Production Day 4: Van Jensen Interview

Mark Johnson started the morning with a run of downtown Atlanta and through Olympic Park.  Shawn and I each started the morning with a shower and a breakfast bar.  Then, we all headed to Van Jensen's house. Unloading at Van's the night before made checking out a breeze.

The drive from the hotel to Van's house didn't take very long and Shawn successfully navigated us there without any issues.

When we arrived at Van's shed office, we realized that it was smaller than we planned for, at about 10x8 plus furnishings.  It seems that each space we film is smaller than the last, which meant this was a second appearance of the 28mm instead of the 50mm lens.  It took us about 1.5 to 2 hours to set up.  We were hoping for 1 hour.  We spent time picking an angle and corner to film from and then had to properly light the spot, using Shawn as a stand in.  Once we had the interior lighting figured out, we noticed a hot spot on the wall coming in through the east side window.  Mark and I were able to block it out using some black sheeting, boom poles, and gaffer tape.  The trick to blocking out the light from the window was to set the sheet, but to pull it back far enough so that it wouldn't be seen in the window during the shot.

Mark set the key light in a tight spot

Once the set was blocked out and Van got situated, we made a few minor adjustments to the height of the camera so Van's eye-line with me would look natural.  For this shoot, I brought my drum throne along so that I wouldn't have to slouch too much or find a small box to sit on.  It didn't quite get low enough.  I may need to invest in or build an apple crate.

This day of filming presented the most technical errors so far.  Swapping batteries became an issue, as did cellphones, and having to reset the sheet every hour or so to fight the sun.  Also, I dropped my clip board while Van was responding to a question.  I need to be more mindful of that, unfortunately, my leg kept falling asleep.


Yesterday, with Laura, and today with Van, Mark noticed, after shooting a few questions, that there were background objects that lined up perfectly to slash with the subject's head in the shot.  We removed them, but we need to be more mindful of things like that before we start rolling.

Van had a limitation of filming to wrap before 3:00.  We went a little over, but we were able to film all of the interview questions for each episode.  Shawn asked a great question at the end and it got me thinking that I really should have had a better set of questions specifically pertaining to the individual.  I think I did okay with that for Joey Weiser, but I slacked a little on Laura and Van.  I plan on asking a few more questions of the subjects while filming b-roll and coverage later.

Van's dog was with us during the day, but did not make any appearances during the interview session.  Mark was able to grab some shots of him for b-roll.  We planned to film some shots of Van walking through a park and playing basketball, but we did not have the time.  Making a list of shots for day two.

After filming Shawn, Mark, and I had Thai food in Little Five Points and then spent a limited amount of time at Criminal Records.  We'll definitely be scheduling more time for Criminal Records for the next trip.  That is a wrap for the day.  Mark headed to Savannah and Shawn and I headed for cake and tea at Dr. Bombay's Underwater Tea Party.