Priyanka Maharaj

Diary Of A Clueless Camera Woman || Part 1

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Little Hey, Little Ho.

Welcome to this short blog series I’m creating in order to document my experience as an assistant camera operator. Now…I want to make this clear. At this moment I know close to nothing about the technicalities of cameras and lights – so I will try my best to reference throughout my blogs, to not only help myself but to also validate the information I’m giving you. Please feel free to correct me and also to leave your advice, I would truly appreciate it.  Sounds good? Great.

I  hope these blogs are not only entertaining but helpful someone, maybe like you, who wants to venture, not only into the technical department of filmmaking but into the film industry in general.

Now that we’ve got the awkward introduction out of the way lets get into it.

 Like I’ve said in a previous blog, this trimester (tri-5) of uni, I’ve been put into a small production group with in my studio class. We’ve completed the experimental film project in which I was DOP – now before you get too confused, I didn’t go into the project assuming the role, it kind of just happened which, I KNOW, isn’t very good set protocol. In saying that, we decided as a group, that this experimental project was small enough to utilise as a bonding session for our next two projects. So we could get a sense of each others work flow’s and areas of expertise; up until this point we hadn’t worked with each other. This mentality proved to be great because I gained so much confidence with our strong team. Now this brings us to present day.

Here I stand sit, a film student who has had experience as a producer, 1st AD and writer but has not a clue as how to how the bloody ISO,APERTURE and SHUTTER SPEED work together. Here I sit, as a 1st Assistant Camera operator for the next two major projects within or production group.

Whenever I have filmed my small class assignments in the past, I’ve honestly just winged it and gone with my eye and… usually I’ve run into problems in post such as, under exposed shots, or over exposed and grainy shots etc. I’ve always had this mentality that, “hey, I’m just a producer – aint nobody got time for that.” I’ve never thought to educate myself, well until now. To be honest, I’ve kind of scared myself into researching lenses and gadgets – I’ve gone out on a limb to assume the role of an assistant. camera person and with just a few weeks shy of our  major. paid. client. production. Boy, am I nervous. Luckily, I have been blessed to be working along side Levi Cranston the DOP for project 2 and Director of the major client prod. All I can say is that Levi is a film junkie, he lives and breathes for film, it honestly leaves me baffled as to how much knowledge he has about film from working with actors to setting up a shot, he knows a lot for someone who hasn’t been in the industry for too long.

I guess the plan of action is to head into project 2 with a clear mind, I’ve been assured that I will get the “hang of it;” whatever that means, and that essentially, the best way to learn, is to get in there and just do it. So… that is what I’ll do. I know that I’m pushing myself out of me comfort zone but it will benefit me in the long run and help me to become a knowledgable and proactive filmmaker that I aspire to be. I’ve always prided myself on active learning and to experience things, now is the time to do it.

Before I go, I should brief you on project 2; that would be nice hey seeing as though that will be the focus of part 2 of this blog series. So the brief we have been given for this project is to; evoke an emotion/emotional connection between an object and the audience. I feel like this will creatively test our group and I’m excited to see what we conjure.

For now I shall leave you with a quote and I’ll see you in the next blog.

“The comfort zone is the great enemy to creativity; moving beyond it necessitates intuition, which in turn configures new perspectives and conquers fears. ” 

-Dan Stevens

PS. Sorry for the long blog title.

References
Dan Stevens Quotes at BrainyQuote. (2016). BrainyQuote. Retrieved 12 July 2016, from http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/d/dan_stevens.html
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