We have been shooting a lot lately, with Dark Mare, testing just how good we are at acting, animating, setting, light, focus shift, sound, script writing, directing, you name it. As a camera crew, the most important thing is that we get along and that we can work together. It is like learning a whole new language, talking “movie,” and we have to be on the same page, as a team.
I have ended up in front of the camera a lot lately, because we have been in need of actors, or because we haven’t wanted to ask anyone to act for us, while we were testing other things, like light setting or animations.
I don’t mind acting. In fact, I used to be pretty good at it, which is something I don’t speak of a lot. I went to music school, back in the day, and when the music team joined up with the drama team, I ended up acting instead of playing back ground music for a while. The drama teacher loved me and used to point to me to teach his students how to use body language to convey emotions. That is what I have been doing all my life, with my horses; reading body language.
Anyway, it has been a lot harder this time, the acting, because I am so used to keeping an eye on everything when we are on set, that I can’t let go of that role and focus on acting. I keep eying the light guy, or wondering if the sound guy is in frame, or checking with the camera guy for what he is focusing on now and what other shots we need…
Did I mention that I am a bit of a control freak? So there we have it; if I can’t let go of the responsibility of overlooking everything when we are on set, then we really need to find actors for our fiction projects.
Also, I have to admit, I like being behind the camera more than in front of it. I like the art of framing the perfect picture, of catching the light just right, of finding the best angles of the actors… I love the possibility of creating magic with the camera, much more than becoming one of our characters, no matter how cool they are…
I was always a writer. I love creating the story, the characters, the world. I love being in charge of the setting, the mood, the light, everything. Just like I couldn’t be just one of the characters from my books, I can’t really be just one of the characters from our scripts. I am a “bigger picture” kind of person. And I need to be everywhere, making sure that everything is perfect, as soon as the camera starts rolling…
And, of course, I have to run around, taking “behind the scenes” pictures with the little Rebel camera as well, just to make sure that I don’t have a single second to breathe when we are on set. I guess I am, finally, starting to think of myself as a photographer, even if it was a passion I was taught.
When I was a child, and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always said that I wanted to be a writer. I always was a writer. I guess that hasn’t changed, but it has widened my horizon a lot, learning to tell stories in the single frame of a picture or to set up a scene I only used to imagine and bring it to life before a camera.
When we first started Dark Mare, I was a bit sceptic. I am not anymore. We are really good at this. All of us. And we are only getting better, once we all find our roles.