SHOOTING AT ZERO DARKNESS - This has to be one of my difficult shoot as I absolutely had no space to move. Furthermore, the place was lit as if "the world's most dangerous man himself was hiding inside". The entire room was lit with a bulb dipped in paint - bloody red.
Shinning a light to a group of partygoers who are in a photosensitive trance is equivalent to exposing daylight to the "Darkseekers" as seen in I Am Legend. Some hissed. Some gave me the dirty look. One of them wanted to fight me. It's not a great idea to shove a fist when holding valuable gear on your shoulder, especially when it's rental.
I had to come up with a plan if I wanted to shoot peacefully and in safety. I told one of the manager to cover my back throughout the whole night. It worked like a charm! The other manager was holding the mic.
AUDIO - Although this project was a la guerilla filmmaking style, I wanted to capture clean audio. Knowing there will be dialogues between the subjects, I had no choice but to use dual systems method to record all audio. All audio was recorded using field mic and later synced in post.
POST / GRADING - Final cut was graded using Red Giant's Colorista ll. Grading dark shades of skin is a huge task. The most challenging part on this project was to light the skin tones accordingly. While filming, I had to continuously adjust the temperature of the light with a dimmer according to whom I was pointing at. By correcting all lighting on camera, it was much easier to grade. It's a bit of work but saves a hefty weight of headache in post! [ For the curious out there, I hotshoed this LED. ]
It is best to have a reference point for colour, feel and an overall atmosphere. For this project, I used N.E.R.D.'s Lapdance as a navigational guide.
There you have it. The great "thing" about creating is that, there is always a solution. Regardless the toughness of a project, with the right tools, careful preparation and a "Johnny-on-the-spot" attitude, you can bring it to life.
A huge thanks to the management team of The Posterz for coordinating the logistics and equipment rental!