On the Set of Agnes & Estelle
William steps behind the camera of Laura Black's award-winning web-series Agnes & Estelle
Today I took another spin behind the camera for the digital web series Sessions with Agnes & Estelle. The series was created by writer/director Laura Black, and this was my second outing with this talented filmmaker. I shot several episodes with Laura several months ago and was excited when she contacted me to come back and shoot the final two episodes of Season 2.
While shooting is not my strongest forte, it is still a skill that I am reasonably well accomplished at particularly with all the shooting that I do for my website Hike-LosAngeles.com. It also helped that I was very familiar with the camera she was using, the Canon T2i. It’s a model behind my own primary camera, the Canon T3i. These cameras are excellent little work horses and are ideally suited for run and gun, knock ‘em out quick projects like this.
My own camera is outfitted with Magic Lantern software, which Laura lacks on her camera, so there were some adjustments to be made as I didn’t have the full range of options that I am used to. Laura has tried to act as her own camera operator in the past and has found herself stretched thin as she tries to deal with directing the actors, handle catering and a host of other issues that a small production runs into. This has resulted in some video that wasn’t necessarily of the highest quality, certainly not what she wanted for her web series.
By bringing me on as her DP, Laura was able to concentrate on other things as I set up the camera and lights. I was also able to offer suggestions on ways to stage scenes more effectively for the camera, advice which Laura took eagerly. Having a director’s trust like that makes for an enjoyable shoot, and I think we got some really good shots.
An added benefit for myself as a writer was seeing how a scene transferred from the page to the camera, and more importantly how to transition visually from one scene to the next. This will definitely influence how I write my own scene endings and beginnings.
You can find Seasons 1 & 2 of Sessions with Agnes & Estelle on YouTube.