Making Friends with your DP
I've been shooting an indie rom com this month in NYC, playing the Wisconsin transplant determined to find her true love in this big, bold city. It's been a dream come true, working with this stellar team. The DP and I had met at a film festival over the summer, & had a really awkward first encounter. So I was a little worried when I found out that we'd be working together. I knew from mutual friends that he's a really good guy and a great DP, so I wanted to find a way to sort out our communication issues so we weren't awkward or misunderstanding each other on set. To that end, I wrote him a brief email letting him know how excited I was to be working with him. And then I made a point on set of offering to buy him coffee when I had a break. The funny thing is we ended up becoming friends. He's curmudgeonly and I tend toward sunshiny, so it wasn't an obvious match. But going out of my way to smooth things over helped us relax around each other. The bonus? We have an easy short hand on set, where he can nudge me an inch over into or out of frame, or ask me to reset at first mark, and I'm there. He's at ease bossing me around, which makes it easier for him to do his job. And his job is to make me look good. So it's a win win. Plus, the DP is the face right beyond the camera. If an actor's job is to bare their soul, fall in love, be heartbroken and share it all with the camera, then it helps if the person behind that camera is someone you trust. Someone you can be open-hearted with and not need to turn away from.