Week 12: Fort Tom and script analysis

As our shoot date is drawing closer, I decided to start breaking down the current draft of the script. I followed the advice in the American Cinematographer article, reading through the script multiple times, noting changes in mood, narrative perspective and any practical challenges. I then made rough tramlines outlining my approach to coverage for each scene. As discussed with Emma, our main approach will be to use mainly close-ups and long lenses to build a tense, claustrophobic atmosphere. These will be juxtaposed with a few ‘snowglobe’ shots – wide shots from a distance using long lenses – which will create a sense of dissociation and reinforce the surreal and constructed nature of Valerie’s experiences, as if she’s seeing them play out in her head with no control over what happens.

Early draft of shotlist

After I had a fully annotated script, I made a preliminary shotlist in a spreadsheet. This helped me visualise the content and requirements of each scene and will help when taking storyboard photos. On Thursday 8th, I met with Emma to compare our initial thoughts and consolidate our ideas for the shotlist. I’m pleased that we now seem to be much more on the same page than we were a few weeks ago – taking the time to discuss our style and rework the moodboards has paid off.

At the end of this week, I was working as a loader again on Fort Tom. This shoot was slightly more disorganised than SitW but was still fun and went smoothly. Their main location – a house in Merchiston could work well for our bedroom and party scenes – Emma and I had a chat with the owners and they seem happy to help out!

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