Origin Story, Part 4: The Look

It doesn't get more cheap-ass than this.  When we're done, we even have some cardboard for break dancing.

It doesn't get more cheap-ass than this.  When we're done, we even have some cardboard for break dancing.

I knew that to make this show look really great, I would need a group of seasoned professionals, who, collectively could create a lighting style for No Plans.  I would need a director of photography supported by teams of electricians and grips.  And the look isn't just lighting.  I would need a production designer and an art department to design the look, wardrobe, hair and make-up for the actors,  and an assistant director to keep the trains running on time.   And so much more.

I also knew: I wouldn't have any of that. 

The decision was made early on that along with No Plans, there would also be No Money.  (I'm being generous in calling it "a decision.")  And even if I were able to find a volunteer lighting crew, I knew that equipment rental would just be out of the budget.  And for those without experience in this field, the need to control light is central to every frame of television and film.  One can just point a camera at a subject and press record, but there is very little chance that there will both be enough light on their face and that the rest of the scene will be properly exposed. 

So here's what we wound up with: For each shoot we would have one videographer, either with own camera or with a borrowed one.  We rented about $100 worth of equipment, which got us a few flags and c-stand (for blocking unwanted light) and bounce cards (for reflecting the sunlight onto the subject).  And that was it.  Yes, we sacrificed some visual quality for cost, but the theory is that the funny is in the words. 

We shall see.  (Only not very well, since it's so dark...)