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The Master - A S16 short film


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#1 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 12:19 AM

THE MASTER

Amidst the depression of the 1930's, a young piano prodigy struggles to save his family, and himself.

Directors - Max Miller & Chris Adams

Director of Photography - Andrew Brinkhaus

Production Designer - Robert Gilpan

Executive Producer - James Culinane

Starring

Jessica Blackmore
Max Watson
Blake Logan
Ken Grant
Milo Shtergv
Logan Starr


A 3 day shoot, I am shooting on Kodak's Vision2 7218, which is a 500T stock. Camera package includes a new ARRI 416 Plus, and an ARRI SRIII in S16mm.

11-14-07
Today was the first of three shoot days, with a 13 page script, we're shooting roughly 20 shots per day. The crew is smaller, so executing precise shots and preparing lighting setups takes a little longer than if we were to have a traditional sized crew.

We started early today, with everyone getting a slow start. Fortunately, most of the set was pre lit, so getting the first shot off was just a matter of bringing in a few smaller sources, and getting into blocking. Most of the film takes place at night, with candles being the motivation, along with the subtle moonlight, so I decided to underexpose most of the set about 2 stops. I am a fan of soft lighting, so I generally utilized 100W china balls and kino flos for key and fill on talent, while sticking with a larger 500W china for ambient room fill. Several candle sconces decorated the walls, which I simulated candle spill for, by rigging 1K fresnels off the top of the set, gelled up with CTO. All the lighting used is gelled either warm or cool, depending on the scene and shot, I have come to really like 1/2 straw for my warm tones, and 1/2 CTB + 1/4 plus green for my moonlight sources.

My gaffer and I decided early on that dedicating power to "setups" of lights would be more effective, as we switched back and forth between day and night interiors throughout the day, so being able to just flip breakers between the two was a real time saver. By having these pre rigged, it also allowed much better continuity between scenes, because we didnt have to re-light every time we wanted to switch to day or night.

After lunch, our key grip got sick, and had to leave the set, so this left us short handed, as we had no replacement. The rest of the day went well, completing a very emotional scene which involved moving set walls, props, and redecorating, etc. By the end of the day, everyone was ready for a good nights rest, with an equally busy day ahead.

A few on set stills, shot to match the negative, enjoy! More tomorrow as the adventure unfolds.


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#2 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 12:20 AM

Reserved for day 2.
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#3 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 12:21 AM

Reserved for day 3.
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#4 Toby L Edwards

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 11:18 AM

Andrew'
Very nice. the above stills look excellent. I look forward to seeing some frame grabs or a Quicktime video.
The lighting looks fantastic.

Toby
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#5 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 17 November 2007 - 12:05 PM

Unable to edit reservations, next journal follows.

Edited by Andrew Brinkhaus, 17 November 2007 - 12:08 PM.

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#6 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 17 November 2007 - 12:07 PM

11-15-07

Call time this morning was 9, our first shots were some night interiors. After a scheduling conflict, our day and night exteriors, which were to be shot on the backlot were moved to Friday, so we made due, and covered the days material inside, shooting mostly night scenes. The bedroom of the set was built with an opened doorway into the parlor, as well as a large window which revealed the alley way outside. These two structural areas gave me a lot of help in motivating my light. Since the family is living without power, everything comes from either moon light, or candle light. I was able to use 2- 2K BJ's outside the window, again with 1/2 CTB and 1/4 + Green to spill in, and several more 100W china balls on Flicker masters to simulate the candles. Apart from the overhead rigging of a few kino's, 500W china's, and the fresnel 1K's for simulating the wall candles, the 100W china's were my main source of light. They were rigged off C-stands, and moved into position for each setup.

Today required getting the most shots off of all three days, somewhere around 25 shots. We cranked out our primaries by 6pm, and were able to shoot several high speed sfx shots of a candle falling from the piano, and igniting a piece of sheet music. Tomorrow is mostly exteriors, both day and night, the weather report is good, apart from being partly cloudy.

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Edited by Andrew Brinkhaus, 17 November 2007 - 12:09 PM.

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#7 Toby L Edwards

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Posted 17 November 2007 - 01:25 PM

Andrew'
Again this stuff looks really good. Any video clips heading our way?

Toby
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#8 Edgar Dubrovskiy

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Posted 17 November 2007 - 01:39 PM

Thanks for posting!
What is a ratio of stock you have for this production?
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#9 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 03:37 AM

Actually Edgar, it's funny you ask, as we shot this entire film in 5 400' cans. Generally the shot ratio was 2/1
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#10 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 09:36 PM

11-16-07

Third and final day. Getting started this morning, we originally were going to be starting with the day exterior scene, but ended up shooting some interiors first. While the primary crew stayed inside to shoot, most of the grips and electrics moved to the exterior to prep and setup 2 12'x12' silks, several HMI's and some other accessories. Since all the interiors take place in the same location, the same lighting setup was used, with a few placement changes on the kino's and china balls. These shots got done quickly, and we moved outside.

