This meeting with Rusty the cinematographer I am working with on Low Season, felt particularly important for me. The reasons are both practical and possibly more human based, and emotional.
I have not worked with Rusty up until this film, and It although we have both admired each others work, Neither of us are used to how the others process actually works.
My initial nervousness, and my propensity for experimentation with the process of film itself, I believe can be possibly confusing to someone new and although perhaps some of my worry was constructed purely in my own head I felt certain that my lack of neat and complete storyboard to show Rusty combined with my openness for new ideas and input, had up to this point lead him to thinking I was a bit ‘arty farty,’ and loose with my approach or that I do not have a strong vision.
This could not be further from the truth, but I had found myself stalling Rusty a bit as I work through imagery in my head playing it like an internal cinema player, continuously changing camera angles movement and framing. It is a series of problems that I then work through in very scruffy sketches before I feel able to share these ideas with anyone else.
Add to that my reluctance to share the initial sketched idea of shots and you can see where I am going with this.
I like to keep everything open to change and development I don’t like scripts, words in my films are largely descriptive and live outside in a different world of actuality. the anti matter of my attempts at poetic cinematic description where an audience have freedom to explore a world firstly from a visual, emotional sense created by tone and atmosphere.
The fact that I am never satisfied with a shot or scene and feel they are never fixed until shot and even then can alter in editing, can be very confusing for others to comprehend, particularly if I don’t explain this to them!
It was my conversations with both caroline and Jake that made me realise that I needed to get a handle on this issue and be a lot more open and communicative with the cinematographer working with me on my film!
For this meeting I decided to explain all of the above and go prepared, It was one of the defining moments of pre production, Rusty listened to my ramblings and actually for once I was quite articulate, and then I was able to go through the story boards I had slaved over, concepts for complex camera movements etc. This I had worried would put rusty off, as all of these shots I knew where difficult and I wanted to follow the rules for my characters world both internally and externally which meant some odd and difficult problems to surpass.
This I precisely where we agreed and gelled, rusty was absolutely up for the shots and the experimentation and difficulties trying to achieve them would bring, in fact he seemed to relish the challenge! This meant we were able to share ideas and talk freely in film language on the same page for the first time. the meeting could not have gone better, Rusty very much onboard and aware that I am deadly serious in my goals and aspirations for the film.
It has also given me a huge burst of confidence not just in the film but in the choices I am making and the people I am working with. This was worth the train ride and the price of a coffee!