LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY PRODUCTION
A 35ft crane was attached to a pontoon boat – emulating a car-to-car set-up – with the grip team prepped on how to rig it. In addition to capturing the rowing, Oldak was mindful of how footage would synchronise with the voiceover of Reverend Wakely and Calvin’s epistolary exchange. “It wasn’t just a montage of anything and everything – we were strategic in our mix of angles, placing the boat in the right way to get the sunlight on the right side. We went through the paths with the boat operator and figured out where the sun would be first of all. The stunt person did it a couple of times to run through the beats and then we brought Calvin in – I was constantly watching the clock and watching the sun, but we got it done! “I’m extremely proud of the rowing work,” he concludes. “Right from the initial scripts, the rowing was one of the things I felt most touched by – just him on the water and the early sunrise. I feel like we really captured that."
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Calvin powering through the water, bathed in celestial light. Tranquil to watch, Oldak reports that it was anything but to shoot. “That day was insane! It was December in California, where the sun sets around 4pm, so we had limited time to capture all of our rowing work in 5, 7 and 8, plus some shots of the dock. We only had nine hours, so we had to be on our game,” he explains.
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