gemified | April 12th, 2011 - 12:00 am

A Touch of British Sensibility

By Gemma Jacob

It is difficult to believe that the people at ABM could be any lovelier than we all already know them to be. I am almost beginning to wonder if people think I spin these interviews to show them in the best light. I guarantee that no spin is ever necessary. It is getting beyond silly when you realise the depth of talent working on ABM, and that they all so nice just makes it seem more than a little unbelievable.

When I was setting up the interview with ABM’s Director of Photography, Ava Berkofsky, I was becoming a little sceptical of this whole, ‘Everyone that works on ABM is Wonderful’ idea. However, if one person was going to prove that they are more ridiculously talented and exquisite than any other gathering of people ever in existence then I knew that the Brit amongst them would be the one.

Despite having left these shores at a young age there are some things that you can’t knock out of a Brit, including knowing what real football is, how to talk properly, and exactly what belongs on an apple pie. Discretion being part of every Brit’s repertoire we managed to avoid any potential S3 spoiler talk whilst still learning a few new things about the ABMers and also what exactly that person always talking to the director does.

The more insight I gain into what it takes to bring ABM to our screens the deeper the respect I develop for everyone involved. The entire team work so hard to ensure all of their collective knowledge and expertise deliver an often jaw-dropping, sometimes heartbreaking, but still always outstanding, show.

ABMFans: So you’re ABM’s Director of Photography, so what is it you do?

Ava: Wow. That’s a hard question actually!

ABMFans: See I was trying to figure it as my friend does DP stuff but I normally just smile and go, ‘That’s cool!’

Ava: Ha ha! Most my friends are like that too! Then, after a few years, they ask, so what is the difference between you and a director?

ABMFans: You do all the hard work?

Ava: Basically. Ha ha. No. Well, yes. And no. So I am the person in charge of how the show “looks.”

ABMFans: That’s what I would’ve guessed.

Ava: Though Tina is a very hands on director so we really do it together. Though I translate that into all the technical decisions. How to light the scenes. Where and when to move the camera.

ABMFans: So camera positioning and lighting and all that?

Ava: Though, like I said, Tina is a very visual director, so we are really collaborating on this. And I hire most of the crew; figure out all the technology we will be using. This season we changed camera systems.

ABMFans: How come?

Ava: There was a big jump in technology recently. I’m not sure if you pay attention to this kind of thing, but the digital SLR cameras by Nikon and Canon have started shooting video.

ABMFans: I have a Canon that shoots video :).

Ava: Cool. So basically we are using that kind of camera, and putting on really specific cinema style lenses and tricking it out with all the gizmos that we need to make it feel like a movie or TV show.

ABMFans: Ahh cool.

Ava: I recently taught a lighting workshop and used scenes from ABM to discuss different lighting techniques and what bits and pieces were needed to make the DSLR cameras work like real grown up camera. ABM is really fun to use as examples for this kind of thing because we keep it looking so natural.

ABMFans: What’s your favourite scene from the show? As a DP and as a viewer.

Ava: I think all my favourites are from S3! But since that’s not fair, I’ll think of ones from S2.

ABMFans: Yeah we’ll both get in trouble if you tell me about those.

Ava: Oh yeah – no joke. Okay. Well. Actually, I really like the scene in the bookstore from S1 where Vivian and Aster are in the corner and the camera slowly pushes in on them as they have an intimate conversation. I really like how we lit that. It’s not terribly realistic to have that kind of lighting in a bookstore, but we didn’t care. It matched the mood of the scene.

ABMFans: Yeah I’ve been to that bookstore because I was taking pics for the site; you did a very good job.

Ava: Ha thanks! It was a very simple lighting set up and we had to shoot it in like zero seconds, but it turned out well. I think it’s one of Tina’s faves as well. I also really like the scene of Arch with the principal in his office. We lit that very dramatically.

ABMFans: I remember the one; he’s wearing a pink shirt.

Ava: Yeah!

ABMFans: So much random ABM stuff rattling around in my brain!

Ava: Ha. Me too! I can give you an example of what my job on ABM is.

ABMFans: Go for it.

