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Adam McDaid talks to us about Single Drunk Female season two

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Single Drunk Female is an America television series that first premiered its first season on Freeform (American TV channel)  January 20th 2020. The series stars Samantha Fink as an alcoholic single female (Sofia), who is forced to move back home with her mother Ally Sheedy (Carol), because of the trouble that her habits of drinking put her through. The programme takes us through the events that Sofia goes through to fix all her wrong doings.

Adam shot season two of Single Drunk Female on two sets of TLS rehoused Canon FD lenses (20, 24, 28, 35, 50 & 85mm) that were provided from Keslow Camera, Adam also used his personal TLS rehoused Petzval 58mm lens that he bought from TLS in the spring of 2022. 

In his own words -

The workhorse lenses of Single Drunk Female were the Canon FD 28, 35 & 50mm. Since we were shooting full frame 6K, I kept the shooting stop at a T2.8 for a little more dept of field. After shooting camera tests during prep, we decided that T2.8 was the sweet spot with the Canon FDs. 

We also used my TLS 58mm Petzval lens for selected scenes with Samantha Fink (Sofia) because I wanted specific moments to stand out visually to help accentuate the emotions of the scene. During my initial interview for the production, I mentioned using the Petzval for a specific scene in ‘Shiva’ (Episode. 7) where Sofia sees her mother in a very vulnerable moment and, for the very first time, Sofia really begins to understand Carol as a person and not just her mother. Our director and executive producer, John Riggi, really responded to this idea and it’s something we ran with creatively throughout season two.

I didn’t actually choose the TLS Canon FD lenses set for the production as Andy Rydzewski who was the first DP hired to shoot season two, had already picked the lenses. Andy was needed elsewhere when the production was to start, which opened the door for me to come on board. My previous experience shooting Canon lenses was with K35s on commercial projects and they have a look I really love. During our camera tests, I found the look of the FDs to be beautiful, very much like the K35s, they have a creaminess to them but have less expressive flares. I was happy Andy had picked the FDs and I definitely plan on shooting with them on other projects in the future. 

The best part about using vintage lenses!

Ever since the switch from film to digital, I’ve been looking for ways to make digital look more like film. Back in the film days, we used different film stocks, processing, and exposure techniques to achieve unique looks in the final image. In my experience, I found that many images began to look the same in the early days of digital because DPs were all working with the same sensor. Creating unique LUTs during prep have helped tremendously and have become the digital version of using different film stocks and processing techniques. But I’ve found that shooting with older lenses to be one of the most effective ways to create unique looks when shooting digitally. I love the way the Canon FDs take the sharp edge off of the digital image and gives it more filmic quality. During prep, we took it a step further and beat up the digital image a bit more with our choice of filtration. The final recipe we landed on was Soft FX 1 and 1/8 Pearlescent. Again, this was my first time shooting with the TLS Canon FDs and I fell in love with them. They are really beautiful lenses.

My only complaint about the TLS Canon FDs is that the 40mm doesn’t exist as a focal length. Hands down, the 40mm is my favourite focal length when shooting spherical. 

The best part about being on the production.

Honestly, the whole experience of working on the production was incredible for me. Prior to shooting the shows Single Drunk Female and Everything’s Trash earlier in the year, all my previous experience shooting television was 2nd Unit. It was such a great experience to DP every episode of this series, collaborate with such talented filmmakers, developing creative ideas over a long prep period and then seeing them come to life on set. I truly couldn’t wait to get to set every day. 

Season Three ?

Unfortunately, FreeForm decided not to renew Single Drunk Female for a third season. It’s a bit of a heartbreaker because I’ll miss working with all of the talented people involved. I loved the characters of Single Drunk Female, and it was such an honour to see our wonderful actors bring them to life with their incredible talent and performances. I learned so much from all the talented directors I got to collaborate with of the 9 episodes I shot. Built most of all, I’ll miss my crew who I was so lucky to collaborate with in creating a visual language to tell a great story.

See more of Adam's work - 

From Episode 202

'To inspire through innovation, passion and quality'
'To inspire through innovation, passion and quality'