Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Shooting a Short Film. African Style.

Day 1 - Location Scouting

I landed in Lilongwe, Malawi today after a two day journey via Amsterdam and Nairobi. The rest of the crew had flown in from Europe the day before and were all rested up and ready to go.  After dropping my luggage and equipment off at the house rented for myself and some other crew members,

I grabbed my new 5D mkIII, hopped in a tiny blue Toyota hatch back and took off for an afternoon of delirious jet lagged location scouting in the stunning African country side.  I've had some experience in recent years shooting on the African continent and as a director of photography I always look forward to the ease at which I am able to fill a frame with interesting textures and subject matter. Back home in North America it would take an extremely skilled art department to design, build and age sets like these.
The first location on our list was a fully functional school where we will be shooting outside, in the school yard, and inside class rooms. Can't wait to work out the logistics of keeping an entire school quite and out of our shots.  The school yard was stunning in the low afternoon light with the long shadows reaching out toward us and that signature red, iron rich, African soil which most likely doubles as a soccer pitch outside of school hours.

The moment I set foot inside one of the class rooms I fell in love.  The combination of the hard side light, dappled by the circular holes in the walls (windows) and the textures on the broken chalkboard is going to make this set really easy to light and shoot.

Next on the list was a small river bank where a few of the women characters go to wash clothes every morning, the house where our brother and sister lead characters live and a soccer pitch. I'm already thinking that early morning and late afternoon are going to be the ideal times to shoot most of these locations. I wouldn't complain about a daily siesta.

Tomorrow will be a full day of testing and then straight into it.  I brought a movi with me which I don't have any experience with.  I'll be sure to post photos and videos of this new piece of equipment as well.  Stay tuned...