Wednesday, August 8, 2018

"The Girls Of Summer"

This blog entry will be continuous through the time I spend with this movie production. The most current entry will be on top so that you do not have to scroll to the bottom to read/see the latest. Enjoy my bride Christi's and my journey into "The Girls Of Summer", directed by John D. Hancock and written by Tori Titmas.

August 8, 2018

Photographs by Christi Bushby. Enjoy!

August 4, 2018

Rule #105: If you cannot see the camera lens glass, the camera lens glass cannot see you. Or, in a stern communication from Sarah you will hear, "WES you're in FRAME". Yes, that happened today.

From the first day I saw Sarah in action I knew her role. She is good at it. She prioritizes, is positive, plans ahead, pays close attention to detail, demonstrates diplomacy, and as I found out today communicates with authority.

Today was a very warm day in the lower 90s. It started with some in-house scenes then moved to the barn where the farm equipment is kept.

I had no clue at first what they were trying to do. Perhaps they found out a way to stay cool in the hot sun. Turned out they were trying to get a sheet dirty for a prop.

Now we are outside with the grips at work putting together the rail for the trolley, or dolly if you prefer. Their day can be wait then jump to it, or constantly on the go. Either way, when a task needs to be done there are jolly on the spot, getting it done professionally and in a timely manner.

August 1, 2018

Here are some photographs taken by my bride Christi. Christi enjoys everyone involved in this movie production as I do. She comes home telling me about her shoot. Her face is all lit up with joy for being part of this production.

July 29, 2018

Day 19 of 40 location was on a farm in New Carlisle. As soon as I arrived I came to the conclusion I was not getting inside the house, on set, to take photographs. Many of the crew members were outside waiting for their queue.

Nothing is ever a loss. Just a different opportunity to enjoy and create. So I photographed the crew, and the cast when they were not on set. I must say, they are a wonderful group of people. At my age I find it comforting to watch these young people experience, grow, be social, and put in a good days work. Just not any work. Their best work. I am glad they are part of my future.

This hummingbird kept coming to the feeder. A bit cautious (and camera shy) each time someone came near. Not like the hummingbirds I saw in California that allowed me to come within five feet.

She did not want her photo taken with the cell phone. Little did she know . . .

I heard the announcement "going up" like an elevator attendant. It quickly reminded me of the show "Are You Being Served". You gotta love hydraulic lifts on the back of a truck!

July 27, 2018

Here are some photographs I took on location at Czars Bar in St. Joseph, Michigan. I hope you will enjoy them!

Deadlines need to be met. Making a movie is no exception, and perhaps more so. Add to this deadline the intangible quality that the Director makes tangible if you will, and you have upped the game from most industries you can think of.

To accomplish this takes a great cast to maintain and uplift any situation for the movie. To accomplish this the needs of the Director and and Director of Photography are to be met. Everyone surrounding this, the cast, people in the production department, camera department, grip department, electrical department, sound department, props, hair and makeup, production assistance, costume, art, set decoration, visual effects, special effects, music, . . . and the list goes on . . ., need to come together like a well oiled machine that hits its timing perfectly. When it does not, frustration can set it, tempers can rise, and at the same time it comes back into balance as the team performs under direction of the Director and Director of Photography.

So, this movie is not as easy as one might think. It takes focus and practice in your specific trade for this production. The Director, John D. Hancock, has chosen people with experience and perhaps with little time under their belt. He is allowing them to hone their craft, as with me.

The shoot today is described above. A little of a roller coaster. A long day inside then waiting for the sun to set so that filming could continue with the outdoor scenes. Yet through all this I saw professionalism reign. Which brings me back to the cast. They are the glue in this movie whether they realize it or not. Their world, their attitude, their perseverance is what motivates the rest of the team. Then the team reciprocates back. The casts willingness to take on the burden, even if not consciously, I believe helps with the directing and filming. I believe I now understand what it is to be an actor.

Photos please!

Because the color was out of control for the sensor in my camera, I chose to make some of these photographs black and white. It does give you a different take, or focus if you will, removing some of the noise in the photograph that can overwhelm your senses. I hope you like them.

July 26, 2018

Photographs from my bride Christi, taken on location at Czars Bar in St. Joseph, Michigan.

July 25, 2018

Some more photographs from my bride Christi, taken at Decoy's Neighborhood Bar and Grill, located in Michigan City, Indiana. This was another chance for you to be an extra in the movie!

July 22, 2018

Dirty White Couch Studio in Niles, Michigan. That is where this journey took me. It was a tight squeeze, so I did not spend a lot of time inside.

Yes, I will photograph anything . . .

Staying out of the rain became a challenge too . . .

July 15, 2018

I must say, observing the team get it together was a wonderful sight. Communication was the most obvious and most important aspect that I came away with. The crew and cast were so very professional and on their game. One little blip over half way through the day to cut the music happened. Other than that, everything seemed pitch perfect if you will.

