So recently I worked my first Camera Assistant job on the Tropfest short film “Scratch”. My role was to basically work the clapper, get the lenses as required by the Director of Photography and write up the camera notes for the editor.
It was an incredible learning experience for me and such an involving job. Some of the things that I have always hated when working in production is that a lot of the time your just sitting around doing nothing, waiting for something to come up that you can do, or you have to go out of your way to awkwardly find something, by asking people if they need a hand, but resulting in them being too polite to accept your help (that you actually want to give them) or just simply getting in their way.
The other thing is that when sitting around doing nothing for hours, for example if its because your a runner and need to wait for the time that the rushes are ready, there is often nothing you can do whilst you wait, its great if your getting paid for it. However if you are doing it voluntarily (which a lot of the time I am) then its just wasting your time and you dont want to be caught doing nothing and just sitting on your phone as you got to seem “motivated” for more work.
Working on the film just went to show how high production value and high quality films can be made for next to nothing. With a budget of only a few thousand dollars.. lets just say I really was not expecting too much to say the least but then on arrival I meet all these highly motivated crew and cast members, willing to do what ever it takes for the short, but also crazy camera’s, amazing lenses, sound equipment, dolly tracks and even a jib/camera crane!
It is obvious that all of the budget went straight to the extremely high end and proffesional equipment. Which just goes to show that these are the only “essential” things films required for making a great film. Most of the crew, the location and I presume cast were volunteers, willing to put in that proffesional effort for the producers and director. Anything really is possible when you have the connections to pull it together. This is how directors like Robert Rodriguez did it initially and clearly is still the way to go! I cant wait to see this film at Tropfest and I hope your as inspired as I was!