… and now we can grab some exteriors for “Couch Cases”. We had to wait a whole week and a half, between the rains and overcast skies. Today we have some clouds, but the sky also has some blue in it for the first time in a while. I’m charging up the batteries and getting ready to grab some exterior shots, indie-style. That means no permits. It’ll be fun!
This, dear readers, is why we should all own or have easy access to a decent camera package.Â
I’ve been so slammed at work on an urgent but low paying project this past week, so it’ll be nice to get out and do something creative this weekend. We don’t have a lot of time before SXSW, and we need to get that trailer and some tighter cuts of the episodes completed before then. Not to mention some sort of music bed and a basic website. That’s a lot to do in two weeks, when you’re also working a fulltime gig.
The good thing, for me, is I still love the work. We did a good job. Sure, in post you see all the flaws- the bad performances (rare, but it happens to the best!), takes with weird sound interference (again, it happens), and camera moves and framings I wish I’d done a bit differently. But as you let it all wash over you, things come together and after a few hours of playing you begin to see something that looks as good as anything on television. That’s a pretty amazing feeling, seeing it all come together.
Lately I’ve done a lot of thinking about how to do the next project. On “Couch Cases”, I had to deal with a lot of relatively low-end technology. I figured out how to make it look great, but it did take a bit of energy and a lot of kludges from me on set. Sure, I could have hired a DP. But not for this budget. I’m a damn good DP myself, but I do think next time I’ll either procure or rent a more high-end camera system, just to make things easier on myself.
Of course, if the next project happens to be a studio picture or a network show then I’ll simply hire more people.
I learned a lot about story on this project, too. We did a lot of things perfectly, and with regards to story, “Couch Cases” is light years beyond anything I’ve done. Heck, it’s light years beyond most anything out there. But just as writing experience helps me learn more about story from a writing standpoint, I found that being on set and working with actors regularly really helps me from a directing standpoint, too. Â I haven’t had this much concentrated experience with one group of people since UCLA, or perhaps since I did the whole community theater thing. This was extremely valuable to me.
I’ve also learned more about teamwork on this project. Usually I’m the writer-director. And I function pretty well like that. But for this project, Kathi was my co-creator and creative producer. We had a few bumps in the road, getting used to this new relationship. But in the end we got a much stronger product. Perhaps two heads are better than one? One of the things I like about Kathi is how she can size up a situation and see what’s missing. Sometimes it’s annoying. Often it’s useful to the project.Â
And I’m learning that, in the end, that’s all that matters.