It’s 3:30am, and I’ve been writing about my experiences on the set earlier in the night. The Director, Line Producer, and DP had asked me to be on set for a particular shot in case it required the help of VFX (Visual Effects). There’s an amazing collective creative spark that happens on a set during production. Contributing to that process provides a rush that I savor, and the night had not disappointed.
The core of my work usually happens after shooting, which is, of course, why they call it “Post Production.” In Post, I’m often fixing issues that came up because of unexpected variables. There’s a lot to do during a shoot day, and everyone’s moving fast to get it all done. Sometimes mechanical or human error is simply unavoidable. Issues during production that involve my having to do “invisible fixes” can range from something as relatively simple as steadying a camera bump during a desired take, to challenges like removing a crew member who inadvertently moved into another camera’s shot. When handling these issues, my performance is usually a balance between getting the best effect possible with the money and time available.
It’s been a great night, but I realize I have to stop writing, because it’s late, and the sentences are all starting to run together. “In moments,” I tell myself, “I’m going to bed.” Then my phone rings. The DIT (Digital Imaging Tech) tells me that there was an issue with some of the footage we shot earlier tonight. We’ve lost some key takes.
Damm. And I was so close to going to bed too!
I call the dailies editor, who gives me the specifics about what we lost – nearly two whole setups, but she’s still transferring B camera, so we don’t know yet what we might have in alternate footage. I bemoan the fact that I was supposed to be sleeping like a baby by now, and then I begin doing the necessary emails to various key people, asking them to call me when they get up. Ugh. Time to get to bed so I can be up before those calls start rolling in.
The information gathering and dispersing continued all through the weekend, and was finally resolved on Monday, after my editor worked with the footage. Everyone decided we were able to make the sequence work quite nicely with what we had, so the looming possibility of a reshoot soon disappeared. Adding a reshoot to our schedule could have delayed the finishing process of the whole first episode, which, depending on press deadlines could have opened up a whole new variety of challenges.
We were back on track, for the time being, until the next challenge would rise up demanding the best performance possible.