The Dolly is Extra

Creative TwizzleringI recently got to watch longtime buddy Don McIntosh in his professional element as a director/cameraman for a recent project. He’s been a hero of mine for years just because he’s so into the cool stuff and the whole freelance creative thing. His family, in fact, is a model for awesomeness in my mind; because of them, I now know that forming a family unit doesn’t have to be lame. They have the coolest house.

Anyway, I’d never been on a video shoot before, so it was neat to watch a seasoned professional team get things done. I was particularly struck by how there were specialists for each role: Don as the director/cameraman, another guy to move the camera (and Don) on the dolly, another guy who knew everything about light, a stylist who kept the talent looking fresh, and a couple general helpers that moved lights, trucked gear, and maintained a steady supply of snacks and beverages to the crew. They all knew what was needed from each other, so they interacted with each other with a minimum of verbiage and eye contact. Everyone kept their eyes on the shot, making adjustments here and there to lighting and positioning that ordinary mortals would not have noticed. It was quite inspiring to see how everything meshed together to create something that looked great.

On a side note, the camera was a near-HD quality rental… I heard it was worth US$150K.