So Wednesday 18th was probably one of the most stressful days so far and for all the wrong reasons. I arrived early in the morning and transferred all the necessary equipment over to the Lens Based Media Studio before kit request opened, something I’d negotiated with Ana and Luke to make sure I could maximise my time in the studio and meticulously prepare for filming. I spent a total of six and a half hours setting the space up, as last time when I used the space to film I was only shooting with one camera, this time I had three. Setting up the cameras took the most amount of time as I had to work out a way to fit them all in while still accommodating for the screens in front of the lights. I used two tripods – one shooting the pots head on as I’d done in the previous video, one focussed on the pot in the middle of the formation at the front, shot from the side – and a Jib Arm shooting down, focussed on a pot on the corner of the formation.
Once I pressed record on each of the cameras I made sure I left at least five minutes before I began pouring in the water, to account for the cameras wobbling slightly (especially on the Jib Arm) and also to give me enough footage at the beginning to give the film a smooth start. Once I poured in enough water (1.5 litres) I had been advised to vacate the immediate area, leaving the cameras running. The reason for this came from reviewing the footage from my last film made, where I noticed during editing that whenever I went to check on how the pots where doing throughout the filming the floor wobbled the tripod ever so slightly, causing a wobble in the footage. The floors in the LBMS are all quite bouncy, and because Ana and I weren’t sure where would cause more severe bounce than other areas it was just safer and better to leave the cameras to do their thing. I couldn’t place one of the foam screens in front of the entrance to the LBMS because I was using all four screen stands, so I placed signage on the front door to F12 and blocked the doorway into the space with chairs and someone’s work that had been balanced in the corridor.
The total time filming was almost four hours long. Unfortunately this footage can’t be used as while the three cameras were filming someone entered the building and stole one of the cameras off the tripod, taking my work with them and compromising the footage captured on the other two. I had been periodically checking on the set up throughout the evening every 20/30 minutes, when I arrived for what I had hoped would be my final check on the status of the pots I found the tripod on the right of the set up missing its camera. After a lot of frantic searching it had been established that someone had stolen it, along with a number of lenses. I was able to view the footage from the other two cameras, and in the audio file for one of the films I can hear him moving around the room going through bags and boxes, and attempting the remove the cameras from the tripods, however because they’re quite tricky to use it took him a while to actually remove the plate. It was horrible hearing the audio, remembering how upset I was thinking that someone could do something like this.
Obviously I’m fairly upset, as I’d put so much time and energy into the day and was really excited about the resulting footage but upon reviewing it the following day it’s not something I’m happy to use for my final piece. It is salvageable with the footage from the two remaining cameras, but it isn’t how I want my final piece to look – the camera that was stolen had been set up in a way to show a really contemplative, almost serene angle of one of the pots disintegrating out into the rest of the frame and trying to edit what I have left doesn’t feel right.
Reshooting the footage brings up a whole host of problems I’m determined to work through, so the next week will be crucial in order to make sure I can make the best version of this work possible. After speaking to Ana it’s been established that I have a couple of options in terms of rebooking the studio space, at the moment I’m pencilled in for Thursday 28th until 16.30. I’ve spoken to Luke and my plan is to go in the night before and try and set up as much as I can before the building closes so I can maximise the amount of time I have for filming on the Thursday. I need to speak to the Fine Art student who’s in the studio space the evening before just to establish that that’s okay.