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"Jane"


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#1 Aurora Gordon

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 11:22 AM

Howdy folks,

I finally summoned the gumption to post some screen grabs from "Jane," a 20 minute short about a fallen angel and a baker. We're shooting primarily on 7205 with a little bit of 7219 (though none of the 19 is pictured here.)

We've been using an Aaton A-Minima which has been a pain for two reasons: a) not a lot of folks at RIT know (or maybe desire to know?) how to load it, resulting in me having to load and assist for myself for a couple days of shooting, and b ) since it's not in high-use, it has had some maintenance issues (only one 200ft mag).

Anyway, the director and I talked a lot about keeping everything very soft and natural, to hopefully compliment the human element of the story and keep the angel/demon conflict secondary to the emotional story line.
One of my biggest challenges was the penultimate fight scene, which takes place by a church in a graveyard. The landscape of the park is such that the church is in kind of a natural bowl, lined with trees at the top. We had 1 575 watt HMI, and a 6'x6' silk, on a bright sunny day. Once the sun started moving, I was chasing shadows all over the place. We got some good footage, but there are a couple shots the light was moving during the take and the actors drift into underexposure. Ultimately we will have to shoot some pick ups and I'm hoping to get a cloudy day so I can just make my own damn shadows.

Excuse my outrageously shitty image quality, I'm grabbing this screen shots from a low-res quicktime on a DVD (i.e. disc full of gross). I'm posting links for now because I'm having some issues with posting photos (probably just being an all thumbs gorgon)

http://www.flickr.co...N04/3243694239/

The bulk of the film takes place at a bakery where Jane (the angel) falls from heaven. That gag was practical, with a dummy in a wedding dress, though the VFX guy is adding more skin tone to it (that dummy just wouldn't go to mystic tan, despite desperate begging from the production designer.)
Jane outside the bakery:
http://www.flickr.co...N04/3244519136/
Wide shot of the bakery interior:
http://www.flickr.co...@N04/3244519470

I really enjoyed this location. Sound had a nightmare with the bakery cases buzzing though...
http://www.flickr.co...N04/3244519724/

The layout of the bakery was really conducive to creating pockets of light for the actors to travel through.
http://www.flickr.co...N04/3243690749/
http://www.flickr.co...N04/3243691051/

The bakery kitchen:
http://www.flickr.co...N04/3243691413/

This is a scene in an ally, when Jane is following the baker. Using the same 575 watt HMI and some bounce:
http://www.flickr.co...N04/3243691795/
http://www.flickr.co...N04/3244521092/
http://www.flickr.co...N04/3244521346/

I think I went a little bit overboard with the lighting in this one. Jane tracks down the baker's wife and kind of assaults her in this bathroom. I wanted harsher shadows and a more intense feel, but like I said, I think I missed the mark a little. One of those "one light kit, one crew person, 5 foot square room" situations. Suggestions would be appreciated:

http://www.flickr.co...N04/3243689329/
http://www.flickr.co...N04/3243693243/
http://www.flickr.co...in/photostream/

Final scene in another park. Baker + wife reunited, angel with wings. That white box with the red antennae is the tracker for CG wings. I don't have a link to the model or the composited shot at the moment, but I'll put it up when I get a chance. I've been really impressed with the CG stuff I've seen.

http://www.flickr.co...in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.co...in/photostream/

Wings and a plate will be behind the angel:
http://www.flickr.co...@N04/3244515240

For the most part I've been really pleased with the footage. Had some lovely faces to work with. I'm kind of kicking myself about those re-shoots, but hopefully next time we'll have a full crew and I can concentrate on making the image the best it can be. Again, sorry for such sucky image quality! Comments would be really helpful :)

Oh yeah, the trailer can be viewed here:
http://cias.rit.edu/...e_24ws_h264.mov
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#2 Thom Stitt

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 10:52 PM

You have some great looking city shots, and the magic-hour bike ride is definitely my favorite bit. Some of the shots in sequence don't work for me - particularly when the angel falls. I mean, that's obviously an ambitious thing to attempt, but here it kind of shows that you guys were so limited - we see a white blur fall suddenly in the background behind our close-up protagonist, and then cut to the other side, his reaction turning around, looking down - then cut to the angel lying on her back, perfectly still and... well, angelic.

