After a long summer shooting over 30 episodes of the award-winning show, Mr. Student Body President, I'm proud to announce that Season 2 is now airing for FREE on Go90.com. (SEE TRAILER BELOW)
As the cinematographer, I was a bit intimidated by the proposed plan of shooting all 30 episodes, or 3 seasons, back to back in just 45 days. However, after reading the nearly 400 pages of new material and seeing the vision of creators, Jack Ferry and Ryan Hunter, I knew I wanted to be apart of it again. Even though we were technically shooting a comedy I wanted to continue with the dramatic and naturalistic style, pushing deeper into the shadows and darkness. During Season 1, Ryan and Jack, were a little unsure about how far I should go, but in the end, we ultimately embraced the low-key look, and I think that our commitment really paid off.
For Season 2, I had about 3 weeks of prep. I quickly determined that I would need to work even faster if I was going to have any chance of pulling off the high page count that was scheduled for each day, let alone making sure the look and vision from Season 1 was being maintained. Expanding on my approach from Season 1, I devised a lighting plot that would key most of the classrooms from the outside and then mix that with the existing overhead units in the school for fill and ambience. During our pre-light we swapped out all the hallways, classrooms, and other locations with color match kino tubes. Then with only a handful small HMIs, Skypanels, Lekos, and Par Cans, I could shape and augment the light very quickly.
During Season 1 we used a set of Zeiss Primes and maintained a single camera unit throughout the show. For Season 2, we added a B Camera unit to the team to speed up our coverage and switched over to a set of Opitmo Zooms. They were very efficient and I loved the slightly warmer feel to them. We also introduced some Cooke Panchro Prime lenses for some flashback episodes that gave us a softer, creamier look that contrasted nicely with the modern Optimos.
The other big change from Season 1 was that the show runners decided to bring in a different guest director each week. That was a very interesting experience and I learned a lot about my own threshold and how to quickly help a new director come up to speed. Each director came with varying degrees of experience, styles and backgrounds and they each brought new ideas and insights to the show. My job as cinematographer is to always help realize the directors vision, however, as cinematographer, I'm also the one constant that is there throughout the entire season and have to stay true to the show's look and feel. If a director had an idea that would start to fall out of the scope of our show, I had to quickly interject, offering ideas and alternatives that would still achieve his vision without completing abandoning our show's look. Not easy at times :) LOL!
Anyways, It was a such a privilege to be apart of this show and I'm truly grateful to Go90, New Form Digital, and creators, Jack and Ryan, for trusting me to help bring it to life.