Ava: Okay. So, it’s 6pm and the sun is going down and we now have to shoot a scene at the Loft (the Westchester GLBT Centre) where we need to make a room there look like Jodie’s home office during the day. We therefore have to use all the lights we have to bring up the ambient light in the room and cannot shoot toward the window as it’s obviously night out there. We also obviously can’t have any of the lights in the show. We have a dolly move we’d like to do which takes more time and adds production value to the show, but if we don’t shoot now, we’re going into overtime and we can’t do that. My job is to figure out the best way to give the production what it needs, i.e., the scene with the dolly move and to make it look and feel like it’s daytime, while not blowing any electricity breakers, or breaking the bank with overtime. It’s very stressful in the moment, but very rewarding when the shots get pulled off and the show looks good and people respond to it. And never wonder if it’s actually night out and if you only had 10 minutes to pull of the dolly move…

ABMFans: Whoa.

Ava: My goal is for people to just pay attention to the story- and to absorb the ambience of the world we’re making as if it were real. That’s what I feel like the writing deserves and the show deserves. It’s cool to be able to be one of the ones who supports that…

ABMFans: You do an amazing job.

Ava: Aww jeez.

ABMFans: How did you get involved with the show?

Ava: Totally randomly actually. I was at a point in life where I wanted to be really really really busy, and so I answered a random advert on a film website for the show. At that time I wouldn’t have answered an ad for a web series, but I checked out the first two episodes and knew the director was good. I had a meeting with Tina and the producer who did S1, and I’ve been shooting the show ever since. Minus a couple episodes I was not available for.

ABMFans: Ahh, I thought you and Tina had worked together before.

Ava: Nope! It’s pretty rare to work well with someone you don’t have any connection to, but this was a good fit.

ABMFans: It certainly seems so.

Ava: It’s been hard sometimes, as we have to work SO SO fast, it’s hard to keep your head on straight – but I have a lot of respect for Tina and the show (and Susan of course), and now as we’ve worked together for a while, it feels like a really good fit.

ABMFans: What’s been the hardest scene to shoot? I know Rach isn’t a fan of the cold outdoor shoots.

Ava: Oh that’s a good question too! Poor Rachael. She is SUCH A GOOD SPORT!

ABMFans: I think if you feed her she’s alright.

Ava: She never whines so long as there’s string cheese.

ABMFans: This I have learnt.

Ava: So, some of the most complicated scenes are in S3, but I’ll stop teasing that.

ABMFans: I can see you’ve learnt well from Tina and Susan.

Ava: Nah I’m just afraid of the wrath.

ABMFans: And you have every reason to be afraid, very afraid.

Ava: Oh yeah. Seriously! I do NOT want to be the one who breaks the seal. Oh no! Actually some of the hardest scenes are the ones in Vivian’s room. Not because they are complicated, but because that room is SO SMALL! And it’s actually in someone’s house so we can’t rig things off the ceiling or furniture. It’s also got a false wall that is very pernickety, and it’s 15 flights up so we can’t place lights outside the windows.

ABMFans: Damn, that’s a whole lot of stairs.

Ava: Totally. Once, some PAs had to walk dolly track up those 15 flights. A dolly track is made of steel and is 8ft long.

ABMFans: I’m sure that made them very happy.

Ava: They really took it for the team that day! Oh you know what though; the scenes with Dr. Glass were quite complicated to light. The issue there was that we needed the room to look a little different on the different days Aster was in there –

ABMFans: Yeah I figured those scenes were shot after each other.

Ava: Yup. And it was very overcast that day so we had to “create” all the light bouncing around in there. It was also 15 flights up :).

ABMFans: You lot like to challenge yourselves.

Ava: That’s what filmmaking is really- when you step back and look at it, it’s totally insane.

ABMFans: But you love it.

Ava: More than anything.

ABMFans: What made you get started in the crazy business?

Ava: Hmm. Well, my background is in documentary photography- and by a stroke of luck, someone asked me to shoot a documentary film based on my pictures. They literally asked me to just shoot this film as though I were shooting still photographs. I enjoyed it so much. There’s camaraderie there’s not possible when you’re shooting stills on your own. Since then, I’ve moved further and further into cinematography and not looked back. I’m also a dork who likes to know how complicated stuff works. And there is an endless supply of complicated stuff to understand in this business, so I’m endlessly entertained!

ABMFans: I’ve taken a look at your .com, some very nice photographs on there.

