We rolled up on set nice and early to set up and finally meet our documentary subject Surendrakumar Bhagat in the flesh. Having read through research , seen photographs of him and read a handwritten letter from him it was a surreal and enlightening experience to finally meet him in his natural homely environment.
The capturing of visuals was very smooth. Having plenty of visuals and a stylistic approach already in mind it meant we could set up quickly and confidently without making Mr Bhagat uncomfortable. We decided to interview him sat on a sofa in Meera’s living room as it was a place where he could relax and we could really engage with him on a personal level, as we planned this also meant that the motif of the importance of family ran throughout the whole documentary in an environment which was not too set up but genuine. We decided against interviewing him against a white wall as we felt this was not the atmosphere we wanted to create. After experimenting with different amounts of lights, directions and filters we finally used an artificial lamp and a coloured reflector which created a moody and atmospheric scene but it was not too intense.
My role for this documentary was sound, everyone being clearly allocated their role meant the process was efficient and fortunately everybody put a lot of effort into there own responsibilty and I think we made a good production team. To ensure a decent sound quality we booked out 3 different cameras and an edirol and it turned out it was a good job we did take this precaution. In the headphones the sound quality seemed high and even after listening back to each audio clip after I recorded it there appeared to be no problems however after importing the footage into audacity and amplifying it we could hear a whirring. It seemed the mic we used recorded the inside of the edirol alongside the interview so inevitable for a few minutes we panicked. After remembering the boom microphone we had booked out we plugged it into the edirol and with great relief the sound worked much better even after being amplified. Even better the second time we recorded it was obvious our subject felt more comfortable and what we shot seemed more natural.
We all felt the shoot went very well and despite a hiccup with the sound and having to masking tape the tripod to an ill fitting dolly (blue peter here we come) everything was dealt with quickly and without freaking out too much. Mr Bhaget enjoyed the shoot and this would support that the atmosphere on set was a good one. Most importantly to me the atmosphere was definitely friendly and homely from the second we arrived on set and I think this came across well on screen.