Over the summer I had the pleasure of getting hired on to DP a new webseries by a great director, Paul Karpenko. Re-Election is a Groundhogs Day meets Veep styled webseries where our heroine Jamie (played by the talented Amber Rivera) is trapped in a never ending loop on election night at the campaign headquarters of Sandy Reynolds.
Paul and I talked a lot on how the Re-Election should look. After watching a few references and going over the shot list we came up with a pretty compressive list that had a good amount of movement to help off set the sheer size of our location while balancing the budget constraints of the desired look. The location itself was simply amazing. It’s a standing set in downtown Los Angeles with exposed ceilings and ample room to set lights.
Our main lights were actually the house lights which were these huge industrial halogen overhead lights that were evenly spaced throughout the set. Ideally I would of loved to have rigged space lights for each industrial halogen on set but we couldn’t allocate the needed budget for it. In addition to the house lights we used a pair of 1k frensels, 650 Tweenie, and large china balls.
This was really an enjoyable production to be apart of. Everyone from the crew to the actors really gave their all and everything ran smoothly. It was this great working relationship that allowed us to pull off as many dolly moves as we did. Looking back, I feel that the camera lived on the dolly for he majority of the shoot. The decision to have a lot of movement Re-Election as in part because since the show is in a time loop throughout all the episodes, we can use the movement to help translate the different emotions Jamie will be going though as the series progresses.
We also had to do a relight for some night scenes, which proved to be an interesting challenge since our set had no windows. The solution we came up with was to imagine that the ceiling was lined with skylights, so when the sun went down all that was left was a more contrasty warmer feel from unseen tungsten and desk lamp sources. For the unseen sources we used our huge china balls spaced out on the rafters, letting the light fall off the background gently.
I’m really excited that the pilot episode is now online and when you have a few minutes please take a look!
All of these fantastic behind the scenes photos were shot by the amazing Jen Wiley (http://jwileyphotography.com/)
As of writing this, The whole Re-Electrion team has a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to continue filming the rest of this great webseries. Check out the link and and all the really cool rewards that they are offering!