Because of the fact we had never took the camera we were using down to the actual location on the recce and the fact that the experience we had with the camera was limited, it was decided that a week/ten days before we begin production it was wise to have a test shoot. We took out a JVC 700 and tripod at hit the road to try out the camera in the two locations we had decided upon.
It was good practice for the director to see his surroundings and to get another proper grasp on working with the cameraman and to understand how the script would be put into use for a shot list. We haven’t formally created a shot list yet but Director felt he had to visualise the script before a true list had been complied. We felt and I agreed, that doing a test shoot before a storyboard and shot list would help the production as a visual organisation of how the production will go is best before we start picturing these details. As then I had taken up the role of ‘Producer’ or ‘general runner’ I felt like I would leave Director and Camera Op to it and let them work together and understand the camera a little more. As we never did a Nokia Short this was our first proper use with the camera although some of the team have used it before.
We had visited all the different locations and explored some further options just to make sure the bases were covered. Admittedly we should have done this on the recce and look further into our locations as opposed to just going with what we had. We found new parts of the location which could have been used and maybe still, will be used on production day.
Over all this is was worthwhile time wise as getting us familiar with the locations and the surroundings made us more comfortable and aware of where we are shooting and what kind of people are around. It was good because cameraman got familiar with the equipment and as the group had never captured from cards before, helped them in this process.
We also found that during the capturing stage the footage didn’t turn out anything like what we saw on the cameras LCD screen. This has ultimately led us to question using the camera as we don’t want this to happen during production and post and quite simply, the stakes are too high to let this happen. We are still decided whether we should use the Z1 or risk the JVC.
Here are some production photos from the day: