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"The Formorian"


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#1 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 12:41 PM

I hope im posting this in the right section - This short film is in post production at the moment so i guess technically its still in Production:)
“The Formorian” was photographed in Super 35mm (2.35: 1 aspect ratio) using Fuji 8562 250D. Our camera package was a Moviecam Compact using Cooke S4’s. Filtration was a Jade *1 and a Blue/Grey *1 (both H& H filters from my collection) and some ND where appropriate.
The opening shot involved building a Panther Galaxy Crane with a Powerpod ontop of a mountain in teaming rain. The catch being we had to hump the crane in pieces, sherpa style, up a large muddy hill approx 40 feet long, at about a 45 degree incline. The grips loved me that day! It took approx 3 hours to get the crane up the mountain leaving a 90 minute window to shoot before we had to spend another 3 hours de-rigging the crane from the mountain to be finished before sunset (it would have been unsafe to work the location after dark).
The rest of the shoot was set in a small gorge in a dark forrest, involving two characters one of which carries a flambeau style torch. Thanks to the practical Fx departmetnt we were able to change the colour of the flame from orange to green which tied in nicley with the colour palette we were using for everything else.
For everything except the opening crane shot I pushed the stock two stops and rated it at 1000 asa because I wanted more texture and more saturation. The stock handled this remarkably well. The opening crane shot was pushed 1 stop so that there wouldn’t be a huge difference in grain between the two locations.
For most of the day shoot we shot backlit by the sun (when it was there), and I used a soft bounce ( 2.5K bounced onto a Griffolyn) either to one side of the cast or directly above them.
As we progressed into night I backlit with another 2.5k hmi and kept the bounce as my key which was usually underexposed by a half or full stop. This also helped illuminate the falling snow. Smaller units were used to add some depth to the forrest.
For me the key visual element to this piece was the wonderfull work of the fx department adding snow and smoke to every shot, and of course the super cool green flame.
Working in the snow and rain was difficult at best and a 6 inch rain deflector lived on the front of the camera at all times. Apart from the opening crane shot there is only one other moving shot in the piece, everything else being shot off of legs or a bazooka.
Ive attached some photos (hopefully), and a version of this report is available on my website with a few more photos. Any comments, criticisms or questions are welcomed.
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#2 Chris Cooke

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 10:14 PM

Looks great Steven. The colors and contrast are beautiful. I especially like the picture below. If you don't mind giving away a few secrets, how did your practical Fx team get that green flame and such good looking snow without doing it digitally? Also, did you time the picture photochemically or digitally? What did your workflow look like?

Attached Files


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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 10:44 PM

Beautiful work!
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#4 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 03:48 AM

Beautiful work!



Thank you both!
The Green flame was simply a chemical that the Fx boys poured onto the end of our torch. It gave the most beautiful colours. I remember they said it was expensive stuff! The snow Fx was the foam kind, which you had to be carefull with because occasionally a big clump of foam would land in shot; It really looked well on the longer lens work though.
The film hasnt been timed yet - those photos are taken from the one light telecine. Im not a big fan of heavy grading so the final grade will really be for minor adjustments for shot to shot continuity. Hope this helps,
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#5 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 05:15 AM

hi

it looks like you got great results from pushing the stock 2 stops, would it be the same with super 16 stock?
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#6 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 06:10 AM

hi

it looks like you got great results from pushing the stock 2 stops, would it be the same with super 16 stock?


Super 16 would be a lot grainer pushed two stops. If you look at my website www.stephen-murphy.com there is a project there called "the four horsemen" which is Super 16mm using the same fuji stock but with a bleach bypass on the neg, You can see the extra grain from the bleach bypass. Pushing the stock 2 stops would be similar to that in terms of grain, but obviously not in terms of contrast. Hope this helps,
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#7 Raymond O'Neil

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 04:43 PM

Very nice work Stephen. I also checked out your web-site. I'd like to know someone like you in New York
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#8 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 07:02 AM

Very nice work Stephen. I also checked out your web-site. I'd like to know someone like you in New York



Thank you!
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#9 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 07:40 AM

So for those of you that had expressed an interest, "The Formorian" is finally available to view online. Its a large file so you'll need a fast connection and a little bit of patience. A low res version is on youtube if you dont mind the poor quality.
The website also features a short (90 second) "making of" with a commentary by yours truly!!:) Once again comments and criticisms welcome.

Visit TheFormorian Website


S
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#10 Rupe Whiteman

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 05:19 PM

.... Again really lovely work Stephen; all the effort of lugging the gear up the hill has paid off for you - no pain no gain! Good stuff!
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#11 Matthew Buick

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 04:15 PM

I love yor work, Stephen. Tis most agreeable. :lol:
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#12 XiaoSu Han

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 07:15 AM

incredible!

could you please tell us the effect of the jade and blue/grey filters?

thanks
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#13 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 09:43 AM

incredible!

could you please tell us the effect of the jade and blue/grey filters?

thanks



The jade and blue grey filters were used to colour the image. Im a big believer in using colour fx filters like an underpainting, to tint shadows and steer the image towards an overall colour bias. Sometimes its effective sometimes not.
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