I was so tired last night, I accidentally clicked Save instead of Post...
Just returned from the first day of shooting The Glove Box, our entry into the Phoenix Film Project Fall 2004 Film Challenge. Gabe wrote the excellent screenplay, under pressure when no one else was feeling particularly creative. I'm serving as the cinematographer, and Brock as a creative consultant, since he has numerous film commitments for school (he's already in high demand). Angie and John were the all-around crew for the day, keeping equipment at the ready and holding reflectors for fill light. Jeremy contributed a few ideas long-distance. The hooligans were played by honest-to-goodness real life hooligans!
I couldn't wait to see the footage, so we watched it a few minutes ago. Good news, it looks great! The colors are vibrant, and overall it looks very slick. The ND filter came in very handy in the bright afternoon sun (I could have even used a much more powerful one if I had it available, I'll add it to the list of things I need to buy). We got some jumbo silver windshield covers and used them for fill light, to great effect. Many of the in-car shots would not have been usable without the added light, and the fill light was just enough to cut down the contrast of the in-car light and the bright sky.
The cameras manual controls were also used to great effect, and resulted in three distinct looks to match the three main sections of the screenplay. With the exposure locked for the duration of a each section, the visuals stay very consistent and professional-looking. The first section is predominantly in the mid-afternoon, with lots of blue sky from inside and outside the vehicle. The second sections is late afternoon, with beautiful golden sunlight and long shadows. I also turned the sharpness down (to reduce DV jagged edges) for this section, and we moved to mostly handheld to add drama (note we didn't use handheld throughout, so it stands out and serves it purpose when it appears). The final section is at night, and the lights we used were a very pure white, making the night look almost black and white.
We shot a lot of coverage and we should have more than enough footage to make all the aspects of Gabe's vision come to life. We even took a stab at an admitedly ambitious concept, one that took hours to pull off and will result in mere seconds of visuals in the final cut, but should really set this production apart.
Gabe's acting was subtle and superb. He handled freeway and city driving duting while simultaneously doing primarily physical acting. He even did some high speed stunt driving! He came away with a few battle scars, only flesh wounds.
We got more than expected from our impromptu hooligans. Much more. That could be a post in and of itself.