For my first experience with Courage, NH I was asked to come out to Riley’s Farm, as director of photography, to shoot a promo scene about the origin of the town’s name. The drive out from Santa Monica was long but it gave me time to think about the shoot, picture how everything should go and imagine how I would light each shot. The scene was pretty simple, two guys sitting at a table talking in front of a fire. I met the cast and crew, which included a plethora of eager kids all wanting to be part of the magic. Then we began setting up for the night of work. We shot with the Canon 7d and the scene was lit with a Chinese paper lantern and 3 Arri 150s. The fire was a big beautiful real fire that both looked pretty and provided the heat for the tavern on this cold January night. For some of the close ups to enhance the fire flicker light effect I had a 150 going through some diffusion and all I needed was someone to wave their hands in front of the light. Fortunately there was an army of kids, each waiting to get his/her turn to control the fire flicker. When we finished the last shot I asked for the house lights to be turned on, to which I was told that in the 1700’s they didn’t have electric lights and therefore neither did the tavern. It was at that moment that I realized that the Riley’s really do live and breath the history that they teach at their farm and that this would be one of the most fun and unique projects that I have ever been a part of.
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