Our assignment was to capture 10 hero images for use in advertising and other print and out of home media, plus 5 light effects shots for use as backgrounds. While additionally shooting as much potential stock for future promotions etc..
“Live Life Lucky”
SHOOTING IN A CASINO IS AS MUCH FUN AS IT IS A CHALLENGE.
Shooting in a casino has it’s own very specific set of challenges including lighting, security issues, crowd control, staging equipment and talent, along with finding and accessing power, overall safety, etc…etc...
This is my 5th or 6th casino shoot including several for Trump, MGM and now Indiana Live! They all have had a different dynamic. This is a particular type of shoot since we were tapped to shoot stills during the making of several TV spots. Having begun my career in the film business in NYC, currently directing and shooting, I am very aware of what’s in store for us when we sign on to this type of shoot.
Great words to live by: “It’s not about me”
What this means in everyday speak is “Get what you need, as fast as humanly possible, and don’t create a negative vibe or delay” Understand, in this world we’re a necessary nuisance; usually a surprise to the Production Company and Director, who have most likely condensed their shoot and budget to being as efficient as possible, prior to learning that a still guy would also be joining the party!
“Affable” is another great word.
I believe it’s tantamount to make nice with everyone as soon as possible.
The key players include: the Executive Producer, Director, DP, Camera Assistant, AD, (this AD has a different function then the one the still guys are used to working with), the Gaffer, Key Grip, wardrobe, makeup…. These people need to be on your side and you need to make their lives continue to run as smoothly as possible! (By the way, don’t touch anything!) Though a nice gesture like plugging in a light, or moving a stand seems innocent enough, it’s someone else’s job.
When we’re working alongside a film crew, our first objective is to keep the production moving and not get in the way. Lots of times this means using the lights, camera angles and AD to help run the shoot for the still guy; while everyone else is reviewing the latest takes. This way, calling “Action” for the still guy, is running the same scene over again while the Director and clients are reviewing the current take. We only do this if we’re unable to get what we need from somewhere else on the set.
Remember-“It’s not about me”
It’s also helpful if you can set up the camera above, below, or anywhere there’s a hole to poke the lens near the motion camera, with the crew’s blessing of course.
I’ve included a collage of images, some Behind the Scenes shot by my buddy and Digital Tech Rhett Haynes, and some of my selects from the shoot.
You can get an idea of how many people are involved and moving in an amazingly coordinated fashion. This is the job of the production company and the Line Producers. These guys were amazing! They shot 10 scenes each day, flawlessly, and in a very challenging environment. The DP was amazing. He knew exactly what, where, and how many lights needed to go where… There was never any fidgeting with the lights or camera angle. I was very impressed. Of course he was able to rely on his Gaffer, who was on the same wavelength, and had impeccable notes from the Tech Scout. He got it right from the word go, even though this was the first time they were working together. I love the level of professionalism found on a film sets.
We shot for two, twelve-hour days, 3 commercials. Crew and Cast of over 30 people… . pretty impressive!
By the way, the camera crew was very gracious and allowed me to seriously infringe on their personal space.
You’ll see me over, under, and sometimes even riding the dolly with the DP and Camera Assistant! Also, I want to thank the Key Grip for allowing me to ride on the dolly.
I got there Sunday and wanted to spend as much time with the crew as possible prior to the shoot. Tech scout on Monday, and shoot on Tuesday and Wednesday.
I have to say that the Director, Tom, was a bundle of energy and joy! He was always smiling, happy and very willing to give the still guy time on set… love him! The Exec Producer and Line Producers were also incredibly accommodating and a great asset to the shoot. Thank you!
Lastly, my client is the best! We actually had just received news while we were on set, that we had won six or seven
Addys for a TV spot and print campaign that we had produced together for the Queen Mary. Way to go Rob!
By the way, the Queen Mary Blog is below if you’d like to catch the video or stills.