We were very fortunate to have a very chilly breeze, as the scenes were set in 1930's NY in the winter. I was worried that, being in Florida and all, the realism just wouldnt be there, visually. However, getting out to location, everyones cheeks were red, and people were sipping hot chocolate in the tent. To even out the frame, and start "fresh," I flew the two 12'x12' silks next to each other to flatten out the brownstone facade. Once this was done, I used a 6K Arrisun on a super crank to simulate a nice warm setting sun. I used an ND 1.2 in camera as well, in order to minimize depth of field. The scene was shot around an F/8.

We finished shooting this scene early, and had time to get back to the studio to begin hard wrapping the interior set, and striking everything. After this was done, and the sun had set, we moved back outside with our primary equipment, and shot the opening establishing shot of the film, which included 500 pounds of white sand, to simulate snow, dirt, fog machines, a barrel fire, snow machines, and even a collectors' 1930's Chevy! This shot was lit with the 6K Arrisun HMI flown up, and punched through an 8'x8' silk, and a 1200W Sunray HMI to backlight the snow and fog. a few small tungsten sources were used for fill, on the actors standing around the barrel fire.

Overall this was a great project, which I had a really fun time shooting. It's not every day you get to shoot such an interesting project, along with it being a period film. I'll be checking over dailies with everyone on Tuesday...Hoping for the best.

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Edited by Andrew Brinkhaus, 18 November 2007 - 09:36 PM.

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#11 Chris Burke

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 04:52 PM

Actually Edgar, it's funny you ask, as we shot this entire film in 5 400' cans. Generally the shot ratio was 2/1



was the film silent? Or did you shoot at a 2:1 ratio with dialogue? If so, WOW!! How did you do it? The stills you have posted look great. How was the film scanned?


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#12 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 11:39 AM

Chris, it is a sound film. We were scheduled to a 3/1 shooting ratio, but generally we were able to get our shots in one or two takes, so we tried to push ourselves, mentally, to a 2/1 ratio for safety. We did a lot of rehearsal. Also, it's S16, so a 400' can is close to 11 minutes, 5 cans, that's a pretty good amount for a 12 page script i'd say. Though...I'll never argue with shooting more film! The film was scanned in a supervised best light at Continental Orlando.
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#13 David Regan

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 10:22 PM

Must say it looks very nice. How did you like the 416, I've seen good things about it and wish I could get my hands on one to use.

Edited by David Regan, 24 November 2007 - 10:26 PM.

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#14 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 11:28 PM

I didn't operate on this film David, but my impression from the moments spent around the camera department is that it operated very smoothly. However, we did have one brief moment where the magazine was being suspiciously loud, as an AC, my instinct said it had something to do with the film coning up, and sure enough the 2nd had forgotten to engage the guide roller, so the edge of the film was rubbing against the lid of the magazine. The problem was quickly addressed, and we continued shooting. Surprisingly, the batteries for the 416 are great. They would last us 3 or 4 hours before we would have to change to a new one, and they have a handy LED strip on the side which shows a remaining life amount. Apart from that operator error, the camera ran flawlessly, and I will definitely select it in the future.
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#15 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 11:23 AM

Also, I want everyone to know I am 20 years old, and this is my second film I've shot on film. I have a lot to learn, but I feel I am on the right path.
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#16 Emmanuel Lariviere

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 02:36 PM

Andrew, are there any BTS pictures of the crew using the 416?
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#17 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 01:46 AM

UPDATE-

The film is nearly done in the cutting room, I went in for color timing and correction tonight, everything looks great.

The director and producer are talking now about getting it into the festival circuit, we'll see what happens with that.
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#18 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 01:55 AM

Chris, it is a sound film. We were scheduled to a 3/1 shooting ratio, but generally we were able to get our shots in one or two takes, so we tried to push ourselves, mentally, to a 2/1 ratio for safety. We did a lot of rehearsal. Also, it's S16, so a 400' can is close to 11 minutes, 5 cans, that's a pretty good amount for a 12 page script i'd say. Though...I'll never argue with shooting more film! The film was scanned in a supervised best light at Continental Orlando.


5 400' cans is 55 minutes of film for a 12-page script, so that's more than a 2:1 ratio. Technically, a 12-page script is a 12-minute movie, so a 2:1 ratio would be shooting 24 minutes of footage, or basically two cans. Your ratio is more like 4:1, unless the movie ends up being closer to 25 minutes long.

Looks good.
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#19 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 04:53 PM

Right, we actually had a higher ratio, around 4:1, but we wanted to treat the set as if it were a lower shooting ratio, trying to complete shots in a 2:1 ratio, to save film for other more strenuous setups.

Thanks for the comment.

Edited by Andrew Brinkhaus, 13 December 2007 - 04:56 PM.

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#20 Todd Anderson

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 12:47 AM

Andrew,
What were you using for lenses on this project?
Everything looks great! Love the production design, as well.

Looking forward to seeing some quicktime clips...

Thanks for posting.
Todd
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Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Opal

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Willys Widgets

Tai Audio

FJS International, LLC

The Slider

CineLab

Visual Products

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Ritter Battery

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post