"Working in video has been a learning process for us," says Iger. In Anatomy of a Springroll we use a Canon L1 camera and a Hi 8 deck to do our off-line. Then we transferred everything to BetaCam SP to edit, which was a extra step, it was also expensive. We spent a few thousand dollars buying tape stock and renting time at a facility to transfer the footage. We used the same process for Pins and Noodles ."
Kwan continues "But for A Wok in Progress , which was on digital video (D.V.), it was much easier. We just transferred the D.V. to Hi 8, and several people logged the tape with scene descriptions directly onto discs to program the avid. Then our editor Eric Ladenburg came to our studio where we were locked in for three months of long work days. Kris (Eric's wife) kept calling and we unplugged the phone. Eric didn't seem to mind as long as I kept on feeding him gourmet meals."
Anyone who has spent time on a film set knows about the anxiety a meticulous director of photography can cause a producer, especially when the Director of Photographer devotes a hugh chunks of precious shooting time to 'tweaking' complicated lighting set-ups. According to Iger, "because we have limited resources and like to work quickly, we don't spend a lot of time setting up lights. We always want to get going and 'just do it', which causes arguments with our technical crew.
Kwan and Iger prefer a cinema verite aesthetic in their documentary work, and paradoxi- cally this means they sometimes have to set up lights. "We want a natural look, so we make sure our interior location aren't too dramatic, we'll make it brighter by using a couple of floodlights on stand, which we bounce off the ceiling. Sometime, Kwan and Iger rented a Sony field monitor, which made it possible for videographers Lenny Levy and Paul Lundahl to check lighting color balance and contrast levels.