Eagle Production Notes Part 2

Image: Public Domain

Brandon Kalinowski

This is the second part of my Eagle Production notes. This one describes each job position and also how each individual helped contribute and make this vision possible! Hope you enjoy.

Producer/Director - Brandon Kalinowski
That's my job and I'm in charge of overseeing this entire project. I also must direct both actors and camera and assign jobs. It's a very difficult but also rewarding task. A majority of the work was actually scheduling and planning, which surprised me. There are people who think filmmaking all happens in a tiny box that is the computer but to me I would much rather be on set talking about my vision with others. It is very fun having so many people all working towards a single goal, actively discussing their own solutions. You just can't replicate that on a computer.

Assistant Director/Clapper - Sean Woolley - Drew Stassen - Owen
Works clapboard. Maintains order on the set. When filming begins Clapper says “Quiet on the Set” when quiet he says “Start Rolling” After Sound and Camera say “Sound Rolling” and “Camera Rolling” the Clapper announces the shot and take # and claps the board.
This is more than a formal tradition. This century old device is the way sound and video are matched. We recorded sound from my Yeti microphone onto my friend's Macbook. Obviously, the video was recorded using the camera. Every sound cliip begins with the assistant director's tag (i.e. "Scene 20 Take 2") followed by the clap of the sticks all before I call "Action!" Looking at the video files that scene and take information is seen written on the clapboard and the moment the two sticks hit is the same moment the clap is heard in the audio file. That is how we synced our sound. Sometimes the assistant director would not change the take information so there sould literally be four "take 1"'s. That made Jack's (my sound engineer) job incredibly confusing. That goes to show how important this job is. Unoffically, I call it the clapper but the industry term is the ego-boosting "Assistant Director"

**Assistant Editor **Eric R
Below is my original description of the task but during the course of this project this job title disapperaed. The reason for that is because my editors left early which meant the assistant editor suddenly was named just "editor". I am very happy with Eric's commitment and how quickly he learned. He started with no familiarity with Final Cut but quickly became capable. It is true that I had to be behind him while he cut so I could answer his questions but I still preferred that over editing myself. Like most things, editing is so much better when you are not alone. Eric being there editing meant that I was able to make phone calls, schedule, find music, and download After Effects.
Memory cards are sent to him to transfer footage through Final Cut. He names clips with the help of QRSlate Desktop. He double checks there are a backup before allowing the cards to be formatted. If he has more time, he can look at footage and add sync the sound using clapboard. Critiques quality of video and reports whether or not he thinks a scene should be re-shot (reasons to re-shoot include audio interference, inappropriate objects in frame such as bags and visible microphones, and poor focus)

Camera Operator A - Erik Polik -
Erik did a great job working the camera. He was patient even when I had him hold the GoPro in the freezing pool. I always appreciate as a director when someone else is behind the camera so that I can step farther back and get the whole picture. This is one of those mandatory jobs where it really helps if the same operator is there whenever there is a filming session.
Understands basics of operating a video camera. One is in charge. Camera op A makes cinematography suggestions and controls camera focus and lens. Camera op A consults with Director to achieve desired vision. Operator A and B work together and check each other's decisions. When filming begins and after the Microphone Recordist says “Sound Rolling” the Camera Operator A will say “Camera Rolling and begin filming.

Camera Operator B
I wish I could give one person this title but frankly it went to whoever was available at the time. Names include Jacob Buntman, Kevin Gerard, and my dad
Camera op B checks to ensure that shot follows storyboard or agreed change. Camera op B manages battery and SD card and communicates when these are low. He calls "camera rolling" when appropriate. Camera op B also moves dolly and supervises other camera movements. Operator A and B work together and check each other's decisions.