Ava: Oh thanks – the cinematography section is down right now as I’m re-doing it. It’s quite a far leap from the Women in Prison project on there to ABM. But somehow it’s all related…

ABMFans: What’s your favourite image? It can be one of yours.

Ava: Oh in the whole world?

ABMFans: Yup, the whole wide world.

Ava: Whoa. Okay. Gimme a sec.

ABMFans: Take your time.

Ava: Okay it’s impossible. I love images so much.

http://www.masters-of-photography.com/images/screen/steichen/steichen_heavy_roses.jpg

http://cdn.radionetherlands.nl/data/files/images/Rineke%20Dijkstra%20Coney%20Island%20NY%20USA%20June%2020%201993.jpg

ABMFans: You could be here a while huh?

Ava: Um. Yes.

http://www.lensculture.com/frank_images/frank_1.jpg

Ava: There are so many amazing photographers and cinematographers…and the way history is told through images and films, there’s just a lot love…

ABMFans: There is. If there’s one shot that you could have in ABM – perfect location, perfect lighting, what would it be?

Ava: Oooohhhhhh. That’s a good one.

ABMFans: Pick your cast members too.

Ava: Okay. So this would probably never ever happen, but it would be a dream for me if we could do a dream sequence, from Vivian’s perspective, where she wanders through different groups of people in her life. It would be great to shoot this in a big green outside area with the camera just trailing behind her. Sometimes seeing what she sees, but mostly just moving behind her. Arch and Elizabeth would be sitting in one spot. Maybe her mother who we never meet would be in another. Dad and Jodie could be under a tree or something. And of course Aster and Sophie. We could light it in such a way that it feels like heightened reality, but still realistic. And the camera constantly moving would make it feel dreamy. That would be so fun! It would also be super challenging.

ABMFans: That’s part of the fun.

Ava: Totally. We’ve done some fantasy stuff before on ABM; this would just be totally crazy though!

ABMFans: I completely guessed that wedding dress dream sequence!

Ava: Yup!

ABMFans: And Susan flat out lied and told me it wasn’t part of the show.

Ava: And where Aster haunts Sophie in the bathroom. Susan lied about that???

ABMFans: Yes. I remember Rach tweeting something about her being in a wedding dress and tears and then Nic put something on her FB about wedding dressed. And when I tweeted something about it Susan was like, ‘Who said something about a wedding on ABM?’ And when I described how I put it together she was like, ‘Okay, but that’s not for our show.’ Then I saw the S2 premiere and I was like, ‘OOOOH YOU LIED!!!!’

Ava: She is so tricky!

ABMFans: And I said to her that it must be in a dream sequence because it just didn’t fit the story, unless it was a flash forward type of thing. This is why I don’t trust her.

Ava: You totally guessed it! Well I can tell you, that I promise there is no giant outdoor dream sequence. I wish. So even if Susan says there is, there is not…

ABMFans: Maybe next season, get them to write it in.

Ava: Ha! I’ll see

ABMFans: Mostly I don’t believe anything until I see it now.

Ava: That’s probably wise. They really want it under wraps! But I think you’ll be happy this season. There’s a lot of crazy stuff.

ABMFans: Hmm…I saw the trailer; Vivian was holding Sophie’s hand, that’s not a good sign.

Ava: No comment. PS – I love Sophie.

ABMFans: Although I know there will be some VivSter kissing involved. *GASP*

Ava: How do you know?

ABMFans: Nicole tweeted that she had to spend the afternoon kissing Rach. And then of course they said that they never said it was anything to do with the show…

Ava: Ha! That would be hilarious.

ABMFans: I think their boyfs might have something to say if it hadn’t been.

Ava: They are really good at making out.

ABMFans: Hard lives those girls lead.

Ava: Oh totally. All in a day’s work! It’s funny shooting the make out stuff because all I see is how they are blocking each others light!

ABMFans: Tell them off next time.

Ava: Oh I do! They are very accommodating…They totally work with us…

ABMFans: Well you feed them.

Ava: They feed me too!

ABMFans: See, it’s all reciprocal.

Ava: Family. All in the family.

ABMFans: I’m not a Sophie fan by the way. Jessy fan yes, Sophie – not so much.

Ava: Susan is always asking if I need coffee too – she’s very good at feeding…I LOVE SOPHIE! I love her. I love Jessy too. I love how Sophie is all saying, “Oh my god”, and huffing and leaving frame. She reminds me of girls I really knew in high school!

