I’m a chef working on tour with major artists in the rock ‘n’ roll industry in Europe. Every day we get off a tour bus after an average of 6 hours sleep, unload the truck, build a kitchen inside a stadium, cook breakfast, lunch, dinner and after-show food for 200-odd crew and artists alike, break down and clean kitchen, push it back on the truck and drag our tired, adrenalized and ragged selves back to a coffin-sized bunk and sleep while the tour rolls into the next venue.
I’m sure you can see the potential of a no-holds-barred rock’n’roll food documentary. It’s insane, it’s brutal, its fun, it’s emotionally charged, it’s cooking with gas.
Any tips about working in tight fluorescent hallways inside stadiums and arenas? I’m taking a GoPro, with remote, a shotgun mike, tripod, lights and a reflector etc. spare batteries, sd cards, hard drives, and either a Canon xa10, xf100,xf105, or a Panasonic ac-90
Attached is a short produced by a good friend who will be helping me with the time-lapse aspects of my own footage.
Wow! Sounds like a great subject! Your passion and energy really come through. The time-lapses (below) are beautiful.
But I’m worried—
In all that passionate description, you haven’t told me what your doc is about. Or more precisely, who your doc is about.
In film, equipment and lighting decisions come after story decisions. Why? Because nobody likes to spend time or money acquiring and lugging around equipment that’s wrong for the job. How do we know the right equipment? We develop as precise an idea as possible about the story first.
To know your story in a documentary, you have to know very specifically who the story is about. A doc about “a bunch of people” cooking on the road is unfocused. Shooting everyone is like shooting no one. You end up with an amorphous mess with no compelling characters. You have no story. Without story, your doc will feel like a time-lapse—pretty, full of motion, and ultimately meaningless without context. It may be beautiful, but it won’t draw us in.
The key to a great doc is specific characters with a strong need or want and a difficult journey. Who is the lead character in your story? What are they desperately trying to do, at which they very well may not succeed?
Do you need GoPros and timelapses? What’s the best way to light? Tell me the story first. Once we know who’s doing what, building an equipment list is easy.