Intensive Care…

I left it too late to post last night so here it is. I began shooting the first hospital scenes yesterday. With the room set up I can now go for all the scenes and shots I need. I’m still a full day behind but I’m hoping to pull that back over the next few days.

I’ve got the lights set up how I wanted them, though this involved using a chair in a way it was never supposed to be used. Since the floodlight was already nailed to the chair and I needed it elevated by another foot or so, I simply jammed it into the radiator. It’s really stable and I can still angle the light. The only downside is that I never accounted for the fact that the door is right beside the light, making it a tight squeeze getting in and out of the room now.

I spoke with Daragh Muldowney, who has been a great help with all my photography-related questions, about the lighting of the set based on the reference picture I’m using. We agreed that a harsh, shaped, light from the side and a diffused light from above would come close to achieving this effect. For the shaping of my light, I housed it inside a (overly complicated) shoebox structure. This gives it the ‘letterbox’ type of light which is similar to that of the reference picture.

I finished the shots from the foot of the bed. For one of them (the opening shot) I used the glidetrack for the first time. I used the cardboard ruler I made to get perfect increments. I actually turned out quite nice although I wish the track could have been twice as long.


I also shot the scene where the machine finally runs out of tape and the red leader tape passes through the heads and collects onto the second spool. I’m trying to shoot more than I need so that in editing I will have more options. The drawback to this is that the more seconds of footage I add on the more hours it takes to shoot. I spent 3 hours last night shooting this scene and ended up with about 14 seconds. This was the most painful sequence yet as for each picture I had to walk over, adjust the tape machine, step out of the shot, shoot it and repeat. After a few hundred times I start to get a bit zoned out and making mistakes. For example, as I was moving the tape on a fraction my little finger nudged a wire beside the machine. I spent the next few minutes trying to put it back into its previous position so as not to ruin the shot. I think by the end of this project I will either be a zen master of calmness or I’ll spend the rest of my days in a padded room.

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