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Life On The Road
The film was shot on DVCPRO HD using two Panasonic Varicams to allow for run-and-gun, guerilla-style filmmaking. Shooting over 300 hours, mostly with available light, they still wanted the film to have a cinematic look. DP Jay Hunter developed his own unique settings for the camera to mimic the feel of a Super 16 doc. 

The choice was also made to shoot exclusively on prime lenses to avoid the cliché of documentary-style zooms, which they felt had become closely associated with mockumentaries and internet videos. 

"We tried to unify the look of the documentary element and the narrative element in order to sell the fact that the narrative element was real,” says Hunter. "It was important to us to keep everything handheld, to react in as natural a way as if it was really happening in front of us for the first time. It was important to just keep things a little raw, a little rough around the edges. We tried to keep things as natural as possible, even when they weren't natural at all.”

 "We often wouldn't tell the camera guys what we were going to do,” adds Charlyne. "That way they'd be capturing everything as if it were the first time, even if it was a new take.”

 The filmmakers also didn't have the luxury of time – they had to shoot everything in a very short window – but ultimately they feel that also made the film's realism attainable. "The time constraints actually served Nick's creative vision, which was to have everything feel fresh and real, and not "rigged” in any way,” says Sandra. 

Having such a small cast and crew do everything required to capture a full-scale film was a new experience for all involved – it was both a blessing and a curse.

 Says Hunter, "It was really five or six people doing everything. I could have the camera sitting on my shoulder at one point, then I'd be setting up a light. Our camera assistant would be pulling focus on the camera and then all of a sudden helping with a prop. Everyone came together and made it happen. 

"We were essentially cooped up in a very small vehicle for weeks and weeks, traveling cross-country,” Hunter continues. "We had very little money, so we were staying in terrible hotels. It was the only way this film could get made, by cutting corners and saving money here and there. 

"It was extremely uncomfortable, especially when we had to film in the vehicle we were traveling in. Sometimes the last thing you want to do after you've worked all day is put a huge camera on your shoulder in the vehicle you're supposed to be relaxing in and shoot another scene. But that's also the charm of the film. We were in such close quarters and we bonded so closely, just a bunch of smelly people all stacked up on each other, spilling food and drinks on each other.” "It stunk so badly,” says Charlyne. "Like an aquarium.” Continues Hunter, "I think that lends an element of intimacy to the finished product.” That low budget Hunter talks about necessitated some sketchy hotel stays. Reports Jake, "I had gotten some hotel room where there was gnarly old underwear and blood on the floor.” Charlyne screams, remembering. "Above the top lock there was a hole.” "You could literally see where the door was kicked in,” says Jake. "I don't mean to be a sissy, but it was scary.” Producer Sandra agrees that the small production budget often threw curveballs into their filmmaking. But they tried not to let the tiny budget throw them off. 

"Sometimes we encountered situations which had to be addressed out of necessity,” says Sandra, "like the time we flew to Paris and the airline misplaced our luggage for three days – that was an adventure! We bought clean underwear and toiletries for the crew – not a big deal from a budget standpoint but a lifesa

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