A Study in Magic and Artifice

Hello Everyone! It is well past time for a post, and I shall endeavor to be better. I write this particular piece from LA, where filmmaking is literally all around us. Our film F For Franco is still in post-production because we feel that it’s more important to get it into a shape we’re happy with than to just call it good enough, only to look back on it later and say, “We could have done more.”

Lately, we’ve been working on some reflections on our film, particularly about the spectacle of celebrity. As we set up to shoot some of Francisco’s ideas, I looked at the room and saw the spectacle of what we were doing. No documentary or news program is without its share of artifice – even just standing in front of a camera lends a slightly artificial air to the whole thing. The tricks employed to eventually produce a “flawless” film are amazing. And sometimes just funny. Here are 14 seconds of a take that got up someone’s nose, quite literally:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AN8E3VWANNw&w=700&rel=0]

As you can see, nothing is perfect the first time through. That’s the magic of editing, giving us a error-free delivery of eloquent thoughts and ideas. In setting up the shoot, we did more to make the magic “meta.” What you saw was my cell phone camera looking at a TV set up as an external monitor, so Francisco can look at the camera and talk, and we can monitor what he looks like, how he’s framed in the shot, etc. A bit of fakery to add to the mix. Here’s the setup in all its glory – some behind the scenes before the film is out!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5nJu8yrmTM&w=700&rel=0]

It’s the art of making film. See you soon with Orson Welles!