Correspondence: a suicide prevention awareness mini-series

I got involved with this shoot via a producer, who I met on Mystic Cosmic Patrol. The idea was fairly simple: show what it's like being a phone worker for a suicide prevention hotline. It was to be shot simply and with a budget of basically zero (though we did get pizza!). So, with those in mind, I hopped on board to help shoot the thing.

What's interesting is that I filmed with the hotline worker, but the callers on the other end recorded in a completely different room simultaneously. Because of this, I only heard the worker's half of the conversation and didn't hear the context of the other side of the conversation until I saw the completed videos.

Since the budget was basically non-existent, our camera was a Canon 60D and I supplied a Canon 24-70, which we shot most of the project on. G&E was minimal (I was basically the G&E department anyway, so not enough people to do elaborate setups even if we had the gear) and I lit mostly with the existing space lighting and my Kino Select 30. We generally shot 3-4 takes of each script all the way through and, being handheld for most of them, I would jump around during the take to get a variety of angles to try to give us a little more visual interest.  The first episode arrived today and the subsequent episodes will follow over the next couple weeks.

You can read a nice interview with director JD Mendonca and actress Sheryl Lee over on the Welcome to Twin Peaks website.

Episode 1

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