ABMFans: I don’t mind all that, it’s the kissing Vivian that bothers me.

Ava: Oh that.

ABMFans: Yes, that.

Ava: She’s confused. They’re only like, 16!

ABMFans: She needs to keep her lips to herself.

Ava: Okay well tell Tina and Susan. Wait. I bet you already have!

ABMFans: Oh don’t worry, I tell them often.

Ava: Aww. But I want Jessy to be on the show forever! She’s one of my favourite people on set.

ABMFans: She can be on the show forever, just stop kissing Aster’s girlfriend! She’s one of my favourite ABMers to talk to too.

Ava: She’s freaking hilarious! Who should she kiss then?

Ava: Sterns is gross, Jonathan is over…

ABMFans: There’s a whole bunch of people other than Vivian and Aster.

Ava: I really like Mitch.

ABMFans: Yeah he’s very cool.

Ava: He’s really easy to work with and totally fun to pal around with. It would be really fun to have you on set and doing everything in person!

ABMFans: Yeah I never seem to be in NY when you guys are filming. It was fun when I met Tina and Susan. I did Susan’s ABM Mastermind and she did so so so badly.

Ava: She told me about that! Hilarious!

ABMFans: And Tina and Rachael are not helpful to have around.

Ava: Really?

ABMFans: Not when you’re trying to quiz someone. They cheat. Well, they try.

Ava: Oh. I believe that. It would look bad if they didn’t do well, you know?

ABMFans: Rachael more than Tina, as it wasn’t fair because Tina had to do her quiz by herself. Oh Susan did really really badly. Surprisingly so.

Ava: Ahh I don’t know how that’s possible, but clearly it’s possible! What did you ask?

ABMFans: I can show you.

Ava: Glad I didn’t have to take that. But I can tell you how any scene in S2 and most of S1 was lit! Susan is hilarious.

ABMFans: Someone has to have that knowledge! She’s the good kind of insane I think.

Ava: Luckily you have that knowledge!

ABMFans: It’s easy to ask the questions when you have the answers in front of you.

Ava: I love that Susan said, “Tiny dancer!”

ABMFans: Sorta close…although I can’t imagine Arch saying he’s a tiny dancer!

Ava: But if he did, that would be cute!

ABMFans: Very. As a fan, and giving no spoilers for fear of death, what do you want to see happen on ABM? Feel free to have outlandish stories so you can shoot awesome scenes.

Ava: Knowing what I already know? Or as if S2 was the last thing that existed?

ABMFans: Let’s do it as if S2 was the last thing that existed. Safer that way.

Ava: Totally safer that way. But you’re gonna be mad at me.

ABMFans: Oh no, more Sophie stuff.

Ava: I’d want to see Vivian and Sophie explore their relationship. Maybe not romantically, but in a way that shows how complicated friendships can get! I’d want Liza to be a recurring character and for us to get to know Aster more through that. Okay I take it back. I want Sophie and Vivian to fall in love.

ABMFans: Grrrr….

Ava: And for Aster to be Vivian’s best friend. I love Sophie!

ABMFans: Well, no one’s perfect.

Ava: And I want them to all take a vacation in the Bahamas and I want to go shoot there.

ABMFans: I’m petitioning for a London shoot :).

Ava: Actually that would be cool! Aster could do a study abroad program!

ABMFans: She absolutely could. I’m telling Susan and Tina.

Ava: Perfect! I’ve always wanted to work with a British crew!

ABMFans: And we have food Rachael likes, I know because I pack it every time I go!

Ava: I miss it too. I haven’t had good Trifle since I was a kid.

ABMFans: That’s because they don’t understand custard.

Ava: TOTALLY. Why? It’s so frustrating.

ABMFans: Really, apple pie and CUSTARD!!! How could they not know this?

Ava: I KNOW! Lost in translation. It’s really sad…

ABMFans: My friend who married an American has to buy tins of it at World Market because it’s “foreign” food.

Ava: yup. And when you have it at a restaurant it’s…just sad and disappointing…it’s not that complicated!

ABMFans: Really really not. Nice to know they haven’t knocked all the British-sense out of you.

Ava: Yeah I still have some standards…

ABMFans: Damn right!

