This week Melissa came up to Greensboro and we were able to shoot some b-roll for the documentary. The goal is to shoot footage of all three dancers outside of the studio dancing. Dance studios don’t have the greatest lighting, it is very functional, very fluorescent. C’est la vie. To add some texture to the film I am hoping to shoot short sequences on Super 8 film of all three dancers. It’s so exhilarating to be shooting film (scary too!). It is so easy to become reliant on the immediate results with video. For those who have never dropped a roll of film off or have forgotten that they used to drop off film at a one hour booth. Film is a light sensitive roll of celluloid that has to be developed with chemicals and whatnot. When you are shooting you can’t see the actual final image. You see the light coming through the viewfinder, the same light the film is reacting to, but you have to trust that you chose the right film stock, set the proper f-stop, etc, etc. The satisfaction you have when you go to lab an hour later, a day later, or even weeks later and find that you chose everything right and it looks better than you expected is unparalleled. In the same vein, the defeat is crushing when it doesn’t turn out.
The hope was to shoot two rolls of each dancer, equaling about 6 minutes each. Traci and Alessandra are in New York and won’t be back for close to a month. It would be tortuous to sit on that film for so long and have no idea whether it looks good, bad, or out of focus. So I shot an extra roll using a stock of film that is cheaper to develop and will be sending it off in a couple days. At first I was worried about this break, but now realize its potential. When I get the footage back I can drop it into the timeline, play around with it, and be sure it works. Thus, if the footage isn’t working I don’t have to worry about shooting anything with the last two dancers. Likewise, if I love it I may even shoot an extra roll with each of them. I’m on pins and needles.
Anyway, it was so much fun to see Melissa. She is a blast. We shot at the bicentennial gardens in Greensboro and it was hot, really hot. Then it threatened rain. Still Melissa, ever the professional, worked through it all. I’ll let you know how the film turns out as soon as I get back. Sooner rather than later I hope.