From XPUB & Lens-Based wiki


In September, I wrote an email to Rob asking him how I could scope a documentary shoot. He narrowed down the equipments I should use, and emphasized that it was not a job for one person. With uncertainty (about the process) and trust (towards his expertise) I decided to outsource the sound recording. Mia offered her help.

When I documented my photobook I asked Andy for help, solely based on the fact he had experience working in photoshoots. Susanna asked me why I did not ask Ugo or Sonia, and to be honest, for Ugo it was because a lack of knowledge of his background and for Sonia I did not want to "intrude" her personal workflow. (She mentioned she did not like to photograph people.)

After I finished cutting the documentary, Jullie, One of the feedback I got was that some shots could have improved in focus, aperture, et cetera — all related to camera work.

The EYE project was my first attempt to use my camera for video properly. Ugo gave a crash course about the very basics (i.e. focus check, shutter speed, AWB, etc) and it turned out to be indispensible.


In one tutorial with Simon earlier this year he mentioned that finding someone I trust to film would be a big part of filmmaking. For the first test shoot for Home I did direction, camera and sound all by myself. I found it overwhelming, even though the subject was a friend who was receptive to my directorial and NG requests. Having learned this, I asked Cem to help me with the second test shoot of Home. Together we filmed Mia (who was very collaborative as well).

Having a trusted cinematographer and letting them make decisions remind me of working with actors and directors as a playwright. As long as everyone involved understands and cares about the project, there is no need to hold onto any individual ownership. Decisions made collectively (or individually in this team of trust) seem to only add to the project.

When I met with Renate to figure out about her part in the film, I even asked her if it would be okay if a cinematographer (potentially Cem) came with us. She said she would be totally fine. I met with Cem after and asked if he would like to shoot again. (I also told him the few definitive scenes we will shoot.) He asked a good question, how do you want the images to tell this feeling (loss of home), and my directorial feedback on his shots from the day with Mia so that he can better plan and capture the images with Renate.

For the shoot with Amy, I asked Ugo to be on the camera. He brought his video camera, asked me/Amy about her movements in the space, and was clear that he would count on my directions. He gave me suggestions on the mode of shooting (low contrast for later color grading) and the consistency across the shots via the same cameras.