Recently, a contingent of the Keep Left content production team embarked on something of a mammoth task: to shoot footage for a high production value campaign at over 12 different locations across Victoria, in just four days.
From the South Melbourne Market to the Northern suburbs and a beach on the Mornington Peninsula, the team covered significant ground. Not only was producer and director Ant Dinham managing a team of three Lefties and several highly specialised external crew members, but also co-ordinating a cohort of 11 actors, including six kids, and one very enthusiastic canine.
We broke a sweat just thinking about it, but Ant was cool as a cucumber when we asked him to tell us about the experience. “It went very well”, he responded, with a look that said ‘duh’.
We’d expect nothing less!
Ant’s small crew were shooting handheld, which meant they could be nimble in getting from one shoot to another. “Whenever I direct a shoot, one of my goals is to maximise value. Working with a pared-back team as we did on this shoot, it meant that no crew member was sitting around waiting for their part to happen. It was all very hands-on throughout the four days,” Ant told us.
“Even as the director, when I wasn’t blocking out our shots or working with actors to get their performances down, I was functioning as our art and wardrobe departments. As a producer, I was always conscious of the tight deadline we had with this project, so time management was key.”
Kate Tartsus, who was director of photography on the shoot, is a self-confessed lighting geek, and the range of locations put her skills to the test. “Shooting at the beach was a bit tricky as there was a storm brewing and the light was inconsistent. I’m pleased with the result, though!” she tells us.
“That’s actually one of my favourite scenes,” added Ant. “We could have gone for a spectacular beach with a dramatic landscape, but it wasn’t about that. The scene was about a mother and daughter reconnecting and sharing a moment. In the sequence, we followed them walking out of the trees and onto the beach, and although it’s beautiful, the scenery is secondary to the action and the story we’re telling.”
Surely, with so many locations and actors in the mix, there must have been some funny moments?
“Actually, there were a couple”, says Ant. “We had cast two actors independently in mother and daughter roles, as we thought there was some similarity in their features. But when they turned up on set, they knew each other. It turned out that they were actually distantly related!”
“Plus there were a few moments of improvisation. But, you know, nothing a bit of creative thinking can’t fix,” Kate adds.
Well, the best laid plans and all that.
So who is the mystery client behind this mammoth project? We’ll give you a hint: what could you do in three years?
Keep your eyes peeled for the big reveal!
TEAM: Kate, Ant, Tash, and Tom from Keep Left + 2 external crew members
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