Microphone Recordist (aka Sound Engineer) - Jack Alexander
Jack was very helpful in this position. He understood his recording program Garageband and brought his microphone stand as well. After recording he helped me make sense of our jumble of audio files. He sorted them out and split them by take. I then took those files and synced them to the video. He could come over whenever I needed some audio work- even in the middle of the night.
Wears headphones and records into laptop. Watches level scopes for clipping. Holds mic on and off boom pole. After the Clapper says “Start Rolling” the Recordist will say “sound rolling” begin sound taping.

Storyboard Supervisor -
Frankly, it is hard to give this title to one person. More than anyone else, it would go to my Grandma who could check off what shots were accomplished. I see this position as important. I realized halfway into the project that I needed someone marking off a paper checklist of the shots that were filmed. This would make it easy to see at a glance what else was needed. On the first day of filming which was super disorganized compared to how we shoot now, things such as Donut boxes were realized to be in the shot only after four or so takes! I've learned from that.
Works to ensure continuity. The hawk eye for attention to detail. Any issue should be reported. Storyboard supervisor should delegate someone to fix problems (such as repositioning props, resetting car. Should make sure markers (such as tape) are placed.
Also keeps a record of what has been recorded in each take. Works with clapper for this log. Can also use personal phone or small camera to remember how the set was before the scene started.

Prop Master and Effects Supervisor
I'm really not sure who has this title yet but special effects will be used in the next planned shots.

Arrives early to set with props. Sets up props for each shot. Helps construct set and lends a hand when needed. Also supervises practical effects (effects that are done in camera)

Set Photographer – Roxie Becker, and my mom
I'm excited about this job. It will be fun to edit a short behind-the-scenes video when everything else is accomplished.
Records behind-the-scenes photos and videos. Documents progress of production.

**Location and Casting **- Mrs. Polik
– Helps recommend locations and actors

Lead Editor and Colorist
As I have already mentioned above, the below description is not entirely accurate to this project since my brave assistant director has displaced this emptied position. Shounak and Ruhan were talented at their craft and it still bothers me a bit that they have abandoned this project. I am determined to finish these videos nevertheless.
Edits and colors video. Must be comfortable with Final Cut. Delegates assistant editor to perform non-creative tasks and just to help sort through all the footage. Critiques quality of video and reports whether or not he thinks a scene should be re-shot (reasons to re-shoot include audio interference, inappropriate objects in frame such as bags and visible microphones, and poor focus)

Special Effects Artist
I would be so happy to have one of these. Unfortunately my contact for this position is also busy this summer and so at the moment I am learning this job.
Works in postproduction to create special effects such as chroma key and camera tracking… Preferably has After Effects experience. Would really help if present on set during shots that involve heavy after effects.

Litterbug – Mr. Patch
This man is so happy to help out. He is a good friend of my dad's. He fits the part well and is kind enough to make time for this project.

Litterbug’s Boss - Will be Mr. Demyan
This job is so short- only one shot. But I need to give Mr. Demyan a job as he has expressed interest. Unfortnately he was not on my original email list until now.

The little cleaners - To be determined
They are excited to do this part. Unfortunately I must delay all chroma key filming until much later when the background action with the litterbug is finished.

Chess players - Drew and Eric
Mom #1 - Mrs. Polik
This job invoved jumping into the freezing pool multiple times. I wonder what she was thinking when I told her I needed a take two!

Small Child - Michael
My little brother who will pretend to drown in our bathtub. So far it has been hard but our next idea is to give him a swim mask so he can place his face on the bottom for longer than 1/15th of a second.

Mom #2 – Kelly Alexander
She was very excited to act in this video so I gave her the role of my mom (both the drowning victims are my siblings).

Pool Child - Elise
Elise was a trooper in that cold pool. My hardest obstacle with her was getting her to sink. Rocks didn't work. I came up with the solution and I will explain some other time!

Expert - To be determined

Brandon Kalinowski

I specialize in integrating technology seamlessly to help others tell compelling stories. For instance, I helped a professor construct a live television studio. I also managed a student news program. These and other experiences spurred a fascination with live streaming. I intern for Legion M as a streaming technical and data analyst. My expertise includes modern web design, video editing, and photography.


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