Maybe it's that I'm expecting her to be crumpled in a little heap rather than being angelically displayed on the pavement... but she is an angel, on the other hand... Depending on how fake the dummy looked, it might have worked to stay on his close-up as he turned around. Tilt/jib a bit to catch the dummy hitting the pavement - just don't pull to the dummy - let it stay soft in the background, and keep a kind of 3/4s shot behind him as he looks down. Again. I can understand if this was out of the question - A dummy is a dummy.

I actually think your bathroom shots look pretty nice. I think some of the trouble spots are the exteriors - especially the final park scene. the couple is underexposed, while the background is overexposed. But you're not quite getting a silhouette effect, so it comes across as a compromise - it's halfway this way, halfway that way. Some slightly diffused light through a bunch of branches would really help this one. If you couldn't put up lights, it might be better to just let them silhouette?

Sounds like an interesting project. One of those ultra-amibitious, ultra-low-budget shorts. I've worked on those myself. I did a 40s period movie with no money. final product looked nice, but there's a bit of ikea furniture showing here and there. I think any really ambitious but no-budget short film will inevitably have that "ikea furniture" popping up as a reminder here and there. Always worth it to go for it though - and you definitely have some nice shots in there!
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#3 Aurora Gordon

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 10:17 AM

You have some great looking city shots, and the magic-hour bike ride is definitely my favorite bit. Some of the shots in sequence don't work for me - particularly when the angel falls. I mean, that's obviously an ambitious thing to attempt, but here it kind of shows that you guys were so limited - we see a white blur fall suddenly in the background behind our close-up protagonist, and then cut to the other side, his reaction turning around, looking down - then cut to the angel lying on her back, perfectly still and... well, angelic.

Maybe it's that I'm expecting her to be crumpled in a little heap rather than being angelically displayed on the pavement... but she is an angel, on the other hand... Depending on how fake the dummy looked, it might have worked to stay on his close-up as he turned around. Tilt/jib a bit to catch the dummy hitting the pavement - just don't pull to the dummy - let it stay soft in the background, and keep a kind of 3/4s shot behind him as he looks down. Again. I can understand if this was out of the question - A dummy is a dummy.

I actually think your bathroom shots look pretty nice. I think some of the trouble spots are the exteriors - especially the final park scene. the couple is underexposed, while the background is overexposed. But you're not quite getting a silhouette effect, so it comes across as a compromise - it's halfway this way, halfway that way. Some slightly diffused light through a bunch of branches would really help this one. If you couldn't put up lights, it might be better to just let them silhouette?

Sounds like an interesting project. One of those ultra-amibitious, ultra-low-budget shorts. I've worked on those myself. I did a 40s period movie with no money. final product looked nice, but there's a bit of ikea furniture showing here and there. I think any really ambitious but no-budget short film will inevitably have that "ikea furniture" popping up as a reminder here and there. Always worth it to go for it though - and you definitely have some nice shots in there!


Thanks for the feedback Tom. Yeah, that dummy is actually a wedding dress stuffed with a sound blanket and the arm of a C stand. (Really. I am aware how cheapo it is. ) I've been told that some flesh tones will be composited, which will hopefully help sell it. We were going to have a jib arm, but we had to move shoot dates and lost access to it, probably would have helped as well. See what you mean about the park stuff, too. Next time hopefully I'll have some more resources :)
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#4 Hunter Hampton

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 01:27 AM

I really like the shots of the fellow riding the motorcycle, looks great! The aminima strikes again! ; )
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