From XPUB & Lens-Based wiki

O.S. = Off Screen

Act One

Tea, Books, Haircut.


0 - black screen, audio only
Jue offers Marieke tea. Jue prepares in the kitchen.
Marieke looks through the books in the living room.
Jue (O.S.): What tea would you like?
Marieke picks a tea.
Marieke picks a book to read, moves to the bench.
Jue comes in with: tray of teapot, cups and snacks.
Jue sets the table.
Jue sits across Marieke.
Marieke asks Jue about the book.
Jue moves to the bench, reads the book with Marieke together.
Jue is telling the story of the books from the shelf.
The two of them stare at the shelf.
Eventually, Jue: Haircut?


Marieke sits on the chair near the lamp.
Jue (O.S.) turns on the lamp.
Jue cuts Marieke's hair.
Various close-ups of hand and hair.
During the haircut, Jue: Where did you get your haircut before?
Marieke relays the story.
Jue offers Marieke a mirror.
Marieke checks her bangs.
Eventually, Jue: More tea?

Production log


Early thoughts

I wrote down the initial idea on the wiki and took a few close-ups to discuss with Simon. ( Jujube/scenes#homemaking) He asked me what form the project would take and mentioned the anthropologic approach that Harvard grad students had employed (as an observation). The same day I chatted with Cem briefly about helping me shoot: make cushions and have Marieke over to the house. He asked what Marieke's role would be in the scene.

I decided that day to:

  1. narrow down to single-screen film and
  2. make Marieke a significant character.

Communication and photography decisions

The next day I storyboarded the scene and discarded the cushion-making part. In a tutorial with Barend, he suggested the possibility of intercutting stories. A few other useful comments: think of the script as a screenwriter, "the book might be important to you, but it is just another book to me", shots that create space.

I then met with Cem and Marieke to discuss the shooting. Cem noticed the grid-like composition of the shots and suggested using a tripod. He also pointed out that cutting from a certain shot to another would be weird. We re-examined the storyboard panel by panel, changed the order of some and eliminated some others.

I communicated to Marieke the general idea of the scene: there would be a haircut, some sort of prompt and improvised conversations. There was also a few things I needed to figure out that I would update her later.

The three of us set a shooting date during the following week.

Cem and I decided to meet again once I had an updated shot list. At this point he thought of using three cameras: his Sony + borrowing another Sony + my Canon. I reserved the sound equipment (shotgun mic + zoom) and a tripod in addition to my own. I checked out a camera EOS to test the focal length needed to get a wide shot of the shelves (was not that useful).

(I went to London for the next few days, during which I did more test/conceptualizing with my friend when we had breakfast in her house. It turned out very illuminating.)


Shot list

I wrote and sketched a new shot list and discussed it with Cem after coming back from London. When I sketched I divided the list into A and B rolls. We decided to use only his Sony and my Canon. During our discussion we came up with some alternatives for certain shots. We decided to configure the furniture during the shooting day if needed. I estimated a total amount of 4 hours of shooting.

I copied the shot list for Cem and asked him to clean the lens.

I printed out two more copies of the text shot list (for Marieke and myself).

I confirmed with Marieke and Cem about shooting date/place/time.


Day of

Setup took about 40 minutes: deciding lens for the Canon, cleaning the lens, deciding tripod height (ended up only using the small photographic one)

There was a minor problem of a spot on Cem's lens.

With the shot list, it was fairly straightforward to progress from one shot to another. I feel more comfortable with calling "action" and "cut". I asked Cem to call "action" when I was off-screen for the first two shots and he needed to re-configure the camera.

We decided on most of the b-roll materials during the shooting.

Act Two