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Fragile


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#1 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 03:06 AM

I'm starting a awesome short film two weeks from now. This is the second short I've shot with director Eric Maran whom is simply brilliant.

We are planning on shooting 35mm Anamorphic right now however I've insisted on paying my crew to attract the best guys and girls (I've worked with) so that I can achieve what I am envisioning lighting and camera wise; so that may bump us down to S35mm because of stock and camera cost would need to be funneled into pay... but we will see what kind of deal we can pull at panavision. We also have a DI at EFilm in toronto worked out, which is a dream come true for me. I met colorist Chris Wallace (known for the DI on Pan's Labyrinth) while doing a feature there a few months ago and I'm hoping I can work with him on this project; but that may be a long shot.

A few weeks ago I shot some stock tests using a Panavision GII and a Primo 40mm. The story is told through 'past' and 'present' and to differentiate the two timelines I've decided to shoot the 'Past' on 5217 with a 100% bleach bypass and at the time of the test I was going to shoot 5229 for its low contrast and wide range, however i've decided to shoot the 5217 without a bleach bypass for the 'present' instead. I tested the 5217 & 29 with our very talented, but a bit insane, art director (Lucus) against a window to understand what I can get away with as far as seeing out a window goes. The 29 performed amazingly well as you can see. I then lit Lucus against a ultra bounce backing and lit him in a way that was soft but high contrast... the contrast is higher then what I could get away with on a practical location but I did it so I could understand the extremes.

I tested a few colors as well because I want to create colored reflections of light throughout the backgrounds of the past. In the middle of the video is also a diffusion test. I just wanted to test a quick theory about the reflective quality of skin and how different diffusions react. I shot that test on the new Vision3 5219. You can see how much sharper it is compared to the 29 in Lucus's hair.

Lastly is a quick lens test to describe the different feeling of a 40mm to a 100mm for close ups. Its hard to judge without a detailed background, but you can still feel the difference without it. The selection of focal lengths from past to present are apart of the design of the film as well.

The video below was captured to HDCAM SR and then ingested into Apple pro res in which I made this h264 stream. I did have the tests printed and screened before telecine and had the colorist match as close as possible to what I saw in the projection. Unfortunately there is something different in the colors, so they have been compromised as far as the stream goes. There is a odd green stain across the 5229 and 19 footage but that was not on the work print. I think the colorist was trying to balance a old correction with the mid tone in the ultra bounce, but the color continued into more of a high light area creating the color contrast.

I use these tests as a onset reference via my iPod Touch. I've also created tiff's of each exposure and stored them on my iPod for quick reference. Granted they are presented in a different color space, but I used the technique on my last feature and found it extremely useful when avoiding second guessing. I also built the tiff's into my scene preparation notes so I can plan out exposure before hand and ensure the two different lighting styles that contrast past and present have continuity. Heh, I'm not the wisest man so it helps to have visual reminders around me at all times.

http://www.chayseirv...iletest480p.mov
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#2 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 01:06 AM

This is interesting stuff, but, maybe you can add some music ... -_-
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#3 Nadav Hekselman

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 02:07 AM

Thank you for this test, very interesting.
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#4 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 06:09 PM

No prob. I'll throw some dailies up when they start coming in. Our dailies are telecine to HDCAM SR and sent to disk and coming in at 1080 Pro Rez HQ so I'll be able to chop something up with some music after the shoot. I'm just working on getting a crew right now. I got my fantastic 1st AC Ariane Jonassen to commit and a sick Gaffer named Jesse Keay. Now I just need a Key Grip and Dolly grip. I'm a little worried because I don't know many and my lighting is really grip heavy, so I need someone good and oddly enough this is my first all dolly show (in the past i've done mostly handheld).
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#5 Jason Reimer

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 06:29 PM

Chayse,
Granted these are just tests, but I like where you're going with it. Look forward to seeing your dailies.
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#6 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 01:33 AM

Finally shot Fragile last week after it being canceled in the summer because of union problems with our actors and then trying to work around everyones schedule. Here are some stills from the first two days of the five day shoot. I ended up shooting the whole film on 5217 with the exception of a few dusk and night ext scenes on 5218.

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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 02:27 AM

Looks great -- I assume you still got to shoot anamorphic? It sort of looks that way, but it's hard to tell -- the shallow depth of field and some of the curvature on the sides seems to be the only clues...
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#8 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 02:55 AM

We actually didn't get to shoot Anamorphic. Its not a popular format in Vancouver so getting a set of lenses would have changed our deal with Panavision because they would have to be shipped up from LA. We ended up shooting Primo's, mainly the 27mm, 35mm and 40mm. We shot on the Panaflex Millennium which was a great experience. But I really owe the look to the crew I was able to get. Gaffer Jesse Keay brought out a great 5 man team that just killed it, as well working with focus puller Patrick Cronin who was simply amazing and hilarious. William F. Whites also pitched in a grip/lighting combo truck w/ a genny and a nice dolly. A huge contrast to the handheld, house power shows i'm used to.
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#9 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 05:24 PM

Looks great Chayse. Congrats!
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#10 Gus Sacks

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 05:47 PM

Yeah, great job, Chayse. Looks well crafted.
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#11 Steve McBride

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 08:09 PM

Wow, I absolutely love that last grab. Amazing contrast within the car. Looks great!
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#12 Matt Garrett

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 08:36 PM

would love to hear about some of the lighting set ups for the stills.
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#13 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 03:27 AM

Thanks guys!

would love to hear about some of the lighting set ups for the stills.


When i was coming up with how to shoot Fragile I wanted to create two different look but still maintain a continuity of image and light. So I designed two different ways of lighting past and present. For the Present I wanted to make it look as naturalistic as possible. I wanted a very overcast look for the film... but unfortunately we got a string of sunny days for the first two days of shooting and then snow! so I just had to go with the flow on that one. But for interior scenes used that idea as a basis in a lot of set ups. I mainly double diffused using double full grid or Full Grid and 129. I had 4x8 frames of 129 built and lit the present with the idea of building my sources long along the horizon of the character. And the past I lit using mainly bouncing joker lekos or plain lekos off a 4x8 muslin flop over the vertical of the character. As well as i wanted to create this glow blue color over some of the scenes in the past. I did this by draping 12x12 full grid behind camera then bouncing a 10k fresnel w/ Lee's "No Color Blue" off a 8x8 sky blue muslin behind the full grid. This created the slight hint of blue in the shadows and I underexposed it by 2.5 to 3.5 stops on the bleach bypass. And then I keyed the character with the tungsten leko bounce.
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#14 chris kempinski

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 01:24 PM

Hi Chase

Great looking work again!

I just worked with Jesse on SuperNatural last week and he had nothing but praises about you.
It sounds like you did have the "Dream Team" working with you on this one in the grip and lighting department.

Congrats, and keep us informed about screenings.

Hope we work together soon.
Chris
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#15 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 05:46 AM

Thanks Chris! Yeah, Jesse is great. He's going to be a really successful gaffer. He keeps his poop tight. Can't wait to book him for a feature.
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