It is difficult to believe that the people at ABM could be any lovelier than we all already know them to be. I am almost beginning to wonder if people think I spin these interviews to show them in the best light. I guarantee that no spin is ever necessary. It is getting beyond silly when you realise the depth of talent working on ABM, and that they all so nice just makes it seem more than a little unbelievable.

When I was setting up the interview with ABM’s Director of Photography, Ava Berkofsky, I was becoming a little sceptical of this whole, ‘Everyone that works on ABM is Wonderful’ idea. However, if one person was going to prove that they are more ridiculously talented and exquisite than any other gathering of people ever in existence then I knew that the Brit amongst them would be the one.

Despite having left these shores at a young age there are some things that you can’t knock out of a Brit, including knowing what real football is, how to talk properly, and exactly what belongs on an apple pie. Discretion being part of every Brit’s repertoire we managed to avoid any potential S3 spoiler talk whilst still learning a few new things about the ABMers and also what exactly that person always talking to the director does.

The more insight I gain into what it takes to bring ABM to our screens the deeper the respect I develop for everyone involved. The entire team work so hard to ensure all of their collective knowledge and expertise deliver an often jaw-dropping, sometimes heartbreaking, but still always outstanding, show.

ABMFans: So you’re ABM’s Director of Photography, so what is it you do?

Ava: Wow. That’s a hard question actually!

ABMFans: See I was trying to figure it as my friend does DP stuff but I normally just smile and go, ‘That’s cool!’

Ava: Ha ha! Most my friends are like that too! Then, after a few years, they ask, so what is the difference between you and a director?

ABMFans: You do all the hard work?

Ava: Basically. Ha ha. No. Well, yes. And no. So I am the person in charge of how the show “looks.”

ABMFans: That’s what I would’ve guessed.

Ava: Though Tina is a very hands on director so we really do it together. Though I translate that into all the technical decisions. How to light the scenes. Where and when to move the camera.

ABMFans: So camera positioning and lighting and all that?

Ava: Though, like I said, Tina is a very visual director, so we are really collaborating on this. And I hire most of the crew; figure out all the technology we will be using. This season we changed camera systems.

ABMFans: How come?

Ava: There was a big jump in technology recently. I’m not sure if you pay attention to this kind of thing, but the digital SLR cameras by Nikon and Canon have started shooting video.

ABMFans: I have a Canon that shoots video :)

Ava: Cool. So basically we are using that kind of camera, and putting on really specific cinema style lenses and tricking it out with all the gizmos that we need to make it feel like a movie or TV show.

ABMFans: Ahh cool.

Ava: I recently taught a lighting workshop and used scenes from ABM to discuss different lighting techniques and what bits and pieces were needed to make the DSLR cameras work like real grown up camera. ABM is really fun to use as examples for this kind of thing because we keep it looking so natural.

ABMFans: What’s your favourite scene from the show? As a DP and as a viewer.

Ava: I think all my favourites are from S3! But since that’s not fair, I’ll think of ones from S2.

ABMFans: Yeah we’ll both get in trouble if you tell me about those.

Ava: Oh yeah – no joke. Okay. Well. Actually, I really like the scene in the bookstore from S1 where Vivian and Aster are in the corner and the camera slowly pushes in on them as they have an intimate conversation. I really like how we lit that. It’s not terribly realistic to have that kind of lighting in a bookstore, but we didn’t care. It matched the mood of the scene.

ABMFans: Yeah I’ve been to that bookstore because I was taking pics for the site; you did a very good job.

Ava: Ha thanks! It was a very simple lighting set up and we had to shoot it in like zero seconds, but it turned out well. I think it’s one of Tina’s faves as well. I also really like the scene of Arch with the principal in his office. We lit that very dramatically.

ABMFans: I remember the one; he’s wearing a pink shirt.

Ava: Yeah!

ABMFans: So much random ABM stuff rattling around in my brain!

Ava: Ha. Me too! I can give you an example of what my job on ABM is.

ABMFans: Go for it.

