As Director of Photography, I worked closely with art director, Alex McGarry on the shoot. I have worked with him in the past and we work well together, both being very organised in getting on with the jobs we need to do. We talked together a lot about how to portray as much about the characters through the mise-en-scene as possible as we had worked hard on ironing out a lot of the expositional dialogue that was in there before.
We both had the same ideas about putting Jack under a harsher, starker light while keeping Sophia and Megan under a tungsten light to give them a warmer glow promoting innocence and vulnerability. The exception to this pattern will be in the scene where Sophia’s sitting on her own, shaken up by the events of the previous day. We want to cast a blue glow on her face to give the appearance of evening as well as creating a bleak atmosphere.
The framing had a vital part to play in how I wanted to portray the characters emotional and physical positions. (Apologies for the pre-graded images). Both of the screenshots below capture the position of the characters. Jack is always shot separately from Sophia and Megan always on the side of the room where his plants reside.
In the two images above, Sophia (the mother) and Megan (the daughter) are framed opposite each other but with something blocking the view of their hands toughing. Sophia and Megan are the only two characters to be in the frame together at the same time and I set this up to capture Jack’s removal from the family. The two girls need each other and Jack stands between them and their happiness (which is also why in both of the frames above they are separated from each other. This is juxtaposed with the final shots of them leaving as we see Sophia leading Megan out of the house and to their freedom.
From the two days shooting, I feel pleased with the appearance of the shots from the D810 which I filmed on. The majority of the footage is well exposed and composed (shooting on such a high end DSLR was a blessing as it was so effortless to use with such high performance.) Some shots are slightly shaky but were done in haste so unfortunately I expected as much, although I came across the Image Stabilisation effect built in to Avid which does a good job in slowing down the camera movements which reduces the shake.
I received the footage from the Canon 6D expecting there to be more than I had shot but sadly was mistaken. Although the other camera operator disregarded the shot list for the most part, I was expecting to find more establishing and mid shots because we previously agreed which camera was to be used for which shots. Hopefully I will be able to edit something together!