Written and Directed by Peter Collins Campbell
"WORSEBEHAVIOUR" starts out feeling like it's going to be a romantic comedy about a shy writer attempting to mount the courage to engage with an attractive barista. Their first date, however, is a kidnapping and a terrifying night with a madman.
With a low budget, cramped locations and tight schedule the first decision was to have a skeleton crew. The lighting for the scenes was based on natural and simple motivated lighting with nothing calling for advanced setups or rigging, so I hired myself and fellow DP Corey Lillard for both camera and G&E. As we knew we'd be using house power I put together a small tungsten kart with 1K Mighty-Moles on down to In-betweenies. Four foot 4-bank Kinos provided soft light in tight spaces, but were primarily intended for use at one location, a convenience store. Lastly, I brought on a Killer Maxi from Hive Lighting. The Killer is a Plasma Maxi, which is equivalent to a 1300W HMI, but only draws a couple of amps and provides full spectrum daylight. I used the Killer as a replacement for Jokers and dialed on the CTO when I needed something bigger then a 1K.
We wanted the aesthetic to tell the whole story from the start. We wanted a raw, dirty look. Contrast in lighting and using mixed color temperatures was the start, but we needed something to carry that look further. I started looking at vintage lenses with unique quarks, like the mild chromatic aberration in wide open Mark II Super Speeds, but eventually gravitated towards vintage anamorphic. The distortion, textured fall-off and contrast of the Lomo Anamorphics sold me.
I wanted to keep the camera moving, but tight spaces, a skeleton crew and small budget wasn't very friendly to a hybrid dolly or jib and laying track. So, I used the Dana dolly and varying lengths of speed rail to give us a good range of motion in a package that was more adaptable to small quarters then having a variety of heavy sliders. Many of the shots were moving at some point, so we shot primarily from the Dana dolly, only jumping off for one Steadicam move and a few static shots from standards or a high-hat.
I learned a lot making this film. One shot was an extended Steadicam sequence that ran about five minutes, but even while blocking the shot we knew that it would be jump-cut. The jump cuts worked well, but it was a reminder to think more carefully about pacing in preproduction and get ahead of the solution to ensure the most effective coverage is attained. Aside from pacing this film was a reminder of both the pain and satisfaction of shoe-string skeleton crew production and hands on lighting. This project invited me to modify my approach in communicating lighting design to my gaffer when returning to larger productions.