I am always amazed, impressed and inspired at how most creative productions, whether filmed or live, the cast and crew become like a family, and often the bonds are created very quickly. It’s equally astounding to note when this happens on a film that deals with really dark, intense, subject matter such as Zack Parker’s Proxy. Our second day on set provided CME with some incredible opportunities and challenges.
Shooting EPK for a feature film is no small task when you are limited to one crew member-yourself. Due to budgetary constraints I could only afford to bring myself on to shoot the behind the scenes of this film and I am quickly remembering why a team, a creative production family, matters. Our location yesterday was a local church basement here in Richmond, Indiana, and although I was happy to be in a place that had air conditioning, with production being located mainly in the basement area. However, I wanted to find a nice spot away from production that would look great on camera and allow me to get some interviews without having to worry about interrupting the flow of everyone’s main purpose for being there-to make PROXY.
After capturing some initial b-roll in the morning, I set off to find my location. Although the church was filled with some rich images, I was having a difficult time settling on a location I felt fit the tone of the piece as well as something that was far enough away from set not to disturb their process, yet close enough that if production needed to come and get whatever performer was being interviewed they could get to them expeditiously. When I was about to throw up my hands and just head outside for it’s rich greenery, I met someone from the church, an older gentlemen, who was kind enough to let me into some of the rooms that we had not planned on using. I finally found my spot.
Although the room was not perfect, I quickly fell in love with these curtains where the sunlight was beautifully blowing out the floral pattern-yep perfect backlighting. After several flights up and down stairs to set up camera, lighting, and sound I went and got Alexa Havins from basecamp and began my first interview.
As always, she looked radiant on camera and was extremely giving and open to the interview-she is not only a professional but a kind and creative individual. However, not having a crew of my own to depend on, and running dual system sound, I found myself needing to make some adjustments to get everything I needed in the can. To add to it, the room was starting to get hot and I wanted to keep her comfortable as well as keep a clear head about myself. Once we got in the groove, we were having a great time. Alexa is extremely intelligent and well spoken and I was loving her insights to the script, the character, and the process of making PROXY.
By the time I wrapped my interview with her, most of the morning had passed. I realized it took some time to not only find the location but the setup, and having to go up and down the stairs to get my equipment, took more time then I had anticipated. So, I changed lenses and hopped on set to get more b-roll for the behind the scenes footage. It was a big day with a fair amount of background extras involved-it was cool to see this independent film have a ‘big set’ feeling. As always the cast and crew rose to the occasion.
After collaborating with Director, Zack Parker, PROXY’s Director of Photography, Jim Timperman did such an excellent job on lighting the scenes, truly adding a unique mood to the scenes without over stylizing. Because they are shooting on the Arri Alexa, along with the lighting and art direction, the scenes came together beautifully and looked amazing.
I got a few more interviews in different locations around the church (my upstairs location lost it’s light right after I finished the interview with Alexa) and we finished out the day, once again just under the gun. It’s safe to say that with a cast and crew as close as this, and everyone always willing to step up to the plate and do what needs to be done to get the shot, this group of creative individuals is sure to make PROXY a success.