Stirring & Stylish: Distinctively Dark Imagery

Archive for the ‘Shoots’ Category

Yoga Kills!

In Shoots on March 8, 2011 at 1:24 am

Possibly the best wardrobe ever!  Funny Stuff.  Ep. 3 is up.

Om Sweet Om – Ep. 2 online

In Shoots on March 1, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Man, I’m just recovering from last week’s hamstring pull, but I guess it’s that time again.

Om Sweet Om Ep. 2 is online.  Watch it here!

Om Sweet Om goes live!

In Shoots on February 22, 2011 at 2:29 am

Slip into your Yoga pants and stretch out that groin!  The first episode of Om Sweet Om just went live.  Check out the website here.

Thanks for all of your support.

Shameless Plug for Om Sweet Om

In Shoots on February 15, 2011 at 4:35 pm

I know, its shameless, but in cyberspace no one can see your embarrassingly red face.

Here’s a link to Om Sweet Om, a web series I worked on over the summer.  It premiers it a week’s time.  Please take a moment to check it out.  I hope you like it.

The problem with prep

In Shoots, Updates on January 6, 2011 at 4:12 am

We go to camera in two days.  That’s a sobering thought.

I am shooting an indie feature called ‘The House‘ (check out the facebook page!), and we go to camera in two days.  It’s an exciting and nerve-racking time.  One of the main challenges in filmmaking is having all the pieces in a very complex puzzle come together.  The actors, costumes, props, locations, sound, etc. must all be there and ready at exactly the right time.  For me, I need to make sure the cameras and lights are there.  Breaking down a script – going over every details 100 times to make sure you know how the director wants to shoot each and every shot in every scene – can be painstaking work.  Knowing that the director will change everything on the day and freestyle his or her way through a scene, and then accounting for that possibility is wise.

The problem with prep is that is makes one complacent.  One can feel confident that all possible scenarios have been accounted for, but it never works out exactly that way, and movies aren’t made in prep.  Don’t get me wrong, prep is an invaluable time, and it is vital that everyone know the material inside and out, but films are shot in the real world on set where the light is fading in the sky and the prop laser gun doesn’t work quite right, and the weather has taken a turn for the worse.  Preparation is key to making good decisions, but it is on set that decisions must be made quickly and correctly.  It is on set that one’s mettle is tested.  It is on set that there is no time for second guesses.

Wish me luck on my latest adventure.

One thing I never want to see on a scout…

In Shoots on July 26, 2010 at 5:46 pm

I awake at night, a cold sweat upon my forehead.  It was only a nightmare…or was it.

Not only are fuses difficult to deal with, and an additional cost each time one blows, but they speak  to the general age and condition of a building’s electrical wiring.  If I don’t have a dedicated and ticketed electrician on my crew (meaning I can’t tie directly into house power bypassing the fuse box), and I need house power then seeing one of these fuse boxes on a scout makes my heart sink.

By the numbers I should be able to draw 1800 watts from a 15 amp circuit, assuming 120 volts.  But, older circuits can be touchy and I am hesitant to even approach this number.  I want to stay down around 1200-1300 watts max.

Also, older buildings tend to have fewer circuits in total, so total electrical capacity is reduced even further.  In a case like this having access to outside power, such as a generator is handy, but not always viable, especially on lower budget shows.  Careful consideration of the lighting design is a must, and will save time, exasperation, and fuses.  This is one of the major values of a good technical scout.  I am able to both get a sense for how I can light the space to make it look great as well as get information on the technical limitations of the location.

Like a bad penny, you keep popping up.

HIKE – a polarizing filter at work

In Shoots on July 11, 2010 at 4:44 am

I don’t want this blog to become a techies dream, but from time to time it’s important to discuss some aspect of filmmaking from that point of view. After all, film is a very technical medium.

On Wednesday I was off in the bush working on some B-roll footage for HIKE, a short horror film about…well I guess you’ll just have to see it for yourselves. One of the most useful tools for making daytime exteriors look great, especially when it’s sunny, is a polarizing filter. Looking at the two images the differences are quite clear. A polarizing filter blocks light vibrating in a particular plane. When the light emitted or reflected off an object vibrates all in the same plane (therefore the light is polarized), and one spins the polarizing filter to a perpendicular plane it blocks the polarized light. This is why some blue skies are darkened and the blue deepened when using a polarizer. The same is true for reflections off of water and glass. These direct reflections are called glare.

On an overcast day the polarizer’s effects are reduced, but it can still help reduce glare – darkening foliage and reducing reflections off of glass and water.

A polarizer is the first filter I would recommend anyone to put in his or her kit.