Exploring the Shot

{mad filmmaker} 

by @themadamez

We were filming the band from 3 angles and having all of the musicians raise their horns on the climactic crescendo to create intensity, and it wasn’t really capturing the desired dramatic effect. Then suddenly, director of photography Kent Kessinger dropped to the ground and rolled onto his back.
“Kent!”  I shouted from behind the other cameramen, “Are you ok?!”
“Yeah,” he exclaimed from the floor, “I’m just getting the right shot!”

And that was it. That shot added a new dimension to the climax of the film that established a larger-than-life feeling for the world of these characters.

That particular shot was only used for a fraction of a second, but it puts the viewer in a new place - between the conductor and the band. Throughout the rest of the film, the conductor (and actual co-composer of the song) Jonah Udall had only been a mysterious silhouette until this point in the film.

While I had created an entire storyboard for this film for Kent to shoot from, there were some things that I never would have thought of. Only an experienced videographer like Kent would look at the shot through the view finder and think… No, this should be weirder. And that’s why we love him!

It’s important to have a well-thought out and well-planned vision before doing a film shoot, especially when it involves an entire big bag. You want to honor their time for showing up and performing! But also… recognize when someone in the team has a fresh idea in the moment, and honor that inspiration. That’s how artists grown, and that’s how art evolves.

Keep it fresh, keep it inspired, and keep it real. 

Madame Z


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