As per the requirements of my thesis class, this weekend we shot a “test run” of the movie, in which we assembled actors and crew (and dog) in the locations we will use and filmed the movie sans costumes and lights.
It was a bit of an experimental process. We were using both the GoPro Hero (2 and 3) as well as the Panasonic AF100 in order to emulate a dog’s perspective. The GoPro was mainly used on a harness on the dog so that we could get the dog’s paws and snout in the foreground, while the AF100 was our “control” camera, enabling us to get actors’ performances without the added unpredictability of a real animal.
I have to say that this was an extremely helpful process. Not only was it an excellent weekend for the actors to rehearse and feel out the scenes, for the DP and camera crew to get a handle on the blocking and camera movements, and for the production team to suss out the scheduling conflicts and challenges… it was also helpful for me to assess the problem areas in the script and will inevitably aid me in reworking the material and making it deeper, richer, and more truthful.
Our “real” shoot is in a month. In between now and then, I will furiously edit together this cut and show it to our team in the hopes that we will be able to see what needs to be done in order to get us where we need to go. Onward!