The film is shot mostly handheld to allow the performers the most freedom, but also because we only had a 20 day shoot so had to move fast, but we weren't looking for 'wobbly cam' just a sense of freedom to adjust in synch with the actors and their instincts.
We had also chosen to shoot on the original HAWK V-SERIES anamorphic lenses, and after testing many options decided that this glass, while heavier than the new V-Lites, was the best choice mainly because of the close focus.
In preproduction it became clear that director Jen McGowan, (with whom I'd collaborated previously on her award winning short film TOUCH), wanted to allow the actors to run scenes end to end, being ostensibly a 2-hander we all felt this would be the best way to keep the performances and tone right. However, it also mean that I was personally looking at multiple takes of 6-9 minutes hand held with a camera and lens package that weighed over 50Ib's - in the muggy height of New York summer, for 20 days.
I have shot a lot of TV and documentaries and I'll admit to being a little skeptical of Easyrigs ability to quickly adjust to get low angles in the fast paced world of non-scripted tv in the past - but when I considered my options I knew Easyrig was perhaps the ONLY way I was going to be able to achieve the look I was after.
New York office of camera package vendor ABEL CINE had Easyrigs in stock and after testing the rig and getting it perfectly balanced fell in love with the rig and it's capabilities.
I became very close with my Easyrig - and was soon sliding the rig down to my waist to shoot hand held tracking shots, and even achieved a shot of Juliette Lewis having a contemplative moment in a candle lit bath that was going to take over an hour to rig with off-set arms and ubangis on the dolly, simply and easily by adjusting the Easyrig to allow me to simply stand at the end of the bath looking directly down, and after we flipped the shot in post achieved the same shot in less than 5 minutes.
The shoot went fantastically well, the camera package and lenses were incredible and just what we were looking for to bring to the film - but it was a camera package that simply would not have worked without Easyrig. It was a small but perfectly formed gear list that was just flexible enough - and that's in no small way completely down to Abel and you - so thank you again.
I'm super pleased with how it looks, and how I think we were able to find a balance between the creative and the practical... And even better... the film is getting fantastic reviews.
And even better still... we won the Gamechanger Award at SXSW, got picked up by IFC FILMS and are being released in NYC on September 5th.