Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Down On The Farm...

Wow! Another huge gap in between posts. What happened? Did Zack Die? Was he committed to an asylum? Did he move down South to pursue a new-found dream of becoming a radish farmer? Well, to answer your questions; No, No, and Why would you even ask that? Actually, I do have to blame part of the delay on what I am now referring to as The Great Camera Scare of 2011. I don't want to waste time with details, but let's just say it involves the last job I worked on, a hotel, FedEx, and me being separated from my camera gear for two weeks.

Speaking of my last job, the last week of July I spent a day working as a PA/Grip for a Paper Meat Productions while they were shooting on location in Sedan, KS. The program we were shooting for was a food show tracing certain dishes back to their origins. Thus, we were on a farm looking at grass-fed cattle. It was your standard PA work, making runs, grabbing drinks for the crew, and setting up lunch. The Grip work was light, mostly C-stands, sand bags, and reflectors/diffusion. I even got to take some set stills when their camera's battery ran out. However, this time around there was one small twist. It was my first time working on a 3D shoot.

Quite the setup...

I'm not sure why I expected it to be some major change in procedure to work on a 3D shoot. I really thought that there might be some specific lighting nuances or maybe some extra equipment involved, but there really wasn't. Well, I take that back, there was an extra camera and a lot of gear to control both of them simultaneously. The crew were using one traditional 3D setup, two cameras mounted together with one shooting a mirrored image, and two 'modern' single unit 3D cameras for 2nd angles and b-roll. The first was the Panasonic AG-3DA1, and the second was a 3D handycam style camera that I didn't catch the brand name of. It was interesting seeing these three setups all working on the same set, almost like watching the evolution of 3D from a very technical film making process simplified to the pro-sumer DV cam level and then again to a consumer level handycam. It was definitely a new experience to see such a variety of cameras on one set, all destined for the same show.

And it can be yours for a mere $21k!
Everyone on the crew was great and I really enjoyed working with them. They were especially helpful in reuniting me with my gear and for that I'm eternally grateful. However, there was one downer... the weather. From early morning to lunch time, I was either making runs in a van with AC or doing light grip work in a shaded side of a barn. After lunch, however, was a different story. We spent about six hours in an open field and the temperature was between 100°-105° the entire time. It's amazing how fast the heat will steal your energy away even if you are keeping hydrated. But even the heat couldn't ruin a good day on set. I had a great time and it felt good to be doing production work again. Definitely looking forward to the next gig.

Thanks for reading!

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