Two of These Things: Behind the Camera

I often take you behind the scenes of film production, but today, we are going in one step deeper. That’s right, folks, we’re going Behind the Camera.

This week, I was the cinematographer for “Two of These Things,” a beautiful film about discrimination and (eventually) friendship. The short film will be released on Vimeo this March.

We started by filming a master shot. These are fairly simple to set up, and we used a wide lens to capture the large array of desks in the classroom. We tried our best to keep the master shots consistent between our two classroom scenes, which was difficult considering we did not film them consecutively.

Two of my favorite shots of the day had to be the dolly shots. I pushed the tripod on an orbit dolly past rows of students (which is harder going backwards, FYI). Consistent (or purposely varying) speed is very important in tracking shots. Another cool shot to film was the one where the main character walks toward the camera as I followed with a rack focus.

There is a transition between two scenes, for which it was very important to have practically identical shots in two locations. As they were filmed a sizable amount of time apart, I took a photo of the framing of the first shot, then recreated it the second time: lens, distance, lighting (exposure), and all. Of course, slight deviation was inevitable.

Cinematography is by far my favorite job on a film set. There is something special about controlling the camera, and experience provides both thrill and skill. Practice makes improvement, as they say. At least, something like that. I hope you enjoyed going BTC (behind the camera) on “Two of These Things.” Check it out this March!

Cut to black.

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