Ava: Okay. So, it’s 6pm and the sun is going down and we now have to shoot a scene at the Loft (the Westchester GLBT Centre) where we need to make a room there look like Jodie’s home office during the day. We therefore have to use all the lights we have to bring up the ambient light in the room and cannot shoot toward the window as it’s obviously night out there. We also obviously can’t have any of the lights in the show. We have a dolly move we’d like to do which takes more time and adds production value to the show, but if we don’t shoot now, we’re going into overtime and we can’t do that. My job is to figure out the best way to give the production what it needs, i.e., the scene with the dolly move and to make it look and feel like it’s daytime, while not blowing any electricity breakers, or breaking the bank with overtime. It’s very stressful in the moment, but very rewarding when the shots get pulled off and the show looks good and people respond to it. And never wonder if it’s actually night out and if you only had 10 minutes to pull of the dolly move…

ABMFans: Whoa.

Ava: My goal is for people to just pay attention to the story- and to absorb the ambience of the world we’re making as if it were real. That’s what I feel like the writing deserves and the show deserves. It’s cool to be able to be one of the ones who supports that…

ABMFans: You do an amazing job.

Ava: Aww jeez.

ABMFans: How did you get involved with the show?

Ava: Totally randomly actually. I was at a point in life where I wanted to be really really really busy, and so I answered a random advert on a film website for the show. At that time I wouldn’t have answered an ad for a web series, but I checked out the first two episodes and knew the director was good. I had a meeting with Tina and the producer who did S1, and I’ve been shooting the show ever since. Minus a couple episodes I was not available for.

ABMFans: Ahh, I thought you and Tina had worked together before.

Ava: Nope! It’s pretty rare to work well with someone you don’t have any connection to, but this was a good fit.

ABMFans: It certainly seems so.

Ava: It’s been hard sometimes, as we have to work SO SO fast, it’s hard to keep your head on straight – but I have a lot of respect for Tina and the show (and Susan of course), and now as we’ve worked together for a while, it feels like a really good fit.

ABMFans: What’s been the hardest scene to shoot? I know Rach isn’t a fan of the cold outdoor shoots.

Ava: Oh that’s a good question too! Poor Rachael. She is SUCH A GOOD SPORT!

ABMFans: I think if you feed her she’s alright.

Ava: She never whines so long as there’s string cheese.

ABMFans: This I have learnt.

Ava: So, some of the most complicated scenes are in S3, but I’ll stop teasing that.

ABMFans: I can see you’ve learnt well from Tina and Susan.

Ava: Nah I’m just afraid of the wrath.

ABMFans: And you have every reason to be afraid, very afraid.

Ava: Oh yeah. Seriously! I do NOT want to be the one who breaks the seal. Oh no! Actually some of the hardest scenes are the ones in Vivian’s room. Not because they are complicated, but because that room is SO SMALL! And it’s actually in someone’s house so we can’t rig things off the ceiling or furniture. It’s also got a false wall that is very pernickety, and it’s 15 flights up so we can’t place lights outside the windows.

ABMFans: Damn, that’s a whole lot of stairs.

Ava: Totally. Once, some PAs had to walk dolly track up those 15 flights. A dolly track is made of steel and is 8ft long.

ABMFans: I’m sure that made them very happy.

Ava: They really took it for the team that day! Oh you know what though; the scenes with Dr. Glass were quite complicated to light. The issue there was that we needed the room to look a little different on the different days Aster was in there –

ABMFans: Yeah I figured those scenes were shot after each other.

Ava: Yup. And it was very overcast that day so we had to “create” all the light bouncing around in there. It was also 15 flights up :)

ABMFans: You lot like to challenge yourselves.

Ava: That’s what filmmaking is really- when you step back and look at it, it’s totally insane.

ABMFans: But you love it.

Ava: More than anything.

ABMFans: What made you get started in the crazy business?

Ava: Hmm. Well, my background is in documentary photography- and by a stroke of luck, someone asked me to shoot a documentary film based on my pictures. They literally asked me to just shoot this film as though I were shooting still photographs. I enjoyed it so much. There’s camaraderie there’s not possible when you’re shooting stills on your own. Since then, I’ve moved further and further into cinematography and not looked back. I’m also a dork who likes to know how complicated stuff works. And there is an endless supply of complicated stuff to understand in this business, so I’m endlessly entertained!

ABMFans: I’ve taken a look at your .com, some very nice photographs on there.

Ava: Oh thanks – the cinematography section is down right now as I’m re-doing it. It’s quite a far leap from the Women in Prison project on there to ABM. But somehow it’s all related…

ABMFans: What’s your favourite image? It can be one of yours.