I cannot express enough the thrill I have taking this journey with them. It is a bit scary after watching their professionalism. I am hoping I measure up when my time comes. When I think of my photograph career, it has all be about taking risk, starting with my first shoot of musicians at Paul Henry’s Art Gallery, plays and musicals at the Towle Theater, music improve at The Second City (for WhoProv) and later following graduates to MCL (music comedy live). Not to forget roller derby! Through each of these times I took a step further. I am enjoying the journey. 

So the movie experience is new to me. Letting the movie director, staff, cast, and crew do what they do and not get into the way will be one of my challenges. It is easy to take photographs from afar. It is a different thing to dodge around the crew to get a photograph of the cast and the take. I can feel my adrenaline kicking in a little just writing about it.

So here are some photographs from the day, mostly sitting in my position as an extra. (I signed up to be an extra for today.) A few photographs at the beginning and the end are from me floating around getting a feel for all of this. Enjoy!

When I see an interesting subject and lighting I will string along a few photographs as I have here.

July 11, 2018

The following photographs were taken by my bride Christi. We are a tag team on the crew hoping to cover as much as we can. I cannot wait until we are both on set because we can do wonders.

July 4, 2018

The LaPorte Jaysees 4th of July parade in LaPorte is billed as one of Indiana's largest parades, if not The largest parade of the state having a 2.5 mile route from East to West side of LaPorte.  One-hundred fifteen floats were involved.  "The Girls Of Summer" participated with their float number 105.

The temperature started about 85, and rose to 89 by the time the parade began to move. Being on a blacktop road it felt more like 94 or more, especially in the sun. I had to set a goal, given my health, that I would walk in the parade at least to the court house while taking photographs of the cast and crew. As it turned out I almost made it.  I had to stop at Clay Street, only 0.68 miles into the parade. It was too hot for Christi so she was in the car keeping up with us on the side streets (for me) as best she could. After she picked me up we went to mom's house (Christi's mom) for a while to rest, then we came back to catch the float at the end of the parade.

Here are some photographs . . .

Side note: I solo'd in a J-3 Cub many years ago. So when I saw this one fly by towing a sign for someone, I needed to photograph it.

As I waited at the end of the route of the parade for our float to come, I looked around for a spot to photograph from. As I searched I noticed a family under their tent starting to get up and pack who were all color coordinated in red shirts. I asked them if they would do me the favor of waiving at our float as it passed (explaining these were cast and crew of "The Girls Of Summer" making a movie in town). They were very happy to. As the float came around the bend and began to pass, the family screamed, yelled, waived at the actors on the float. My failure was I could not get everyone's attention on the float to look their direction. Still, Thank You family!

That evening the City of Lake Station invited everyone from the movie to their fireworks show. They had a tent setup for us and treated us very well. Unfortunately the rain down poured right before the show.

First Entry

So, I receive a strange E-mail from my friend Chris Ussery copying me on communication with an Amber who apparently liked my photographic style, a lot. I thought at the time, "cool, nice to here that someone likes my work and maybe there will be a request for me to photograph something out of this." Then I read my Facebook page where Chris left me a message stating that John Handcock is making a movie with lots of music and musicians, and asked that I give Amber a call.

I called Amber and found out this was All for real, and that they are very interested in bringing me on board as possibly the lead photographer. I was told what the movie was about, the number of music venues that they would located at, and that there would be a 24 hour call before they would need me so I would need to make myself available. Well, I work full time as a quality manager to pay the bills. My photography typically takes place in the evenings, though I have taken time off work to do it during the day. I would make time for this, and I suggested they also consider my bride Christi for a "tag team". I explained her photography voice is different from mine so they would have the best of both worlds.

A week or so later I received a call to come in with my portfolio, and to bring Christi and her work. So June 20, 2018 began our journey through "The Girls Of Time". The meeting was in Three Oaks, MI, and we had hoped that John Handcock would have been there to review our portfolio's and to ask questions of us. Unfortunately he could not make the meeting. It was fun just to sit and listen to what the movie was about and how it was all coming together. The shooting of it had not begun yet, so we had a little time to wrap our emotions around this. All Christi and I could think of was Yes! So we signed some paperwork.

We attended our first production meeting July 2nd. We were given cast and crew information along with the meeting agenda. Everyone was so nice. John Handcock walked in and you knew right away he was the director. He captures your attention as an important person with great knowledge. He was laid back and the most friendly person one could ask for. We went around the room introducing some of the new team members, and John pointed to me and asked who is the one in the hat. Yes, I wore my steampunk hat that day. A bit catchy to people.

Here are some photos at the meeting, both during and after. I was happy to see that after the meeting people were getting together in a very professional way to tie up loose ends. This was the beginning of my understanding of the "sense of purpose" people have in the movie industry.

For more information on the movie . . .

"The Girls Of Summer"


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