This project gave me an appreciation for adapting shooting styles to both the needs of the story and the schedule. Six Vices is essentially two scenes: the dorm and the party. For the first half of the shoot at the dorm, we did plenty of coverage and shot variety since the action centers on the main character. We followed a basic shot list and got everything the director wanted. However, once we moved onto preparation for the party scene, we quickly realized a different approach was needed.
The action of the party scene still centers on the main character, but it follows her interactions with six other characters. The entire film is without scripted dialogue, so the interactions were mainly exchanged looks or observations. We had originally considered doing separate shots for each of the interactions, but as we starting walking through the scene, we realized this would break up the sequence too much and take the focus off the main character. Faced with limited time and over a dozen background actors, the director decided to shoot the party as a plán scene.
This presented a unique challenge, but a much better solution to capturing the entire scene. The process went fairly smoothly too. The director first blocked the actors, then we did the camera blocking and focus marking. We ran the scene five or six times until we had a good take for performance and camera. This approach made the entire process simpler for everyone involved and produced an interesting and fluid result.
Canon 5D Mk II
Zeiss SLR Lenses