Sorry it has been many moons since last I posted. I just got back from Hong Kong (after stopping off to see family in Taiwan and a short trip to Korea). HK is an amazing city and I met some great people out there who I can't wait to work with again. For those of you who haven't read Kit Hui's or Renee Chao's blogs...we just wrapped production on Kit's first feature film, FOG in Hong Kong. Congrats, Kit! It was also my first feature as a cinematographer. Despite all the production madness that goes into making a film, i can't think of a more perfect first feature experience: to be embarking on the journey with some of my closest friends. For me, there is nothing that comes close to be able to collaborating with close friends who share your aesthetic sensibilities.
What struck me most about shooting a feature was the difference in pace. When you work on short projects that are one or two weeks, it's like sprinting...you burn yourself out rushing to get everything in the can, never looking back. Shooting a feature is more like a marathon, where you pace yourself. Watching dailies, you can look back and consider what works and doesn't work and correct yourself as you go down the rest of the shoot. We shot 18 days over a month and you are really immersed in the film, thinking about it every waking moment.
The entire shoot was handheld meaning I got to have a 17 lbs camera on my shoulder for the entire shoot. Luckily, thanks to plenty of stretching and a backbrace my spine is intact.
The funniest moments on set were always when I heard that Triads may be on the way so we should hurry up the shot. I count three times where we apparently had close run-ins with triads. I can't tell if production was just screwing with us to get us to hurry up or if triads were actually on their way over to possibly extort money from the shoot (which apparently happens regularly). I like to believe that we were actually in mortal danger.
I hope Ivy Lam (our fabulous set photographer) will forgive me for sharing a photo she took of us on set but I was way too busy to get any good ones myself.
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