Blog Post 05 — Production
There are a few tips I would remind myself when taking part in the principal photography part of any future project. They are as follows: know what needs to be done exactly before arriving on location. Keep motivated to keep going, focusing so hard to get every shot just right really takes it out of you. Get as much coverage as possible, it’s always better to have too much than too little. List all equipment, don’t forget anything or leave anything behind.
Production worked really well for the team of Night Terror. As a small crew and a minimal production we were able to conduct many of our tasks independently from one another but ultimately contributing greatly to the success of the production. Some shoots were conducted with all of the team when needed but others ended up being just 1 or 2 members when the extra hands were not necessary or might get in the way. We all gravitated to tasks that played to our strengths and it became evident that our team was very well rounded. Sorting forms, applications, sound design, mood boards, topical evidence, it all spontaneously happened due to the natural talents of the Night Terror team members.
After the interviews were shot, the direction of the story had changed slightly but not drastically. When shooting documentaries based on interviews you always have to be prepared for these changes as a result of the overall unpredictability of the genre. Being a good documentary director is being ready to adapt to these changes in a way that improves the story narrative.
Finding meaningful stories in seemingly mundane situations is the job of the documentary filmmaker. The entire process depends upon this detective quality. Anyone aspiring to this lifelong passion should cultivate the necessary skills to do so. Not to mention working well with others and making the most of every situation.