On a recent shoot I directed for Esquire Network and Schick, it became very clear to me during the location scout that the concept presented to our production team at Moving Parts, Inc. was one that required a highly stylized approach on a limited budget. Part of accomplishing that goal meant communicating, as clearly as possible, what we were trying to accomplish so the entire team was on board before we ever hit record on the cameras.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t any money in the budget to hire a storyboard artist, so I took on the task of drawing boards and constructing an animatic of the spot to present to everyone during our tech scout.
The other big challenge was creating a specific look for the barbershop beyond what the practical location had to offer. Producer James Uribe did a wonderful job of bringing together a top notch team for the job. Hats off to Keith Mitchell and his team for dressing the space beyond recognition and to to DP Byron Shah and his team for lighting us the perfect mood. On top of that, we had to create the bathroom set in the existing barbershop, against the existing mirror, which require a few flats and a dramatic lighting shift.
Combine those elements with an excellent cast curated by Esquire creatives, Omeed Boghraty and Jedd Scher, and we were able to shoot every frame I boarded on schedule (on a hot day, in a space with no AC and all windows blacked out). Not every frame made the final cut as the script changed a bit, but the animatic process helped the shoot move efficiently.
On a side note, Generation Gap, the barbershop quartet, was a fun addition on and off camera, providing entertainment to the crew in between takes.