Sorry for the long delay in posting — this has been the busiest week in a long time for us and I’m delightfully surprised that we survived it.
Aside from submitting all of our materials to the mysterious network (done!), finishing up the Twitter videos (almost done!) and writing a draft of the Temp Life script (draft 1 done!), we also had another job this week.
We are taking photos and shooting a promo video for a company called Green Horizon — they create “on-demand, self-sustaining housing solutions.” In other words, they make these amazingly ingenious housing units that fold up to fit on a truck and then automatically unfold to be a house. It’s for situations like, say, Katrina, where you need quick housing immediately. They run on solar panels, batteries, have water, electricity, I think even cell and possibly internet service.
Also, each unit comes with someone naked (anyone, your choice). It’s really pretty amazing.
Anyway, we were filming in their factory last night in Stockton, CA. Stockton, by the way, is what I fondly call “Murder City.” It’s 2 hours outside of San Francisco but takes even longer because of traffic on the Bay Bridge and because of all the dead bodies that block the road on the way there.
We had to go to Murder City — the Port of Murder City, to be precise — to a location, I swear to God, is called: “Rough & Ready Island.”
Yes, we also apparently film gay porn (come, spam bots, come!)
The shoot was in a warehouse at the port where one of these units are held. We set up a bunch of lights, chatted with the good folks who created the thing, and put Justin, our camera guy, up a forklift 30 feet above ground.
Oh that’s right.
So, here’s how dedicated we (Justin) are to getting a shot. We needed to get high up above the unit, and we ask them if we can climb up something to do that.
“Well, we’ve got forklifts.”
“Can we get on a forklift?”
So, one of the women drives a forklift up, and Justin gets on each individual metal bar, holds on tight, and they lift him, high, high up in the air (footage forthcoming) as we joke around him falling to his death.
“You guys have insurance, right?”
“Uh-huh, yeah, tons of it.”
So, anyway. Justin’s in the hospital… No, that’s not true. Though, at one point his head did almost meet the very heavy factory lights.
It was fun. It’s interesting to work with people in an entirely different field. The housing is ingenious and everyone there was very bright and interesting. Also, their soap had rocks in it. Or something. It was to scrub the dirty factory off your strong factory worker fingers but to our weak filmmaker hands, it only felt like hurt.
At the end of the shoot, while driving back, we got to really see an example of the beauty that is Stockton — as six gangbangers (drabbed in all red and everything) were getting a firm talking-to by the police.
Oh, Murder City, how I love thee.
I’ve decided to add these to each of these production blogs for any of you curious as to our set up. We used a D90 still camera to take high-res photos and we actually shot video with it. The video quality is damn near amazing, so, I suggest looking into these babies.
We also had our HVX200 (what we shot Break a Leg on). We rented 2, 2,000 watt ARRI lights and placed them around the unit, making sure the lighting was even and pretty and all, and then we got some standard shots. Footage of us panning across the thing, footage of it unfolding, and folding and, of course, footage from 30 feet above it while Justin dangled from his life.
Let me know if you have any questions.
I’ll have video of the shoot soon. I’m also going to start a whole How-To thing next week, so, stay tuned!