The production/filming phase of “Shock Nation” season 2 concluded today. See here for my post of the previous shoot.

Kimia’ Workman is the driving force (writer/director) behind this web series. The production company is TruTalent Creative Works. I am one of the producers for season 2.

A series about a group of friends growing up in the inner city streets of Baltimore and trying to find their way. Their love for dance helps to save their life. – From AfroLandTV.

Watch all eight episodes of Season 1 on AfroLandTV.

At Today’s Shoot …

I was surprised when I was told I would be an extra playing a teacher in the classroom scene. I made up a lesson on the spot and wrote some stuff on the white board. The scene was without sound, so what I said did not matter. I was also an extra in an earlier shoot.

My wife Randy read Sachi’s (Kimia’ Workman) voice-over (V.O.) lines in the classroom scene while Sachi was being filmed in close-up (without sound) to assist in timing and capturing Sachi’s facial expressions. Of course in the final product, Sachi’s voice will be heard. This is the second time Randy worked on-set. Previously she was an extra.

I stood in for TeTe’s (Anicco Annan) voice when Sachi’s side of a phone conversation was filmed, to help with timing.

A cookout was held and was a great way to celebrate the end of principal photography. But it is also part of the story and will appear in the final product.

What the Author Learned and Reflections On the Experience

Being asked to be the official behind-the-scenes photographer! And script supervisor! My first experience as a script supervisor came on this project. I have since gone on to do it in other projects. These were my primary crew roles on this project.  Overall, I am one of the producers.

Script Supervisor: The following activities were performed:

  • Documenting changes to the script – this could happen prior to a shoot, or even on the spur of the moment during a shoot. The script elements subject to change include:
    • slug line (internal (INT) vs. external (EXT), DAY vs NIGHT, location, without sound (MOS) (if applicable))
    • action description
    • character name; And yes, the character name can change!
    • dialog (dialog is denoted as off-screen (O.S.) or voice-over (V.O.) if applicable). Dialog can be modified, added, or deleted.
  • Feeding lines to an actor upon request of the actor or director (but when filming is in progress, ONLY if the director requests it). Running lines with an actor (the script supervisor reads lines for other characters).
  • Taking continuity photos, to capture the look and clothing of an actor if the identical situation is required in a subsequently-filmed scene).
  • Noting to do something during post-production.
  • For music, noting the name of the piece and the artist.
  • A report is sent to Kimia’ documenting script changes and other relevant information.

Behind-the scenes photographer:

  • Taking candid “fly on the wall” photos during rehearsals and while actual shooting is going on.
  • Taking “posed” photos for continuity purposes as requested by the director. In addition, “posed” photos are taken at the request of cast or crew members.
  • All photos are sent to Kimia’ to use as she desires.

There are different ways to keep track of scenes being shot. The slate is used on some projects and the content on the slate is spoken, providing a visual and audio cue. On “Shock Nation”, the slate is not used, but the identifying information showing up on the digital audio recorder is spoken and recorded with the camera already rolling.

Acting is really hard. Besides reciting lines and being in the right position relative to the camera, one must recite the lines with the proper rhythm and emphasis, use appropriate facial expressions, and provide appropriate body movement (hands, arms, etc.). So acting is both verbal and physical. I had difficulty with the physical part during the teacher stint. The director of photography told me to move my arms and such, but I felt really awkward doing it.

Everyone is so understanding and helps out to ensure a scene is produced in the best way possible.

I picked up potential future opportunities to work on other projects that are being led by cast or crew members.

Behind the Scenes Photography – Shock Nation

All photos are from the author’s collection unless otherwise indicated. Photos from the cookout are shown separately below.