ראשי English Shutterbugs interview – the new Photography Web Comedy

Shutterbugs interview – the new Photography Web Comedy

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A new Australian online comedy aired yesterday dealing with the story of an obsessive group of young photographers. MegaPixel.co.il had a talk with the director to learn more about what's behind the first ever online comedy about photographers.

How far will you be willing to go to take the perfect shot? Some photographers will do everything and stop at nothing. This realization is the basis for a new web comedy which ran its first episode yesterday.

In the first episode, Chloe – the main character and an analog photographer, discovers that  her favorite instant film is no longer manufactured. Without this film she can’t do the only paid job they have had in months, which means they can’t pay their studio rent… we won't tell you more (and the first episode is fairly short anyway) but you can watch at the end of the interview or on the Shutterbugs dedicated website (together with a special interview with a photographer which will accompany each episode).

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MegaPixel recently conducted an interview with Dave Collins – the series director and screenwriter in order to learn more about what's behind Shutterbugs.

Q: Where did the idea for shutterbugs came from?

A: Having a big interest in photography, this idea really sprang from observing the huge and varied culture of photography evolve online. We work in television by day, so enjoy making content, and were really interested in creating a web series. When we came up with the idea of a fictional comedy web series following the lives of photographers, and realized that no one had done it before, there was no way we couldn’t make it!

Q: Are all of the actors photographers in real life? are any of them professional actors?

We had to do a bit of a crash course with a few of our actors during the rehearsal period, as some of them had a pretty basic knowledge of photography when the series began. But we found out at our first rehearsal that Ben Prendergast, who plays time-lapse specialist Trent actually ran a time-lapse business in real life for a while! All of our actors have had a lot of acting experience, in local television dramas, film and theatre.

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Q: Who writes the scripts – what is the inspiration?

A: I write the scripts, as well as directing. The inspiration has come from a few sources but a lot of it comes from the hugely varied range of photographers and creative people I’ve met over the years. The internet is a big one. As the web grows, it’s interesting to observe the many different factions and styles of photography that are emerging.

I’m also inspired by how obsessive photographers will commit their entire lives to photography. Across the world photographers will stand all day in subzero temperatures, brave riots, wait for months in one spot, climb the highest peaks and dive to the lowest depths, all in the pursuit of the perfect photo. Does the perfect photo exist? I don’t think so, but the fact that so many people will spend their lives searching for it is hugely admirable. Also, when somebody is this obsessive it makes for some great comedy!

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Q: Can you talk a bit about the basic plot (without giving too much of course)?

A: At the beginning of season one, Chloe discovers that they have stopped making film for her favorite instant camera. This puts a spanner in the works, because without it they can’t do the only paid job they have had in months, which means they can’t pay their studio rent… So Chloe and Samantha get into all sorts of strife as they try to track down the film. Meanwhile things start to get awkward between Chloe and her DSLR wielding photography partner Isaac, who has a crush on her, and Bo’s video blog endeavors are sabotaged by Trent.

Q: You mentioned that there will be a photographer showing his work for each episode – how is this going to work (will it be inside the series itself or on the site?) how did you choose the photographers?

A: The guest photographer’s set each week will appear on the website, alongside the episode. There will also be a video interview with them, where they discuss their photography practice, inspiration, tips, and about the photo set they have created for Shutterbugs. There is actually one set of photos that will make its way into an episode as well!

We wanted to include a wide range of photography styles, so we trawled through blogs, flickr, and tumblr sites for local photographers with a point of difference.  And then we assigned them to an episode based on how their style of photography could complement that week’s action.

Q: From what we could see you deal a lot with analog photography – is this basic ideology, passion for a time that his mostly gone now or something else?

A: Our main character Chloe is an analogue photographer, but the rest of them are pretty much digital. I think as far as story writing goes, it was a useful tool to have the contrast of analogue and digital photographers in there. It’s also quite topical at the moment, with analogue photography enjoying a resurgence, just as other outdated technologies seem to be, such as vinyl and video games from the 80s and 90s. I think there are interesting parallels with analogue photography too, such as the element of chance inherent in the process, and the beauty in mistakes.

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Q: Where is shutterbugs filmed, how much time did it take you to film the first season and how long is each episode?

A: Shutterbugs was filmed in Fitzroy, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia well known for its bohemian, creative culture. Most of our cast and crew are from around this area, and so in the series we are also chronicling this culture as well. We filmed all 12 episodes over 8 days, which wasn’t a lot of time considering we had to squeeze a number of photo shoots in there too! The episodes will be about 3-5 minutes long.

Q: What did you use to film with (Video camera or a DSLR – which as you know is becoming more popular for indie video these days)?

A: We would have loved to film the whole season on DSLR, but ironically we needed to use the cameras we had as props on screen! Also, because of some of the limitations of filming on DSLRs (sound etc) and because of our very tight schedule we weren’t able to. So we shot the episodes on the Panasonic HPX172. We did however film most of the photographer interviews on the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. We are definitely aiming to film all on DSLR for season 2!

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Q: Do you deal a lot with equipment in the series (i.e. the all time battle between photographers – Canon vs. Nikon) or is the emphasis more about the hardships of actually being a photographer?

A: There is as earlier mentioned, the analogue vs digital debate going on in there. We also wanted to make sure that the story wasn’t too alienating for people without a hugely in-depth knowledge of photography, so the story is also following the trials and tribulations of the characters themselves.

Q: Where does the money to shoot the series came from – did you get sponsorships from stores/companies?

A: We were pretty much working with no budget, and covered our own costs. We had a few companies provide us with some cameras and photography gear which was fantastic. All our cast and crew worked for free, and we cut costs by borrowing equipment and getting locations for free.

Q: Is the entire series going to be on youtube/vimeo etc. or just on your site?

A: The episodes, photos and interviews will premiere on our website first, and then will appear on Youtube the next day. As we progress we are hoping to expand onto other sites such as vimeo but we are going to start small and work our way up. We’re also looking to make HD versions available on iTunes later on.

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Q: What is the dream? to become a TV series, maybe do a film?

A: I think the internet is probably the best place for this series, as it can become a part of the huge online photography world, but ideally we’d love to find sponsorship to pay for our second season!

The first episode of Shutterbugs (more info can be found on the Shutterbugs website)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcbB1RDGBCI&feature=channel_video_title[/youtube]

You can also see "Isaac" and "Trent" from the cast of Shutterbugs on our special new year greeting project (doing a funny 30 sec video).

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