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‘Diary of a Teenage Girl’ DP: Sometimes the Simplest Shots Are the Hardest

Cinematographer Brandon Trost talks to Indiewire about shooting the Sundance film, Diary of a Teenage Girl.

Says Trost about the film’s most difficult shot, “It’s funny that sometimes a simple shot can actually be the hardest to do. There’s a scene in Diary of a Teenage Girl where our lead character, Minnie, is walking down Polk Street on a sidewalk with a leading camera move. In the final shot she is walking next to an animated character from her imagination, which was laid onto the scene in post. That’s it, nothing fancy, but it was a testament to indie filmmaking to get all these moving parts to work together with so many obstacles. It’s a period 1970s film, so all the cars parked on the street had to be vintage, background actors had to be dressed correctly, the few ADs we had were trying to hold back pedestrians and crazy Tenderloin tenants, all as the sun was literally setting on us. It was total chaos! The angle had to be low to block modern traffic and people across the street and hide unwanted signage, so I sat with the camera cradled in a rolled up furniture pad on a doorway dolly while being pulled backward over a rough sidewalk to get the shot. We couldn’t afford a Steadicam, so this was the best we could do. The shot is much less stabilized than I prefer, but we finally got the shot and the scene turned out great. I’m sure no one will think to notice how hard it was to pull this off in the end, but that’s just another day on set.”

Read the full story here.