Fruit Flies: An Italian Writer, the Yes Man, and an Opportunity
Sophomore Me Shooting a Senior's Thesis Film
After seeing a sex scene that I shot while taking a cinematography class, Debora, an Italian exchange student, approached me with the concept of her film, Fruit Flies. She told me that the script was 17 pages and that none of the seniors in her class would take it on due to the project's lengthiness. Debora had already cut the page count from a feature length script so any more trimming was out the question if she wanted to maintain the integrity of her story. Prior to Fruit Flies, the longest film I had shot was around 9 minutes long. It goes without saying that I wasn't incredibly confident in my abilities to handle potentially double the work load. In addition, I was taking a 20 unit school semester of my own classes. But I couldn't refuse the opportunity because I absolutely fell in love with Debora's writing. Her style was nonlinear, quirky, and perfectly unique from the majority of content that students create. I was in.
Debora Maité Bottino
New Previsualization Practices
During the time, I was listening a lot to Patrick O'Sullivan's podcast, The Wandering DP. He inspired me to research more into 3-D previz softwares to improve my DP workflow. However, you'll find many of the programs are pretty dang $$$$$ for someone just trying to get started somewhere. I found a pretty good option called, "ShotPro". I would take the photos from our location scout, recreate the 3 dimensional space, and then set my key light and camera placements. It's not as sophisticated as the pricier softwares, but it still gave me a solid idea for my camera blocking and lighting diagrams. Below are some samples of the storyboards I created next to the production stills.
Shot on my Sony A7s ii
They say it doesn't matter what camera you shoot on. I wanted to take on this project as a way for me to not only use my own camera, but also to make something that looks good on a budget.
Production Designers: A Cinematographer's Backbone
This was the first project where I was able to collaborate with a dedicated production designer. Michelina Miedema is so freakin' legit. She was so helpful in creating look books, finding lighting practicals, and honestly shaping the entire world of each scene.
(Below) Slideshow of my favorite practicals and set designs that Michelina found and created