“Picnic in Black Meadow” was written and directed by Sahar Pastel-Daneshgar and produced by myself for the Advanced Cinematography class. This marked the second time the third time that Sahar and I have worked together on a production as we worked together last semester on two short 3D productions.
This film also marked my return to a location that I used for my feature “The Babbling Banshee”.
Overall, the production process went rather smoothly…we did have some problems with an SD card that kept giving us write errors this coupled with the time required to set-up the jib, put us behind schedule by an hour. The unfortunate result of this was that Sahar had to make cuts on the fly to compensate for the lost time. This meant that she did not get all of the coverage that she had originally intended and had to change the scope of the project on the fly.
I tried to help by giving Sahar notes on time so that she could manage her time. I did this by first giving her up-dates as we closed on the halfway marker on our planned schedule so that she could adjust her shot list accordingly from the halfway point. I next kept her abreast of when the sun would set but overall we were fighting against the clock. The only thing that might have been able to make things go easier would have been if we had a camera rehearsal prior to filming so that we did not waste as much time setting up shots on the fly and would have had a better idea of what was the available time for each shot and set-up.
I have continued to e-mail the actors on her behalf to see if she may be able to shoot some pick ups but the first weekend after the shoot, the actors were unavailable.
Ole, the Director of Photography, did manage to get some very beautiful shots. We ended up being on location long enough that he was able to get some nice shots with the rising moon.
Evan, Kate, and Brian were outstanding and bent over backwards to try and make sure that all of Sahar’s needs were met.
Sahar had some very nice production values with all of the props that she bought or fashioned for the film. My small contribution in this area was recreating some airline tickets from the 1950s via some photos that I manipulated in photoshop then printed on card stock.
I still feel that this production was a success because it was our first production of the semester and first production working together as a class and I look forward to viewing the resulting film.
Well, those are my thoughts for now – I hope you enjoyed my reflections.