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"Ashes Fall"


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#1 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 04:18 PM

Some how the director of a short film I shot cut a trailer out of a 20min short film and released it today.
Check out ASHES FALL TRAILER!

My apologies for any grammar and spelling errors...

?Ashes Fall? was shot on Super 16mm (2.35: 1 aspect ratio) using Fuji 8673 500T. The camera package was an Arriflex SR3 with Ziess Super Speeds from Clairmont cameras. The only filtration being a set of ND?s and we also had a diopter set. Originally we wanted to do a bleach bypass on the negative but our post house, Rainmaker digital, who was giving us free post, told us that doing a bleach bypass on the neg with S16mm was a risky move because of the perfs on the S16mm negative and that it was an extremely busy time for there lab and to do a bypass would force them to shut down their workflow momentarily. In hindsight, without a bleach bypass I would have shot with a ¼ Black Pro mist filter to give all the highlights a bit halation.

Because of the camera work involved we went with a completely wireless system from the video tap to the focus. Camera Operator Norm Li, who is the all star indie camera op here in Vancouver, did an amazing job on this film. We did a 2.35 matte in post but Clairmont cameras only had a 1.85 ground glass for the SR3 (Don't ask me why they just didn't make a 2.35 one for us, which they offered to do but didn't end up doing it. Probably to busy.) so Norm had to crop the 1.85 GG to 2.35 in his head while operating the camera in crazy action sequences. It all came out perfectly composed. When coming onto this project I knew I would love working with new director Eric Maran because our early conversations were so great. From pre-production all the way threw this production we were on the same page. I?ve never worked with a first time director as prepared and talented as Eric, it made for a great experience. Our one location was an old church converted into a children?s dance hall. We didn?t have to do any pre rigging, all we needed to do was do a simple exchange of the existing practical and fit them with some par bulbs.

First day of shooting was intense. Our 12kw Generator was over heating with half a load on it and lights were going out during takes. Needless to say I swear I saw my Gaffer Dustin Allen smoke over 100 cigarettes in that one day. The location had a large stain glass window which when looking at with the camera, we had a 6k HMI blasting threw, and when facing the other direction we opted to save our generator the trouble of over heating and faking the look with a single flag dressed with an assortment of colored gels on it and then blasting a 1k threw it. On this shoot we decided to do a lot of color temp mixing and were not concerned with mixing tungsten and daylight as well as other colors. I love how film looks when mixing color temperatures, not so much with HD, however I have seen it done well. The building was surrounded by trees which did not blend with our story, which took place in Africa, but luckily each window was stained yellow adding to our Africa feel and most windows were trace papered and then blown out for our day interiors. We also shot the majority of the day interiors at a 90º shutter angle.

Night interiors we would key light with a blonde or redhead threw a 4x4 of heavy or medium diffusion frame and had a little backlight candlelight effect on some of the characters. We created the candlelight with a mixture of tweenies, inkies, and peppers on a magic gadget bouncing off a 4x4 bounce with silver lace. We used no fill for anything. I prefer using ambient light for fill or create such a soft source that it wraps around to fill if I can. I shot wide open to give the film a very shallow depth of field look. I feel it adds to the many tense moments threw out the whole film with the exception of the opening. I stuck a ND .3 in for my night scenes and over exposed everything by 1/3rd of a stop, giving me a rating of 250asa. This allowed me to create a higher contrast threw my lighting and still shoot wide open. Unfortunately I learned the hard way, that shooting wide open with a focus puller you?ve never worked with before is a bad idea; some of the footage came out soft... really soft. I knew something was going to be wrong because the 1st AC had a really bad attitude. Its really hard to judge focus on a 10" SD monitor from a wireless video tap... won't make that mistake again.

I over exposed a bit to insure I would record all the information I needed to allowing me play with my contrast during our tape to tape HDCam SR (4:2:2) color correction using Rainmaker Post?s new Pablo color correction hardware. The Pablo was pretty cool, but it was not real time and we had to wait for corrections to render before watching it, which slowed us down big time. I wouldn?t use the Pablo again without its real time box. In fact, if I had known Rainmakers Pablo wasn?t real time, I would have gone with a DaVinci 2k. The film is almost complete; all that is currently left is the DVNR process and some sound design. The film was accepted into the AFI Dallas International Film Festival the other day where it will premiere in late March or early April. Production started back in August and shot over 3 days, its been a long process getting this project threw post but I am very proud of how its come out.

Camera Operator: Norm Li
1st AC: Josh Corvan
2nd AC: Austin Balfour
Gaffer: Dustin Allen
Key Grip: Chad Skinner
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#2 Frank Barrera

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 12:07 PM

excellent work. you seem to have gotten quite a few looks out of that one location. the overall look seems to really serve and enhance the story.

I can't evaluate the grain on the QT. How do you think the grain of the 8673 holds up to say Kodak 7218? How much does the DVNR help and does it have draw backs? Do you plan a 35MM blow up for festivals?

Well done.

Edited by Frank Barrera, 19 January 2007 - 12:08 PM.

