The film ‘Hero’ that I served as the Director of Photography on was released this week on DVD across the county. It’s always gratifying when a project you invested you time and creative energy into is released out into the world.
The film is a family friendly story set in the world of little league baseball and follows the story of a father returning to a small town and discovering that he has failed in many ways when it comes to his responsibilities as a father. He steps up and tries to correct the situation inspiring others in the small town to do the same. It’s a sweet story and surprisingly, it was a tough film to make.
Throughout production, we encountered multiple days of storms and for a film that was predominately set on the baseball field, that presented a number of challenges for all of us on the crew and cast. As the director of photography the challenge was more than a mere inconvenience. Daily, I struggled with how to make a family friendly film that by the very definition and by tone of the screenplay demanded a warm, vibrant visual style. It was constantly a challenge to produce with overcast skies and dark, wet red dirt scattered throughout the infield. I often found that I was having to force the film into a more intimate frame than I intended with long lenses and a shallow depth of field due to my attempt to limit the imperfect background affect on the overall content. In the end, I think that we handled the challenges quite well and the G & E crew deserve mass respect for the hard work they put in.
Add that to the challenge of working with a cast filled with children under the age of 13 and some would say we could have bitten off more than we could chew. 1st AD Spencer Jarvis handled the unpredictability of the weathers effect on the schedule well and provided us the most time possible in such a challenging environment. In fact, given that we were filming during fall league, the entire production had to be off the fields by 4:00 pm during the leagues practice, restricting our days even more. As I sit here writing this, I have to ask my self how did we actually finish this film?
Check out http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1527827 for more info on the crew and cast behind the project.