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Short doc shot on Lomo squarefronts.

Russell Anway

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This is a short documentary I did this past summer about a mushroom farm here in Minneapolis.


I shot this on my a7s with my Lomo squarefronts.  The 50mm was the workhorse and I mostly switched between full frame and s35 to zoom in and out a bit.  The 35 did some work as well and I dollied the 80 for a few of the mushroom "money" shots.  I have one more segment like this shot (urban bee researchers with bee hives (apiaries!) on rooftops around the city).  The plan is to shoot four or five more of these and edit it into a feature. 

The mushroom farm was the tester to see if this project was feasible and if I could execute the concept, or if a feature was a pipe dream (I'm working alone on this, no budget).  In general I do think this came off pretty well.  The biggest change I'd make is that I feel like I missed a lot of good stuff, and kismet was really against me in some ways.  I shot the large majority of the non-interview content in one day, and my approach was to talk over the day with the farmers at the start of the day and have them give me a heads-up when something was going to go down, or when they were going to move on to a new task. I would shoot the b-roll and beauties when I felt I had enough of whatever the task at hand was.  But the realization there is that the subjects don't necessarily have a good idea of what will make good contributions to the doc (nor could I expect them to), so they might think something is boring and not give you a heads-up when in fact the thing they're doing is using a fire extinguisher to knock a wasp's nest off the back of their tent and then running away like maniacs, and I'd definitely like to get that.  So in the future I think sticking to the subjects like crazy for one full day without breaking away would more substantially fill the film's need.  Then the second day could accommodate interviews and beauties.   That's what I'm thinking moving forward at least.

Anyway, let me know what you think.

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