Waiting for a Friend – Production

Shooting this film was a very intense experience. The project brief stated that the entire ~8-minute film should be shot in a single day. At our level, this was a huge challenge. As Director of Photography, I had broken the script down into around 60 shots, 55 of these to be shot in one day at the flat location. The remaining 5 shots were filmed in the office location on a different day.

The main shoot day ran to 15 hours. After about 10 hours, we realised that we weren’t going to get all the planned shots and we were forced to cut about 10 of them. Despite this, I think we managed to get sufficient coverage of all the scenes. Although this intense day taught me to allow more time in my estimations for each scene, it also made it very clear that the time allowed for the shoot was fundamentally overambitious.

Regarding exposure and lighting, I had some experience from my camera tests and from the lighting workshops but this shoot was still a steep learning curve for me, particularly regarding the complexities of shooting in S-Log on the Sony A7Rii. It was my first time directing multiple complex lighting setups as my previous university projects had had much simpler lighting and fewer scenes. In addition, I had quite limited resources –  (the monitor we had access to had no support for LUTs and the short microHDMI cable made it hard to use with the camera. In addition, as I was overexposing for S-Log, I should have thought to order a 2k Blonde light in order to get as much light into the scene as possible). However, considering the circumstances, I am pleased with the exposure and lighting but I also recognise that there is definitely room for improvement. This experience has taught me a lot and I now feel much more confident lighting a scene.

Despite these restrictions, I am pleased with the results of the shoots. I have done some test colour grades and most shots look good, with a few showing colour noise where they were not overexposed enough.

Below are some BTS shots and some stills taken from the graded footage:

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