I had an amazing time this last weekend onset for a music video by Dominik Czaczyk, Senior at SVA.
His concept was character driven and focused on my character's perspective as a young actress who falls in love with her method actor co-star. He falls in love with all of his co-stars and she's another in the long line, but in the end she is able to take back her power and move on. The story is her journey in gaining confidence and learning to trust in her self.
This was a three day shoot in three locations. Our first day was in The Dimond, a super fun and interesting bar in Brooklyn.
My makeup was done by La Bloise Art. My first time with makeup onset by a professional! It makes such a difference when you invest in your crew, film equipment, and locations. And she made my life so much easier. I didn't have to remember to check if my makeup was running down my face. She was always there to do a quick touch up between takes.
We were talking on set about how if you don't invest in locations, you end up having to fill them with what you need to get the look you want. So it doesn't save money, in fact it usually means you spend more for less materials and a lack of quality. If you put money and time into scouting the perfect location, it does the work for you! For example: the apartment we shot in the second day.
This apartment was full of unique little details, plants, and sea horses! There was SO much to work with. We didn't have to bring any set, props, or fill the space in any way. This apartment was clearly lived in.
Working with Dominik was amazing. He was open to suggestions, but clear about his vision. He would ask us if we thought our characters would respond the way he'd scripted it and was always interested in our interpretations. He did the same for his crew. He would ask the cameraman for advice, and often took it! Dominik cared about making this the best it could be, and that created an environment where everyone else wanted the same. After watching one of the takes (see the video above) he paused, looking at the cameraman and then to us, he said "yeah, this is good, but I want to do another if you're up for it". We all said yes, absolutely, we all wanted to. We ended up doing two more takes, each time resetting to one (first positions) without him asking because we all could feel we were almost there.
I learned so much from this shoot, being in three different shooting environments: in a real bar, on a studio stage, and on location in a rented apartment. I learned to watch out for continuity whenever I could, for myself and for the set around me. I learned a lot about emotion on camera, as this was for a music video it was most important that our faces told the story, not our words.
all in all it was a long, tiring, beautiful, exciting, and educational experience I will not forget. Hope I can show you all the finished product soon!