I was on-set on October 22, 2017 for filming the second season of Jolie East-Miji’s “B-City” Webseries in my usual role as a production assistant (PA) (off-set role: an executive producer). Four scenes were scheduled – one indoor scene and three outdoor scenes. The director, gaffer/lights, director of photography, assistant camera, sound recordist, and actors ensured all was properly set up leading up to filming. Scenes were blocked and rehearsed.
Since I am one of the PAs, I want to list all the activities we were doing:
- Dressing the set (e.g., positioning props and furniture, darkening the windows, moving extraneous objects out of the way)
- Running errands such as purchasing necessities (ice, trash bags) and picking up lunch (pizza, of course)
- Setting up food
- Cleaning up
- Operating the smoke machine
- Traffic control (ensuring no one would walk onto the set while filming was in progress)
- Spotting other crew members to ensure they would not fall
For the indoor scene, multiple camera were used shooting from different angles simultaneously to make better use of time.
The major lesson: flexibility is important. Early in the day, it was thought one of the scenes would have to be rescheduled for another day. As the day continued, it turned out all four scenes were completed, and was completed ahead of schedule! Everyone on set working as a coherent team!
The location for the outdoor scenes was changed at the last minute due to light and shadow concerns. The shoot was taking place during sunny daylight, but the outdoor scenes were at night in the script. Consideration was given to waiting until later in the day to shoot, but that would run up against the planned wrap time. Instead, it was pointed out that if filming is done and the activity is in the shade (even with the sun out), the editing in post-production can make it look like night! The original location had too much sunlight and cast shadows, so a more desirable location (virtually all shade) was found a short distance away, and the scenes were shot as scheduled. A great solution, and I learned something (always my objective when I am on-set).
Here are some photos and a video from the shoot day.
B-City Web Series: 3 seconds #BTS video from 10/22 shoot! (video from B-City Webseries Facebook)
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Originally published October 27, 2017. Updated October 15, 2020 to adjust category assignments.