Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Rushes

I was only on set for a few hours today (our second day of shooting). I've realized that my time on set, though useful in solving people's minute-to-minute issues, is not optimized. Arriving back at the office, I had 28 emails requiring immediate attention -- most of these emails contain documents of deal memos/budget quotes/breakdowns and take forever for each one.

So, needless to say, I was swamped when I got into the office. But it was nice to be in a quiet office, versus being on set where I was battling all day with various departments who kept insisting that it was required by law to have a medic on set, vs. other departments swearing that they got legal council and it's not required ... It was maddening.

I hadn't seen any of the shooting from the day before, bc I was busy coordinating a stills photo shoot for the principle actors (Naseeruddin Shah, Greta Scacchi, and two other actors). I came into the office and asked our editor Sanjeev how the rushes looked from the day before. 'Rushes' are the footage of what was shot the day before -- they don't have sound though. Sanjeev asks me 'Did you purposely keep this guy out of frame?' I frowned -- 'No -- show me.' I looked at the shots, and everything on the left side of the frame was cut out. In some shots it didn't show as much , but in other shots, heads and bodies were literally cut out of frame. I immediately sent Sanjeev to set with his Beta machine and monitor to show Jag the problem.

3 hours of confusion ensued -- was this a lab telecine issue? Should we print all 4000 feet that we shot yesterday (an £800 cost)? It was 5 minutes to when they closed -- we waited literally till the last minute to find out if there was any new information available to us to make this decision. Finally -- we found out that the grain glass for the camera was for a Super 35mm camera -- whereas we're shooting on 35mm. What that translates to is -- our framing guidelines were incorrect for the entire 1 1/2 days that we had shot so far. So everything was framed wrong, and that explained why things were cut off on the left side. (I would need to draw a diagram to be able to explain exactly what the 35/super35 difference means, but my blogging skills are severly limited -- and I just don't have the time).

The 80 person crew sat around for the next 2 hours, as they waited for the correct grain glass to be delivered to set (rush hour in Central London). Myself and our producer Arun sat in the office, wondering what this would cost us if everything had to be re-shot -- was this even possible given all the logistical constraints? Only until Jag arrived into the office after we wrapped our shoot, a few hours later, and watched all the rushes, were we able to assess what damage had been done. Lucky for us, it wasn't detrimental -- only about 4 shots needed to be retaken. Tomorrow we will watch today's rushes, and again assess what will need to be re-shot.

Amidst all this chaos, my friend Shaun came to visit me at the office. I think I barely spoke a couple of sentences with him ... he understood though and happily used our free internet and left.

So that was day 2 of 42!

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