It was a Thursday afternoon when I received a last minute phone call from a fellow cinematographer colleague. His significant other was going into labor and he needed someone to take over a project that was about to shoot in less than 24 hours. The project named MONITOR would be a suspense-horror-thriller. My reply....why not?
Later that evening, I found myself discussing the specifics of the shot list with director Paul Holtzhausen and quickly perused his references. Within minutes, we find ourselves discovering common ground and establishing the visual grammar of the film.
In order to pull this difficult feat off, I'd have to rely on the talents of the crew many of who I'd never worked with before. It was a uncomfortable night of sleep but come Friday morning at 10AM it was go time.
The film was shot with the Arri Amira coupled with a set of Arri Ultra Primes. Thankfully, I had all of the right gear to accomplish the vision and the amazing crew did not disappoint. Chief Lighting Technician Steven Francis and Key Grips Paul Giacalone and Phil Sperry really came through for me and together we attacked every set-up with calm and purpose. It took a few hours but my mid-day of day one I'd found my stride.
We also were blessed with an amazing cast including Ben Feldman who can currently be seen on the NBC hit sitcom SUPERSTORE and previously on MAD MEN as well as the gracious Lauren Miller Rogan.
Day 3 of this shoot was the most difficult as it brought with it rain towers and some elaborate jib arm and steadicam shots. I'd like to commend 1st AC Rob Pitman and Steadicam Operator Gus Penna for their quality work on the project.
This shoot was definitely a confidence booster. It was incredibly difficult to take this on with so little preparation. However, I think that the footage is lovely and I know Paul and his team are very happy. I can't wait to see the final cut.