Photo 1 – A crowded scene using lots of extras makes it difficult for the handheld camera plus crew and photographer to get through.

The Photographer is an essential member of the film crew. Still photos are needed for a number of purposes. The following article provides in depth information about Photography on the Tribe.

Why do we need still photos?

  • Primarily the photos are used to market the product, in TV Guides, magazines, interviews, advertising for Broadcasters.
  • Additionally the still photos are used as an archival history of a show. Not only are photos taken of scenes on-set, but there are lots of behind-the-scenes shots, photos of special stunt work, and creation of the various sets.
  • Merchandise for the fan club uses images from the show and so these images come from the negatives of the still photos taken.
  • Graphics are also used for other promotional purposes such as the Tribe Book. Power & Chaos was produced by a New Zealand publishing company who received and chose from a variety of photos sent.
  • The website is updated on a daily basis and photos are often used to keep fans up to date with the latest photos from the Tribe.
  • Exhibitions at various museums, community interest, need a variety of photos to show the versatility of the show.
  • Tours, mall appearances, parades featuring the Tribe cast are all captured on film for publicity purposes and to capture the moment.

    What form do they come in?
    This depends on the purpose they are being used for. Broadcasters require photos to be in Transparency (slide) format, which can then be reproduced in a photo form.

    Photos generally are produced in Glossy or Matte finish in 4″X6″. Previously a proof sheet was all that was required (one sheet with a small version of every photo on a film), however with the growth of the Tribe and consequently more publicity and an extensive website it is more convenient to have standard size photos for ease of reproduction.

    What sort of equipment is used?
    Our in-house Stills Photographer uses a 35mm camera and lens with wide aperture capabilities, and high-speed film, allowing for the light limitations often found on a film set.

    There is an auto rewind attachment for rapid sequential/multi-frame capabilities.

    Photo 2 – You can see how busy a scene can be, remember everyone has to be quiet while filming except for those with lines.

    What about fitting in on set when filming is happening?
    The camera is encased in a `blimp box` (special black box casing), which aids in lowsound/quiet picture taking during filming.

    To physically fit in on set can often be a challenge! There is usually 2 film cameras used in shooting or a steady cam with no dolly. It is often difficult to find an appropriate spot with space and light limitations on-set. According to the photographer it is the Boom Operator and Photographer often vying for the same space!

    Photo 3 – Check this out for tight space! a high cliff is all the room there is for the film cameras.

    With this, it is sometimes impossible to get appropriate shots of cast and the scenes being filmed. So once a scene is finished the cast get back in position in order to capture the moment on film.

    Photo 4 – A scene in a tunnel shows the small space available for camera crew, equipment, lighting crew.

    How many rolls of film do you go through per week?
    This depends on the nature of the show being filmed. If it is a new show (ie.Series One), then there are a lot of establishing shots of characters, set building and set photos. Once another series starts then these bases have been covered and the only necessary photos are general scene and storyline shots.

    The time when a lot of photos are taken is when filming is on location, stunt work is involved, or scenes when a lot of extras are involved.

    The photographer is often required to be on set every day, but sometimes only a couple of days per week, therefore the amount of film used varies.

    It is estimated that a minimum of 4 rolls is used per day. But this can easily jump to 6 rolls if the schedule is very busy.

    What happens after they are developed?
    The negatives and photos are listed and labelled for easy retrieval at a later date.

    Scenes are often not filmed sequentially, therefore a lot of time is spent initially filing the photos into correct episodic order.

    Finally the photos get put into albums in this episodic order where they can be used for the website or publicity etc and get filed away again easily in their correct order.

    The Art Department, Make-up, Wardrobe and Continuity take unofficial photos on a polaroid for continuity purposes mainly because the scenes are not filmed in order but also to keep up with costumes, sets, and make-up on a day to day basis.