Ava: Oh in the whole world?

ABMFans: Yup, the whole wide world.

Ava: whoa. Okay. Gimme a sec.

ABMFans: Take your time.

Ava: Okay it’s impossible. I love images so much.

http://www.masters-of-photography.com/images/screen/steichen/steichen_heavy_roses.jpg

http://cdn.radionetherlands.nl/data/files/images/Rineke%20Dijkstra%20Coney%20Island%20NY%20USA%20June%2020%201993.jpg

ABMFans: You could be here a while huh?

Ava: Um. Yes.

http://www.lensculture.com/frank_images/frank_1.jpg

Ava: There are so many amazing photographers and cinematographers…and the way history is told through images and films, there’s just a lot love…

ABMFans: There is. If there’s one shot that you could have in ABM – perfect location, perfect lighting, what would it be?

Ava: Oooohhhhhh. That’s a good one.

ABMFans: Pick your cast members too.

Ava: Okay. So this would probably never ever happen, but it would be a dream for me if we could do a dream sequence, from Vivian’s perspective, where she wanders through different groups of people in her life. It would be great to shoot this in a big green outside area with the camera just trailing behind her. Sometimes seeing what she sees, but mostly just moving behind her. Arch and Elizabeth would be sitting in one spot. Maybe her mother who we never meet would be in another. Dad and Jodie could be under a tree or something. And of course Aster and Sophie. We could light it in such a way that it feels like heightened reality, but still realistic. And the camera constantly moving would make it feel dreamy. That would be so fun! It would also be super challenging.

ABMFans: That’s part of the fun.

Ava: Totally. We’ve done some fantasy stuff before on ABM; this would just be totally crazy though!

ABMFans: I completely guessed that wedding dress dream sequence!

Ava: Yup!

ABMFans: And Susan flat out lied and told me it wasn’t part of the show.

Ava: And where Aster haunts Sophie in the bathroom.

Ava: Susan lied about that???

ABMFans: Yes. I remember Rach tweeting something about her being in a wedding dress and tears and then Nic put something on her FB about wedding dressed. And when I tweeted something about it Susan was like, ‘Who said something about a wedding on ABM?’ And when I described how I put it together she was like, ‘Okay, but that’s not for our show.’ Then I saw the S2 premiere and I was like, ‘OOOOH YOU LIED!!!!’

Ava: She is so tricky!

ABMFans: And I said to her that it must be in a dream sequence because it just didn’t fit the story, unless it was a flash forward type of thing. This is why I don’t trust her.

Ava: You totally guessed it!

Ava: Well I can tell you, that I promise there is no giant outdoor dream sequence. I wish. So even if Susan says there is, there is not…

ABMFans: Maybe next season, get them to write it in.

Ava: Ha! I’ll see

ABMFans: Mostly I don’t believe anything until I see it now.

Ava: That’s probably wise. They really want it under wraps! But I think you’ll be happy this season. There’s a lot of crazy stuff.

ABMFans: Hmm…I saw the trailer; Vivian was holding Sophie’s hand, that’s not a good sign.

Ava: No comment. PS – I love Sophie.

ABMFans: Although I know there will be some VivSter kissing involved. *GASP*

Ava: How do you know?

ABMFans: Nicole tweeted that she had to spend the afternoon kissing Rach. And then of course they said that they never said it was anything to do with the show…

Ava: Ha! That would be hilarious.

ABMFans: I think their boyfs might have something to say if it hadn’t been.

Ava: They are really good at making out.

ABMFans: Hard lives those girls lead.

Ava: Oh totally. All in a day’s work!

Ava: it’s funny shooting the make out stuff because all I see is how they are blocking each others light!

ABMFans: Tell them off next time.

Ava: Oh I do!

Ava: They are very accommodating…They totally work with us…

ABMFans: Well you feed them.

Ava: They feed me too!

ABMFans: See, it’s all reciprocal.

Ava: Family. All in the family.

ABMFans: I’m not a Sophie fan by the way. Jessy fan yes, Sophie – not so much.

Ava: Susan is always asking if I need coffee too – she’s very good at feeding…I LOVE SOPHIE! I love her. I love Jessy too. I love how Sophie is all saying, “Oh my god”, and huffing and leaving frame. She reminds me of girls I really knew in high school!

