This film was originally destined for a theatrical release but the vicissitudes of studio politics sent it straight to DVD.  That certainly wasn’t for lack of quality.  Everything about it holds up favorably and as the first sequel to the popular (and appropriately named) Bring It On (starring Kirsten Dunst), it’s the only one with any value and originality.  Director Damon Santostefano did a magnificent job in bringing energy and creativity to what could easily have been an uninspired throw-away.  We worked very closely from the start and achieved most of what we wanted without significant stress.  If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m quite proud of everything we did!

            This scene is reflective of my approach throughout the movie…good, clean professional cinematography that supports the story and makes the actors look good – without calling attention to itself.  As is witnessed in the clip, we made liberal use of the Steadicam; it was originally designed as a one-er but was ultimately broken into pieces as the characters settled at the table (a much wiser decision).

            Lighting was broad, soft and unimposing.  One side of the cafeteria featured a huge window that looked out to the campus of Cal State Northridge.  Fortunately, we were able to cover it with the structure’s built-in, motorized sunscreen; this brought the exterior exposure down to a manageable range with little stress.  To bring up the ambient interior light, we simply bounced an 18K HMI into the ceiling.

            Note well: If we weren’t able to use the motorized sunscreen over the large window I would’ve been forced to balance the interior lighting to the exterior, rather than the other way around.  It was too large to treat with neutral density gel, so this would’ve meant using bigger lighting units – many of them – at great cost in time and money to the production.

            In the hallway during the opening of the shot, a small bounce light traveled with the Steadicam so as to provide some fill and eyelight for the young actresses.  As they reached the more open scheme of the cafeteria, this light was gently faded away.

            Overall, the movie was lit and timed for a warm, cozy feeling (note the 85B daylight correction at the lens!).  The use of Fuji negative grew from budgetary considerations and was not my first choice.  But when compared to Kodak, its softer, more pastel treatment of color worked to our advantage and I was pleased with the results.



  1. Considering how we do around a 270 degree spin in the room, where were you able to hide the 18K so that it wasn’t in the frame? How high were the ceilings, and were they white to give you the best return? Did you have to flag spill from the light off the talent?

  2. Josh – great questions! I don’t recall specifically where we hid the 18K but I can assure you it was in one of the far corners away from the action. It was completely flagged in so that the beam was restricted to the ceiling (20′ high) and no spill would pollute the image. Set dressing – tables, chairs, bodies, etc. were used to hide the unit and flags. The ceiling’s color was something of an off-white…good enough for a clean bounce without messing up the fleshtones.

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