Script to Screen: Rendezvous Final Scene
by Tyler Markovich
I was recently the cinematographer on a student short film, Rendezvous, written and directed by Colin Wang. The film follows a man searching for his missing date. We shot this film in November for 10 days across 16 locations. With a shooting schedule this extensive, setting a plan in pre-production was super important.
Over the 2 months of prep, Colin and I scouted locations all around Boston and decided how to shoot each scene in each location. Stuff happens and sometimes plans were abandoned; however, for most of the scenes, what we prepped is what made it on screen.
The film's final scene is a good example of executing our visual plan. In this scene, the protagonist, Ben goes to the park to sulk, walking by an acappella group. After he sits down, a woman catches his eye. We scouted several parks and settled on Cambridge Common. During the location scout, Colin and I took photo boards with ourselves standing in for the actors. With these photo boards, we determined the camera angles, lens focal lengths, and blocking before the shoot. Making these decisions ahead of time freed me to focus more on lighting and other details on the shoot day. I'm not sure if all the location scouting and planning made for better cinematography, but it certainly eased my stress.
Rendezvous was produced as an assignment for Script to Screen, a course designed to serve two, interlocking purposes. It’s a chance for students who’ve written scripts to produce them. At the same time, it provides a workshop environment and a pool of like-minded filmmakers who can collaborate on each other’s projects. The class is designed to develop skills in producing, casting, directing, and cinematography. and intermediate FMS film course. Tyler Markovich is an FMS senior, who has worked on several past FMS and independent film projects. He is currently working on his own Senior Honors Thesis project, scheduled for completion in spring 2021.
Final scene photo board from the location scout with Tyler and Colin as stand ins
All 6 actual shots in the final scene (color grade in progress).
Shot 1 BTS Lighting Set-Up
Shot 1 Lighting Diagram
The negative fill created shadows by blocking any ambient reflected light. The tubes pushed through diffusion was the key light and we matched their color temp and tint to the streetlamps so the two sources blended to appeal more natural. The diffusion above the subjects' heads, softened the light coming from the streetlamp.
Shot 4 Lighting Diagram
Shot 4 BTS Lighting Set-Up
Similar setup as shot 1. Titan tubes through diffusion as the key light. Negative fill for the shadow on his right cheek, and a 4x4 diffusion to soften the lamp light from above.