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"Echoes of My Past" short film


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#1 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 04:01 AM

Hey everyone,

So, after a very long weekend last week, I can finally talk about the shoot I did. To sum things up, I worked from Friday to Saturday, 16 hours each day, without a crew. I ate A LOT of Indian food, drank more water than I thought I could hold and had a ton of fun doing it. Of course, actually being paid a generous amount for it helped keep my moral up...just a bit, ha ha

Here are some photos from the shoot with brief explanations:

First shot of the first night, a very difficult room to do any real complex setups, so I kept it soft and low key with a single 650w, gelled with 1/2 CTO and bounced off the wall.
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The next morning was exteriors. The director wanted to shoot them from the other side, shooting towards the buildings and away from the street, which I found very unattractive...both in setting and especially in lighting. We had a really harsh summer sun overhead, and I wanted to backlight the actors as much as possible using just a single bounce card which gave me plenty to work with.

The closeup stills are pretty close to what I shot, both exposure & depth of field wise.

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That night was a really interesting setup, we had the camera on some baby legs set on a spider dolly with rubber tracks which we meandered through the room. It created a really interesting parallax between some foreground objects and the climactic dialogue & action we were building towards.

I setup a Photoflex Octodome with a 1k bulb, eggcrate & diffusion in the kitchen and blasted it into the livingroom, creating a nice backlight for one actor and sidelight for the actors who were on the couch (right side of the first photo). I bounced a 650w, slightly dimmed, onto the cieling, lighting the actress on the couch and setup another 650w with some 216 diffusion & 1/2 CTB as a TV light. The director's lovely wife was kind enough to shake a double scrim in front of the TV light which created a nice flicker effect on the actors.

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This one was shot early in the afternoon the next day. I already had a lot of available light coming in from the window, so I just took a 650w with a full CTB and bounced it off the cieling just so it would be a bit more prominant and I could get some more reflection off the darker actor's face. The side this photo was taken on was about 2 stop under key, so it's much darker, and the light pictured really produced a nice and more rounded look to the scene, so the source didn't look so directional.

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#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 04:03 AM

This is just a quick one from a "Lynch style" dream sequence we shot. Again, I employed the 650w, double gelled with a CalColor Green 60 and flagged off so none of that green light leaked onto the wall. I created a much more broad TV light using the Photoflex with a 1k bulb and gelled with 1/2 CTB, employing a double scrim again for the flicker effect.

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I wish I had pulled my camera out more to get some more shots of my setups, but I was working at such breakneck speed I just didn't think of it.

Let me know what you guys think! I'm experimenting a bit and trying to really simplify my lighting schemes nowadays, getting away from the "3 point lighting" they teach you in school and thinking more about what fits the scene. This one turned out to be quite successful. It'll probably be another pair of months before there's a viewable edit.

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank, 19 June 2007 - 04:03 AM.

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#3 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 04:42 AM

Looks great Jonathan! Nothin like getting paid to do what you love eh? :D
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#4 Matthew Buick

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 05:34 AM

Wonderful work! The sort of shots I'd like to produce when I can get some time this summer for shooting. I think you'll be ASC one day. ;)
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#5 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 01:53 AM

Hey, nice work Jonathan!

Were these the same Indian filmmakers you worked with on Barry's shoot? The stills look great. It sounds like you made some smart choices given your limited resources.

Is that a Glidecam 2000/4000 you're using on the exteriors, and if so, how did you like it? I've only used it once and found it impossible to balance. Also, did you get those Cartoni sticks from FAF? I used their Sachtler DV sticks on a recent shoot and the head was not in very good shape.

The lady in the red dress is very pretty, that always makes a long shoot more pleasant! Congrats on you first paid DP gig.
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#6 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 03:46 AM

Were these the same Indian filmmakers you worked with on Barry's shoot? The stills look great. It sounds like you made some smart choices given your limited resources.

Is that a Glidecam 2000/4000 you're using on the exteriors. Also, did you get those Cartoni sticks from FAF? I used their Sachtler DV sticks on a recent shoot and the head was not in very good shape.

The lady in the red dress is very pretty, that always makes a long shoot more pleasant! Congrats on you first paid DP gig.


