts of beer to say thanks. I speak to the camera assistant bout gear and filtering tests, plus answer a few more emails quickly. I will met the DOP and the Camera assistant on Monday – at the office for a camera test before we go on location, if we can find the courier and our Camera… this is getting a tad serious.
9.45 – Get the call from Jimmy that the Camera has turned up ! Whooaaa we have a shoot.. Jimmy heads off, Rose and Doug stay on late into the night to finish their classes.
Wow what an amazing team of people – just could you get a better team ? No one complains – everyone is a professional – what a great day, what a great group of people.
6am Easter Good Friday … Jeff and John have been working overnight doing Lustre classes and publishing the Zoic story – excellent!)
…now I did promise to blog yesterday, bugger – oh well where to start ?
hit save and publish (I hope the readers dont mind there is no nice pic like John’s LA story 🙂