Overall I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished so far for this project. It’s been a busy semester but I’m happy to say that the main interview with Darlene has been filmed!
During pre-production In May I spent much of my time researching sexual harassment in the Navy and familiarizing myself with Darlene’s career and story. Darlene had sent me documents, including an independent study she had written outlining her career as well as the harassment she experienced. Those documents were invaluable in helping me prepare for the interview. I then made a list of questions to ask and sent them to Darlene so she knew what we planned on covering during the interview. Finally I held a short pre interview with Darlene over the phone to get a better idea of how the interview would go, and so I could know what topics to cover and delve deeper into during the actual interview.
During early June I also began reaching out to friends of mine to help with production and I soon began working with Emily Walowski, a cinematography student at the film school. Emily was the Director of Photography on the project and we worked together to develop the look of the documentary. She also created the lighting plan that we used during production. I also was lucky enough to receive the support of a few other friends who helped crew for the project. Darlene also brought on her friend Lori Loftis who works on costuming for films/events in Tampa. Lori in turn brought on her makeup artist Monica Franco.
Our crew consisted of:
Director of Photography: Emily Walowski
Gaffer: Pierce Ryan
Grip & Electric: Megan Baer
B Camera Operator/Swing Grip & Electric: Amanda Bouchard
Sound Mixer: Eli Murphy
Costume: Lori J. Loftis
Hair & Makeup: Monica Franco
During pre production Emily and I made a list of equipment we would need to purchase/rent. As we gathered what we needed, I began looking into rental houses in Tampa to rent the film equipment. We rented our lighting/grip equipment from Production Services & Systems, and our audio equipment from the Lens Depot. I also prepared the production paperwork for the project, and had Darlene sign the releases we needed.
With everything set, on Thursday the 24th of June we all drove down to Tampa and began filming the next day. In the morning we picked up the equipment we had rented and then headed to Darlene’s to start the interview. We spent about 2 hours getting the lighting setup for the interview, and then we began the interview! Interviewing Darlene was amazing and kind of surreal. Listening to her tell her story in full detail was incredible and I’m super happy with how it went. Afterwards we filmed some B-roll around her home before wrapping. The following day we filmed some more B-roll at the University of Tampa where Darlene had graduated from after retiring and that concluded production.
Although production was smooth, we did have a few hiccups. For example during filming we realized we were going to run out of space on our SD cards and had to send someone to pick up two more SD cards so we could have enough memory for the interview. Luckily while not ideal the debacle didn’t impact filming.
I’m so grateful for my crew and for the opportunity to film this documentary. It was an incredible experience to see the film come to life and I’m proud of the work we put in. Emily did an amazing job shooting the film and thanks to everyone’s hard work production ran smoothly.