In the 1990s, The Shooting Gallery produced some of the hottest indie films, including Sling Blade, You Can Count on Me, starring Mark Ruffalo and several of projects with now-famous actors, producers and directors. Not long ago, DP/producer Gil Gilbert helped to chronicle the rise and fall of this industry icon in Misfire: The Rise and Fall of The Shooting Gallery. To capture on-camera interviews, which would be interwoven with chosen footage, the team chose to shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II supported by a Sachtler Video 20 fluid head tripod system.
“We shot the film with the Canon 5D Mark II camera and an assortment of lenses,” Gilbert said. “We wanted a fairly natural look with a limited depth-of-field, so we were often shooting wide open on the lenses. In the end, we did over 45 interviews both in New York and Los Angeles, and wherever we went, Sachtler’s Video 20 tripod was there to support us.
“One of the single most important tools when shooting in this documentary style is the tripod,” he added. “When working on a documentary you usually have limited set up time and are constantly grabbing things as they occur. So, having the Sachtler – which is versatile, easy to set up and rock steady when you shoot – is very important.”
One of Gilbert’s first interviews was with Edie Falco, an original member of The Shooting Gallery group, when it started in 1990. “We shot in New York, and had about 40 minutes of time to capture that interview,” Gilbert recalled. “We were in a small confined space and had a lot to talk about in a short time.”
“It was the same, when we interviewed Michael Spiller, a highly praised TV producer/director in L.A. (Sex in the City, Modern Family, The Mindy Project),” Gilbert continued. “Our time was tight, and we had to pack a lot into what we were allowed. Documentary shooting is not, as many think, something that you can take your time with. Production may span a year or more – but when you are shooting, you have a very limited time. You have to get it right – the first time.”
Misfire: The Rise and Fall of The Shooting Gallery is in final edit and will be seen at various film festivals in the coming months.