Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Fifteen Seconds

I didn't manage to get much work done today: we had a film crew coming to shoot various things, so I was on hand to let them in at 5:30, right after the jundo. I had not quite anticipated that there would be five people and a couple of dozen big cases - when I worked in radio, our field recordings were always done with such a nimble set-up that I forget that adding pictures to the process makes life so much more complicated.
It wasn't exactly arduous though: my first job was to sit zazen on a platform on the roof as part of a time lapse sequence involving the solar panels (the project is about religious communities and alternative energy, and is being made by the people who made The Cove). I managed to sit still for a while,  and had the bonus of getting to see a beautiful sunrise from outside for once. I also got filmed hitting the big bell in the Buddha Hall, being doshi for noon service, and playing the han and densho downstairs. None of these things is hard for me to do, but it is interesting how knowing I was being filmed brought an extra immediacy and presence to each activity, even with the inevitable numerous takes that were involved for each shot set-up.
Additionally I was asked to say a few words on camera about how our practice and alternative energy intersect. This was a little harder to do convincingly, but I have learnt from my years in radio that if you talk to someone for fifteen minutes, you are probably only going to use fifteen seconds of that; I trust that the producers can find at least that much usable material.
Of course I was getting a certain amount of teasing about being in the spotlight, and of course I noticed how my ego was responding to being the centre of attention. In truth, my left arm is probably going to get more exposure than the rest of me.

Setting up the shot on the roof
Shooting on the roof at sunrise - photo courtesy of Adrienne
Lighting the han
Oh, and we have a Full Moon Ceremony tonight


Ruth said...

Great photo from Adirenne. One to keep.

ksellman said...

The han seems bemused by all the activity around it. (I am less familiar with the big bell, but I like the evocative image and am guessing that's a pretty accurate capture of its character!)

Shundo said...

Ah now this big bell is not the one I referred to in my earlier post if that's what you mean - this one is a little more docile. What was amazing was how carefully they lit the han, so that when the tracking shot started, completely side on, you could see the grain of the wood, before they pulled back to reveal the verse on the front while I did an increasinlgy shorter roll-down with each take.

Chris Burnham said...

I miss C-stands. And City Center.

Shundo said...

Sorry to hear that Chris. What do you have where you are that you are glad to have?