by Mario J. Novoahttp://kck.st/1DukNzt
You can talk about making anything till you are blue in the face, but you'll never make it happen, unless you work with what you have.
When I was approached to make L.A. A Queer History (a feature documentary), I knew that the interviews would be a little difficult to shoot because we had to shoot on location. We had to worry about light and sound recording issues. Since we had no budget, we could not pay or hire anyone to really help out.
Using a PANASONIC LUMIX GH2, a Panasonic 14mm zoom lens, a $25 CCTV lens and adapter, a Zoom H4N sound recorder, a SENNHEISER lavaliere microphone and a consumer tripod, we went to work. Having had over 20 years of experience shooting and editing interviews, I took on the task of being the main production person. Something I haven't done in years.
I ran through the scenarios with the director about how to set up, set up time, sound and lighting and whatever other issues might pop up during production. And of course as in any film production period, something always comes up...and you have to improvise.
Using my rickety tripod, we kept our shots, steady and clean. We could have used more movement by using a tripod like a professional Manfrotto, but we had to use what was available. As long as the shot was stable, that was all that mattered.
Every interview was special and we were allowed to capture oral histories that haven't been explored or shared before. So this job was special for that reason. If you really want to do something important, you have to work and make it happen. I'm very proud of the work that we have done thus far and look forward to finishing up our interviews in the very near future.