Thanks Satsuki!

No, this was another group of guys. VERY green and new to filmmaking in general. They'd never been on a set and had never even seen a light over 100 watts before, if that gives you any idea. The other group I worked for Barry with at least had a few productions under their belts.

I think it's a Glidecam '4000'. It's not too hard to balance, just gotta watch the DVD that comes with it, it has some pretty good instructions for how to do it. And it worked out great for what we were shooting. There's a missing ball bearing washer where the handle attaches to the glidecam, so FAF doesn't rent it out. I just grab it from them whenever I want...they're thinking of calling it "The Bowerbank", ha ha

The sticks were rented from Studio B, along with a spider dolly spreader and rubber tracks which worked out surprisingly well.

And yes, a very pretty actress indeed. Her name was Pilavi, and needless to say, did not require much "beauty lighting". The other actress was about 20 years older, so I tended to soften her up a bit more, but they were both a cinch to light and shoot.

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank, 27 June 2007 - 03:48 AM.

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#7 Jamie Lewis

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 10:40 AM

The stills looks great. I'm looking forwards to seeing some footage!
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#8 Sam Kim

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Posted 09 July 2007 - 05:23 PM

how can you work w/o a crew? or are you just that kind of guy?
lucky you though. looks like you got to work with a lot of colors (which I have yet to do) and you got to work with some beauties, which i feel like always puts me on my toes a little bit more, oh AND you got paid. not bad. not bad at all.
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#9 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 02:39 AM

how can you work w/o a crew?


I had to since I couldn't round up anyone on such short notice. I didn't even know whether I was shooting or not until the Thursday before that weekend. Trust me, I'm only "that kind of guy" when I absolutely have to be, ha ha

But some of the talent and a co-writer/producer were on hand to help with some of the basic things like boom mic and little gaffer assignments I would give them (holding a bounce card, scrim or flag).

Besides, since it was just me, things were REALLY scaled down and very little lighting was needed anyways.

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank, 10 July 2007 - 02:39 AM.

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#10 Scot McPhie

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 07:30 PM

The outdoor shots colour-corect up nicely - good flat contrast and nice shallow DOF to begin with.

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Perhaps I've over done the reds - but anyway you've got plenty of room to move in post

Good luck with the project.

Scot McPhie
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#11 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 09:11 PM

Those stills aren't from the actual footage.
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#12 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 01:22 AM

Just a short clip from the film. There's a shot in there with a light stand, I'm sure we did several takes of that one so I don't know what's planned. But let me know what you guys think :)

http://myspacetv.com...ideoid=21367324
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#13 Alex Hall

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 03:53 PM

Looks good. Did you use the same set up as before to get the "TV" effect? Did you use and diffusion?
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#14 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 01:15 PM

Thanks!

I actually used a somewhat broader source. A 1K Starlite lamp through a Photoflex Octodome with just a single layer of diffusion, gelled with 1/2 CTB and a crew member shaking a frame of double scrim to get some form of flicker effect.
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#15 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 04:06 PM

The nose highlights on the exterior CU's look quite hot. Could have used some diffusion.
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#16 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 01:21 AM

The nose highlights on the exterior CU's look quite hot. Could have used some diffusion.


I could have used a budget ;)
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#17 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 04:30 AM

Looks good, Jon. I like the camera movement in the shot/reverse shot that goes over her head especially. You got a nice eyelight on her too, despite being so close.

I see you're playing with complementary colors, green and violet. I'm guessing you found a use for those Storaro gels? :)
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#18 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 11:21 PM

I see you're playing with complementary colors, green and violet. I'm guessing you found a use for those Storaro gels? :)


Thanks Satsuki :)

I got them in my arsenal but haven't found much use for them...yet! That's actually a Rosco CalColor Green 60, doubled up. Which if I recall when doubled up has the same transmission as a Storaro Green. But it's not as primary and has just a hint of yellow to it which makes it a bit more dynamic for my taste, when it's clipped to a tungsten lamp at least.

And yeah, recently I've become more conscious of eyelight and different ways of achieving it.

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank, 21 November 2007 - 11:25 PM.

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