This one you can already see finished! My first music video shoot. Super-low budget, produced by Helmet Films & Visual effects for Ine Hoem's single Moonbird.
My function here would most closely resemble Best Boy. The shoot was in the middle of the shoot of "Dear dad", that I was gaffer on. But I got someone else to take that shoot as this was my first job as gaffer for a "professional" production. We filmed in a huge hangar, not because we needed a hangar, but because we needed a big-ass studio with a lot of space. Problem was, we wanted her in darkness, while the hangar had huuuuge windows. So, it became a night shoot. Aaand I couldn't be the gaffer on a night shoot as I was going on set for "Dear dad" the next morning. But you know, still was gaffer the first couple of hours.
We moved a little bit away from the initial plan in the final product. The DoP Stian Eriksen wanted low key lighting, her in complete darkness, lit by few sources. We had little time so the lighting was to be simple. Also he proposed we use a china-ball for her face, to make her look beautiful. We didn't really have a proper light plan as I was busy on the other set, and was doing this for free, with very little time for pre-prod. With some help I rigged up the china-ball on a rolling stand with a telescopic arm, as key a bit to the side and up, and hit her dark side with a spotted 650w kicker out of frame. Also rigged two kino-flos pointing downwards as a sort of hallway light, that would hit her and the guards as she was being dragged across the floor to the chair. My inspiration: (it's graded a lot where I pushed the blacks down)
Well, while that worked alright in a close and medium shot, it turns out our first shot was REALLY wide. He had changed it from the initial idea of a medium shot. China-ball isn't that great when it's 10 meters away... Also the DoP wasn't quite happy with the lighting without being able to tell me quite why. It was probably too dark, empty and boring. "Try something else" At this point we were supposed to start shooting which made those words a bit stressfull. I was to think up a new lighting setup. This was the master shot, so the lighting would have to work for the rest too. He didn't want lights in frame and wanted completely black suroundings.
While I'm thinking about how the lighting should be (basically a new visual style for the music video then and there) another much more experienced DoP/gaffer (Øystein Moe) walks on set. He is supposed to take over for me because I'm going on set early the next day. He agrees the light isn't working, and proposes we put kinos behind her and light her front with a 2kW fresnel through some diffusion.
Well I guess the new visual style thing solved itself! I didn't have to go to sleep just yet so I stuck around as a best boy, helping him execute his ideas, and delegating to the 3 light/camera-assistants.
The china-ball got some use in the shot above. The pulsating light on a manual dimmer was Øystein's idea, and I think it was really smart as it kept the shots from looking static and boring. Really gotta applaud Øystein for thinking up all of this in 5 minutes. He did break the initial lighting restraints we had style wise, but since it looked good I guess it doesn't matter. He actually didn't know about them and lit the scene how he thought it should be. I'm so used to working in narrative films where lighting continuity is key, it was REALLY hard for me to not worry about continuity despite this being a music video. Like. I have a gut reaction to bad continuity haha. Totally engrained in my brain. But yeah, not so important here. Next time I have to push that thought away. Yet, sometimes you need continuity in a music video as well, so turning that thought process on and off I think will always be difficult.
Having the kino-flos flash was an idea Øystein came up with during the shoot. That too really helped make the video more engaging visually. It's me and a light assistant playing piano on the ballast switches. Øystein and Stian have done it for years and the ballasts and bulbs still work so I guess it's totally fine thing to do! After this I had to go.
I'm a freelance gaffer. I also do basic grip work.