ABMFans: I don’t mind all that, it’s the kissing Vivian that bothers me.

Ava: Oh that.

ABMFans: Yes, that.

Ava: She’s confused. They’re only like, 16!

ABMFans: She needs to keep her lips to herself.

Ava: Okay well tell Tina and Susan. Wait. I bet you already have!

ABMFans: Oh don’t worry, I tell them often.

Ava: Aww. But I want Jessy to be on the show forever! She’s one of my favourite people on set.

ABMFans: She can be on the show forever, just stop kissing Aster’s girlfriend! She’s one of my favourite ABMers to talk to too.

Ava: She’s freaking hilarious! Who should she kiss then?

Ava: Sterns is gross, Jonathan is over…

ABMFans: There’s a whole bunch of people other than Vivian and Aster.

Ava: I really like Mitch.

ABMFans: Yeah he’s very cool.

Ava: He’s really easy to work with and totally fun to pal around with. It would be really fun to have you on set and doing everything in person!

ABMFans: Yeah I never seem to be in NY when you guys are filming. It was fun when I met Tina and Susan. I did Susan’s ABM Mastermind and she did so so so badly.

Ava: She told me about that! Hilarious!

ABMFans: And Tina and Rachael are not helpful to have around.

Ava: Really?

ABMFans: Not when you’re trying to quiz someone. They cheat. Well, they try.

Ava: Oh. I believe that. It would look bad if they didn’t do well, you know?

ABMFans: Rachael more than Tina, as it wasn’t fair because Tina had to do her quiz by herself. Oh Susan did really really badly. Surprisingly so.

Ava: Ahh I don’t know how that’s possible, but clearly it’s possible!

Ava: What did you ask?

ABMFans: I can show you: http://www.anyonebutmefans.com/archives/2137.

Ava: Glad I didn’t have to take that. But I can tell you how any scene in S2 and most of S1 was lit! Susan is hilarious.

ABMFans: Someone has to have that knowledge! She’s the good kind of insane I think.

Ava: Luckily you have that knowledge!

ABMFans: It’s easy to ask the questions when you have the answers in front of you.

Ava: I love that Susan said, “Tiny dancer!”

ABMFans: Sorta close…although I can’t imagine Arch saying he’s a tiny dancer!

Ava: But if he did, that would be cute!

ABMFans: Very.

ABMFans: As a fan, and giving no spoilers for fear of death, what do you want to see happen on ABM? Feel free to have outlandish stories so you can shoot awesome scenes.

Ava: Knowing what I already know? Or as if S2 was the last thing that existed?

ABMFans: Let’s do it as if S2 was the last thing that existed. Safer that way.

Ava: Totally safer that way. But you’re gonna be mad at me.

ABMFans: Oh no, more Sophie stuff.

Ava: I’d want to see Vivian and Sophie explore their relationship. Maybe not romantically, but in a way that shows how complicated friendships can get! I’d want Liza to be a recurring character and for us to get to know Aster more through that. Okay I take it back. I want Sophie and Vivian to fall in love.

ABMFans: Grrrr….

Ava: And for Aster to be Vivian’s best friend. I love Sophie!

ABMFans: Well, no one’s perfect.

Ava: And I want them to all take a vacation in the Bahamas and I want to go shoot there.

ABMFans: I’m petitioning for a London shoot :).

Ava: Actually that would be cool! Aster could do a study abroad program!

ABMFans: She absolutely could. I’m telling Susan and Tina.

Ava: perfect! I’ve always wanted to work with a British crew!

ABMFans: And we have food Rachael likes, I know because I pack it every time I go!

Ava: I miss it too. I haven’t had good Trifle since I was a kid.

ABMFans: That’s because they don’t understand custard.

Ava: TOTALLY. Why? It’s so frustrating.

ABMFans: Really, apple pie and CUSTARD!!! How could they not know this?

Ava: I KNOW! Lost in translation. It’s really sad…

ABMFans: My friend who married an American has to buy tins of it at World Market because it’s “foreign” food.

Ava: yup. And when you have it at a restaurant it’s…just sad and disappointing…it’s not that complicated!

ABMFans: Really really not.

ABMFans: Nice to know they haven’t knocked all the British-sense out of you.

Ava: Yea I still have some standards…

ABMFans: Damn right!

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