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production

At the New School the sync camera package includes a lot of grip equipment and lighting. There was a large amount of equipment to bring to my studio in Brooklyn. I took the Friday off work to pickup and 'check out' the equipment.

Orpheus Orpheus tells his story.

On Saturday morning, we built the 'video set' in the main room at Hope Street. The set was simply the screen to back project onto and the lights. However it was a complicated master shot to get just right. Lighting the actors properly but not shining on the screen. My crew worked quickly and efficiently as Greg DJed for us. Jane Watson was the cinematographer and Takai and myself gaffed the lights. The actors arrived a little later, Trish's roommate Consuelo came to do the make-up. Lizzy got breakfast together as we set up. We had only five setups to shoot and I wanted two good takes of everything. When we were ready to roll, Takaki was the cameraman, Greg was the soundman and recorded on a Nagra. Jane was the cinematographer taking readings with the light meter and Eyal projected the set. We ended up only shooting 400ft of 16mm which is about 11 minutes. It was a fast eight hour shoot that went very smoothly. To celebrate we went to my local pub and had a few pints.

Three months later, I shot the location scenes (the rest of the film) on a Bolex. Myself, Greg, Gary and Trish went into the subway at 4am, one Saturday morning. It was very difficult to get the shots of them on the platform and them entering the train without other passengers in the shot. But after eight trains we had enough coverage. People were drunk and excited to see us 'guerrilling it' in the subway. One person shouted out "sorry about your Grandmother" to Trish. I was very glad that we weren't trying to record sound!

The train The train approaches the platfrom.

I was the cameraman for these shots and Greg recorded location sound. The equipment office had made a mistake and the tripod they had given me wasn't the right one for that camera. So Greg and I devised the crutch-cam, whereby we strapped the camera onto an old crutch, and covered the camera with a black cloth bag. It was an odd looking thing to carry around on the subway but worked well for guerrilla style filmmaking.

The next day, Saturday afternoon, we shot Gary at the graveyard and on the east river (there are actually two graveyards in the film). It was very cold and windy. Gary, Lizzy and Greg put up with the cold as I shot the various scenes. We used the crutch cam again. You can see the windiness by the unsteady shots.

Pluto Pluto, Lord of Hades.

The next day, Lizzy and myself shot the special effects scenes: bath shot with fake blood, and the Cow Skull scene with cigarette smoke. Finally Greg and myself went back into the subway that Sunday night to get some shots and some stereo recordings of the train. We brought my bike for the fluorescent tunnel dolly shot that opens the film. We strapped the crutchcam to the bicycle and wheeled it along. We then got shots of trains coming into the station and from the first carriage and that was the wrap.