Today was our one and only shooting day for the music video. I believe the fact that it had to be a one day shoot turned out to be the biggest challenge. Up until today, we have never really experienced such a restricted and intense shooting day, as we used to have more than just one. It would have been easier with the first plan we had. We were supposed to stick to a couple of locations that are all close to each other. We have made changes and got ourselves into hot water. However, considering that it did not quite work out the way we wanted, I am really proud of how we managed to stick to the schedule and overcome difficulties.
Never before have I experienced such a good organisation on set, in any previous groups I had worked with. It has been a very long and tiring day but the shoot was quite successful. Obviously, filming would not be a learning process if there were not any issues, would it?
We met in the loan store at 9.30, as soon as it opened, to pick up the equipment we had booked for today's shoot. Unfortunately, we were not very lucky to begin with, as the system was down and they would not let us take the equipment. Luckily Monica, our producer, managed to get the equipment after all which we were all very grateful for. Those troubled influenced our shoot a lot as it caused big delays in our schedule. We got to the filming location, where Darby already was waiting with our actress, as she came to pick her up as soon as we found out about the troubles. We started setting up the lights and camera, improvised a little bit with set design, make up etc. and finally started filming.
According to the delay in our schedule we had to be really fast and stick to the plan with every single shot, what influenced the shoot a little bit in a bad way. As a Director of Photography I wish I could have had more time to set up the camera, framing and lights for each shot perfectly. However, I am still well satisfied with what we managed to achieve in such hurry.
Up until the two last scenes, everything has been going perfectly fine. Even though we were so exhausted we still stayed positive. As soon as we finished the interior scenes, we left in order to get to our second location. We filmed a short scene at the bus stop and then some bits in the bus, as planned. And so we headed to Hackney, where we had a stage booked from 5-6pm, to film our very last, but essential, scene of the video. Even though we were in a hurry and sticked to the schedule, we could not have predicted the traffic as big as the one that ruined our successful shoot. Getting from Camden to Hackney was gonna take about half an hour. It took us about an hour and a half, instead. By the time we got there, which was around 6 o'clock, we were not allowed to film at the stage anymore, as they were preparing it for an event.
At this point we all panicked. Without this scene our video would not make any sense. We did not have any back up plan. We could not reschedule the shoot for another day as we would fail. We had no choice but just come up with any idea that could possibly replace the last scene and still be good enough. We improvised. We decided to just start walking ahead and look for an inspiration. We walked down the street in Hackney and tried to find a place, where we could possibly get a permission to just quickly record something. As silly as it sound, we did not manage to find such place.
Finally, we found this incredibly good looking tunnel with graffiti and very climatic light and decided to try something there. Obviously we had no permission to film there so it was quite stressful. The original idea was to have the actress perform on the stage in front of an empty "audience". The only thing that came to our minds looking at the tunnel was to show her going to a place where she is about to perform and being stressed out about it. This could only leave the audience with an open ending to interpret but it is better than nothing.
I am really happy we found this great location in Hackney to use as a backup plan. The scene on an actual stage was irreplaceable but hopefully we can make it work with the footage we have. Also, today I finally got to work as a DOP, as I have always wanted to, and I am actually quite proud of myself. I really look forward to the editing. I only hope the video will be clear and understandable to the audience, cause if not, then the whole good shooting day would go to waste. But I am keeping my fingers crossed and it is up to the viewers now.
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