A report on Jazz FM was exploring John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” and its significance to the world of music in regards to improvisation. I won’t pretend, that I fully grasp the musical depth of his capability, but it certainly made me think about
creative process:

Reaching a level of expertise, where one can rely on harmonic improvisation within a structured framework, that, in my
opinion, is true creativity.

Obviously, I’m far from this liberating experience within my practice. There are glimpses of it in my focus pulling, in which I can tap into on the right film set from time to time. But as I have never studied film in any type of school, nor has my
family supplied me with insights to film-making, I accumulated my knowledge by working through the ranks within the camera department in New Zealand, the UK and more recently in
Canada.



 

Besides gaining insight to finding the right balance between creative language and technical compromises, which honors the heart of the story, I’m particularly interested in the finer details, such as:

1. Work with the director and writer. How much time is invested and what formula is applied when defining a shooting style? How does this change in serial TV with different directors?


 

2. When and where do key people set the mood and rhythm onset? Rhythm and pace appear to be production-specific and often a very fragile construct to preserve.

3. When and where can you challenge your crew’s scope in a constructive way, and when does it just become
disrespectful? Navigating a team and preserving integrity of the project.

4. When and where is it good to implement and challenge new technologies? Which environment lets you explore these?

5. How are technical departments budgeted for this project? Especially lighting and grip, as this is the least familiar to me.

6. Creative and practical solutions, when the production is not “making the day”.

“Learning on the streets” brings certain advantages, but there are very definable disadvantages, which I have been trying to address over the last few years. I have started to inquire with low-budget productions to sit in pre-and postproduction meetings, for example. My drive was to gain insight on how the creative is put into reality; how the story is protected and nurtured within budget guidelines and practicality.

My attention was put to the Gender Diversity Program, facilitated by the NZCS, which is looking at exactly those aspects and inspired me to apply for this attachment. To observe a well-seasoned production and technical team on “Sweet Tooth” with Aaron Morton leading the tech
departments, is an opportunity I don’t want to miss.

7. Understanding pre-determined LUTs and conversion in the post-production process. Procedures to save the look integrity in pre-, onset and post-production.

8. Shooting exterior. How do you structure big scenes, that are shot over the course of a day and how to deal with lighting continuity? How to deal with NZ’s sun and use it to your advantage?

Outlining an impression of Aaron Morton's work, I can recognize adaptability for a wide range of projects, spoken with a well-measured and uncrowded visual language. Elaborate camera moves and new technologies are implemented for suitable projects and it is refreshing to view work that is confidently locked off with a minimally composed frame.

I'm interested in finding out, how he finds that balance for a particular project, without getting carried away by technique and letting the narrative guide the visual language in collaboration with the director.

I have been able to connect with some of the female techs, that have been accepted to this program and only had positive responses due to the catering for individual needs. I am excited to define the outcomes in further detail with the NZCS, the applicable production and Aaron, should I be given the opportunity for this attachment.

I am happy to answer any further questions, should you have any.

Kind Regards,

Alyssa Kath

0204 176 6292

© 2020 Alyssa Kath