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#3 Matt Workman

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 12:40 PM

The trailer looks really nice. I am also interested in your choice of Fuji over Kodak.

That's great that Norm Li was the operator. I see him at DVXuser every once and a while. Why isn't he on here? It seems like there was a decent amount of handheld. How did you acheive the camera shake?

Cheers,

Matt
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#4 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 02:33 PM

excellent work. you seem to have gotten quite a few looks out of that one location. the overall look seems to really serve and enhance the story.

I can't evaluate the grain on the QT. How do you think the grain of the 8673 holds up to say Kodak 7218? How much does the DVNR help and does it have draw backs? Do you plan a 35MM blow up for festivals?

Well done.


The trailer looks really nice. I am also interested in your choice of Fuji over Kodak.


Thanks Frank.
I chose the Fuji over the Kodak because of the discussion to do a bleach bypass, but when that option was removed it came down to myself wanting to experiment with Fuji stocks that I hadn't shot. Fuji matched the insanely low Kodak quote so I went for it. I loved how it looked in the end, however it did really have that red mushy look in the facial shadows which I hate, but I think kodak is even worse in that area. I hear 7229 does a great job in the shadowy areas, thats the stock i want to experiment with next!

The DVNR hasn't happened yet... but the project right now is insanely noisy hoping this long awaited DVNR has good results. I'll let you know how it goes.

I don't think the director will do a film out. He already has another project on the go and has always intended to go with HD projection at the festivals. Its just a short film and 35mm outs are soo expensive. If it did happen, it would be something the canadian government paid for threw some kind of grant program. I'll bring it up next time Eric and I hang out... might be totally into it.

That's great that Norm Li was the operator. I see him at DVXuser every once and a while. Why isn't he on here? It seems like there was a decent amount of handheld. How did you acheive the camera shake?

Cheers,

Matt


Thanks Matt.

Norm is a really close friend. Not sure why Norm isn't on here. He probably views it, just doesn't post. He'll come on eventually, its only a matter of time. :-)
90% was handheld, the only part that was on sticks was the begining. There is a event that happens durring the film that constitutes the change in style. The camera shake was Norm shaking the camera on the directors cue, we did the lighting effect with the buildings breaker.

Edited by Chayse Irvin, 19 January 2007 - 02:37 PM.

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#5 Norm Li

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 05:20 PM

Hello,

Speaking of the devil.... ;)

Working with Chayse on Ashes Fall was a great experience. He's one of the best up-and-coming indie DP's out of Vancouver and it's always a pleasure to work with him (I think Ashes was our 4th collaboration now
where Chayse DP'ed and I Op'ed).

Look out for more of his work folks...

Cheers,

Norm


Thanks Frank.
I chose the Fuji over the Kodak because of the discussion to do a bleach bypass, but when that option was removed it came down to myself wanting to experiment with Fuji stocks that I hadn't shot. Fuji matched the insanely low Kodak quote so I went for it. I loved how it looked in the end, however it did really have that red mushy look in the facial shadows which I hate, but I think kodak is even worse in that area. I hear 7229 does a great job in the shadowy areas, thats the stock i want to experiment with next!

The DVNR hasn't happened yet... but the project right now is insanely noisy hoping this long awaited DVNR has good results. I'll let you know how it goes.

I don't think the director will do a film out. He already has another project on the go and has always intended to go with HD projection at the festivals. Its just a short film and 35mm outs are soo expensive. If it did happen, it would be something the canadian government paid for threw some kind of grant program. I'll bring it up next time Eric and I hang out... might be totally into it.
Thanks Matt.

Norm is a really close friend. Not sure why Norm isn't on here. He probably views it, just doesn't post. He'll come on eventually, its only a matter of time. :-)
90% was handheld, the only part that was on sticks was the begining. There is a event that happens durring the film that constitutes the change in style. The camera shake was Norm shaking the camera on the directors cue, we did the lighting effect with the buildings breaker.


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#6 Daniel Carruthers

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 08:35 AM

wow,very nice chayse. the look kind of reminds me of munich.
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#7 Matti Poutanen

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 07:17 AM

On this shoot we decided to do a lot of color temp mixing and were not concerned with mixing tungsten and daylight as well as other colors. I love how film looks when mixing color temperatures, not so much with HD, however I have seen it done well.


Hi Chayse,

the trailer looks very good! Well done.

Do you happen to have screen grabs of these mixed colour temperature shots?
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#8 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 03:26 PM

wow,very nice chayse. the look kind of reminds me of munich.


Thanks Daniel. Thats a huge complement, Janusz Kaminski is my favorite cinematographer.

Hi Chayse,

the trailer looks very good! Well done.

Do you happen to have screen grabs of these mixed colour temperature shots?


Sorry Matti, I don't have permission to release any footage or stills till after the film premieres at AFI Dallas film fest.
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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Aerial Filmworks

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Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Wooden Camera

Tai Audio

Visual Products

Technodolly

The Slider

Paralinx LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Opal

Rig Wheels Passport

Abel Cine

Willys Widgets

Broadcast Solutions Inc