Last week I wrote about my Director of Photography, Jan Kohler. This week, Brown University student Emily Jones is on tap. Emily… what can I say about this young woman? What can't I say about her?
For the Nyaka project, I knew I would need a good boom operator and all around production assistant. It would require someone who has a great work ethic, good temperament and positive energy. Emily was perfect for this role. She is one of those people you need to have on set when things go south or an interview gets a bit emotional. I am sure she does not realize this, but Em has a way of of looking at you and you know all things in the world will be good. I had no doubt she would be the perfect crew mate.
She went from being awkward and shy the first days of the shoot to becoming our most beloved crew member not just with us, but the locals too. Emily’s role was to assist us whether to operate boom, reflectors or setting up cameras. She did a fantastic job in every role, but when it came to diffuser/reflector duty, she rocked. This may not seem that important to many, but it is an absolutely critical role as we shoot everything using natural light. Her nickname “Super Silver Circle Girl” was fitting and she even began teaching locals and Nyaka volunteers how manage the reflector/diffuser.
Emily also became our chief “mingler”. I insisted the crew take a pro-active role in introductions when we found ourselves in those types of situations. This can be quite intimidating, especially if you are shy and may not have well-practiced social skills. Everyone did fine, but Emily was the one who typically got the ball rolling.
Emily is off at college now for the next few years. Hopefully, I can convince her to join me on the next few projects. I'll bribe her with chocolate if i have to.
UPDATE: EDITOR'S NOTE: Sept. 8, 2015- After this piece was published, I was contacted by Jackson Kaguri regarding my use of the word "local". To my horror, he shared with me that the use of the word "local" in this context is considered negative and should not be used even though the people of the community use it in everyday conversation. In a future blog I will expand on our conversation. I regret the use of this word and sincerely apologize. I thank Jackson for educating me on this cultural nuance.
Next week: Dylan Beckerich