Birth film discussion

From: JEFFREY PAULL (email suppressed)
Date: Thu May 28 2009 - 11:15:39 PDT

Discuss and settle on a purpose /what they expect / what this would be used for
and write that in ball pen on the back of your hand.

If possible, before the event, go to where you're going to be shooting with a stand-in (so to speak)
and take maybe 30 sec. shots from probable angles.
In the comfort of your own home, go over the shots, using freeze frame, crawl, as needed, and note if any stuff in the BG
catches our eye, and readjust as you need to. Take notes. "Clean the frame" as it's called.

Test the white balance - especially if there's available fluorescent light.
Fluorescent greenish newborns aren't as cute as the usual brown, tan, or pink ones.

Accept the fact that you won't get everything, and THAT'S OK!
So no swishing the camera around to make sure a bit of everything lands recorded.
Instead, most of the time, use your bare eyes keeping in emotional contact with the event, the place, the people.
Before the trumpets sound, spend some quieter time devoting time to each person ONLY.
Then go on to another person.

If you shoot a lot, it means that come editing time, you will have to deal with a lot of footage and time and possible choices.
That can make editing seem overwhelming.
But maybe conditions call for many lengthy shots so you don't miss anything.
If, during recording, there is a stretch where you've been shooting and nothing compelling has transpired,
erase it from the HD or flash drive or whatever. If you've gotta shoot lots, try to do at least some trimming as you go along.
Not individual shots, but 5-15 min. hunks of waiting time.

  - GET REACTION SHOTS and some shots of what people - and the mother - are doing during the lulls.
  - GET TELLING DETAILS. 10 SEC PER SHOT. Give yourself editing possibilities later.
  - Specifically spend time recording each of the practitioners. Both M.S. with what they're doing so we can see,
        and C.U. (not E.C.U.) of their concentration.
  - What people do while waiting. Alone with their thoughts.

And watch Window Water Baby Moving both forwards and backwards.

Jeffrey Paull

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