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Last summer I visited my Uncle Peter.The public relations firm he works for was handling the ads for an upcoming movie,and he took me to watch a shoot.
Let's go and meet the A.D."Uncle Peter said when we got to the studio.
You meet an AD? "I asked,a little confused.
"Oh,sorry.That's the Assistant Director," he laughed."You get so used to the jargon on the set that you figure everyone else knows it."
The A.D whose name was Sharie,pointed out that "the D.P is using a dolly to track some actors running a scene." I guess I looked confused because she smiled.
"He's the director of photography,or cinemagtographer.,around here we just call him the D.P.He runs the camera,it's his job to get the best shot every time."Sharie explained while pointing the D.P.
"And the camera's on a dolly.?" I saw a platform on wheels like that at my dad's store.It's on tracks,like train,Is it alwaya there? I asked with curiosity.
"No.we move them after the D.P gets the final shot." she replied.
Just then,someone called loudly,"Where's the gaffer? We need a blue gel.And can someone just close the barn door on that one? he called pointing up.
"Sshh.They need an electrician,"Uncle Peter whispered." They want a blue filter over the light.,blue light is softer,not harsh."
"Got it." I replied."But,what's a barn door?"
Sharie pointed up at the huge lights."See the flaps on the front of the light? They can be opened or closed to give more or less light.We call them barn doors."
"That's silly;why not just call them flaps?" I thought and said it to myself.
Later,I saw two actors filming a sword fight in front of a green wall.
"Without scenery,how will anyone know if they're in a castle or a cliff? I asked Sharie again.
"That's where C.G.I comes in," she explained."The action is filmed in front of a blue or green screen,then computer-generated image is dropped in for background. It'll make them look like they're duelling a top of a mountain with Hall and buildings below,or what ever filmakers want.
"So if I see an actor riding a camel in a dessert,is he really doing it.? I asked.
"Sometimes,"Sharie replied."Some films are shot on location at different spots around the world.But it costs less use blue screen and C.G.I.,so its up to filmakers and depending on their budgeto.They may want "Movie Magic."
"We need background people for the next scene,"someone called Sharie.
She nodded."Time for me to make sure the people you may know as "extras or bit player "are in place,"she confided."They're ones who give the scene a sense of reality, folks walking down a street or shopping in a mall as the stars do their thing."
After lunch,I watched more filming.
"QUIET ON THE SET."
They background people began to move,then into the scene rode the hero,the star of the movie,on a real motorcycle.No green screen needed.!
That was a great experience seeing those production people working on films and how they work on filming.
"I want to go back here Uncle Peter." I said.
"I want to be a part of them." I thought to myself, as we coming back home.