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"Alone"


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#1 John Hoffler

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 01:27 AM

Hey all,

Posts like these have helped me a great deal over the last two years so I thought I'd contribute some work from a 16mm short that I just wrapped called "Alone". :D

The film was shot on Kodak 7229 500T using an ARRI 416, Zeiss Prime Lenses, and an Angenieux 10:1. The stock was rated at 320ASA. I mainly shot wide open (1.8/2.0) for the DoF, except for a few shots that were shot at F.4 to give my 1st a chance!

The film is set on a spaceship, with the captain the lone survivor of an accident that killed his crew. He begins hearing and seeing things in the ship which causes him to break down mentally.

The color palette of the film is heavy on the blue's and greens, except for the flashback sequences which have a warmer and slightly overexposed look. The camera work also shifts from dolly and sticks to handheld as Captain Reck begins to deteriorate mentally.

I pulled inspiration from Ridley Scott and Derek Vandlint's work on "Alien", Alwin Kuchler's work on "Sunshine", and Stephen McNutt's work on "Battlestar Galactica"

Forgive the quality of the pics. They are screenshots from a DVD of the SD transfer. We're getting an offline HDCam EDL once editing is complete.

Print and color timing was done by Cineworks in Miami, FL.

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This is the bridge of the ship. It is lit by a 5K w/ Full CTB through the cockpit windows, a 4x4 Kino w/ Daylight bulbs off camera right, and two 2K space lights with one of the bulbs cut off in each. (though the spacelights are lighting the back consoles and are not visible in this shot) Also, the glass panels have small Fluorescent banks underneath to light them. CG graphics will be added in Post.

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this is a picture of the ships corridor after it has been deteriorated. There are cheap $5 Walmart under cabinet Flo's over the doors, and then Tweenie's gelled full CTB coming through holes in the ceiling. The light down the left side is actually a space we left open that I covered with 216 Diffusion and lit with 4x4 Kino's with a mixture of Daylight and Cool White bulbs. I had my electrics unplug the Flo bulbs, and tap the leads to simulate a flickering effect down the hall.


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from the same scene. The actor is standing under one of the Tweenie's which gave him a nice hotspot and the light on his face is from the falloff of one of the $5 Flo's. This shot was a drifting handheld shot that my Operator Kyle Kaplan did where he'd throw the Captain in and out of focus and rack the iris to make his face fall into shadow. Looks very cool.

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This is a scene in which the captain is loosing it in his quarters. Lit mainly by mixed temp Kino flos' we shot this scene static 5 times:

once at 24fps; once 24fps w/ 45 degree shutter; once 60fps w/ 90 degree shutter; once 12 fps with 45 degree shutter; and once 40 fps with a 90 degree shutter.

It was mainly to experiment with the looks and to allow us to jump cut to make him look really crazy. The actor would do different things, sometimes holding stuff, other times barehanded...etc...

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from the flashback. She's lit by 2 - 2ft Kino bulbs (tungsten bulbs) built into the wall as a practical fixture by my Production Designer Seth Johnson and a 2K space light overhead w/ one bulb turned off.

MORE TO COME! ANY FEEDBACK WOULD BE APPRECIATED!
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#2 John Hoffler

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 01:36 AM

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from the same flashback as the last picture. The Captain is lit by the practical lamp ( a 6500K lamp from Home Depot ) and some falloff from the space light lighting the female talent. The director wanted him to be in cooler light to accentuate the emotional distance.

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a two-shot from the same scene

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another shot from the corridor

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at one point, he locks himself in the Cargo Bay to escape the 'voices'. He's lit by a spacelight overhead w/ 1/2 plus green and some fall off from a $5 flo over the doors augmented by a Tweenie with plus green.

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on the bridge, lit by the 5K gelled Full CTO (they're approaching the sun), the background talent is being lit by the spacelights and some falloff from the $5 flo over the door.
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#3 Anthony Halloran

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 01:49 AM

The whole room was silent during your whole viewing of the footage. Really great work John, can't wait to see the finished edit.
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#4 John Hoffler

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 01:51 AM

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Chess board shot from FLashback

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close up from Bridge scene. 5K augmented by a 4x4 Kino with 1/2 CTO for fill and eye light. Also like the weird little lens flare from the $5 flo over the door behind him.

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shot as he watches the "apparition" of his lost crew member enter the bridge. She's lit warmly from the 5K on the bridge. He's lit by the $5 flo and a 2x4 kino with Daylight bulbs in the room he's exiting. This is actually the end of a dolly shot on an 85mm prime that lead her down the hall, then racks back to the captain and uses that door edge as a lens cover. My Operator nailed it after the first rehearsal with him and the 1st AC switching off pulling focus during the shot!
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#5 John Hoffler

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 01:54 AM

thanks, bro! I really appreciate it. I'm glad everyone enjoyed the dailies viewing!
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#6 John Hoffler

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 02:15 AM

LAST FEW

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corridor shot (not deteriorated) you can really see the 216 down the left side now.

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better shot of the bridge. Production Design was awesome!

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shot of Kate coming down the corridor. The sides of the corridor could come off so we could get dolly shots and different angles down the hall as needed.
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#7 Jake Schmidt

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 02:42 AM

Everything Looks really nice Jon congrats on a successful shoot
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#8 Anthony Halloran

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 02:43 AM

Your shots of 24/12/60 FPS looked great too bro, going to cut together really badass!
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#9 David Auner aac

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 04:32 AM

Hi John,

can't wait to see the HD stills. Kudos on some really nice lighting! Very moody. From what kind of transfer are these? Supervised? And did you process it normally?

Cheers, Dave
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#10 John Hoffler

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 07:41 AM

Hi John,

can't wait to see the HD stills. Kudos on some really nice lighting! Very moody. From what kind of transfer are these? Supervised? And did you process it normally?

Cheers, Dave



it was supervised, i spent an hour with the colorist setting the look. These are from the digibeta we got for editing purposes (not my choice, would've preferred going straight to HD) And it was pulled 2/3rd's of a stop in post.
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#11 Rich Steel

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 07:54 AM

Can't help but notice the overwhelming "post-its" stuck everywhere around a good looking set. Was that meant?
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#12 John Hoffler

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 08:30 AM

Can't help but notice the overwhelming post its everywhere. Was that meant?


actually, I only had time to set a few looks for particular scenes and I believe the colorist used the "darkest" pre-set for most of the scenes in the corridor, which will be corrected on those shots when we do the HD transfer. The rest is just a boost in contrast and a shift towards the blue spectrum which was intentional, yes. The director's wanted it stylized, though keep in mind some of the color work is oversaturated on these screengrabs because they are screenshots off a monitor using a Mac widget.
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#13 Rich Steel

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 10:31 AM

actually, I only had time to set a few looks for particular scenes and I believe the colorist used the "darkest" pre-set for most of the scenes in the corridor, which will be corrected on those shots when we do the HD transfer. The rest is just a boost in contrast and a shift towards the blue spectrum which was intentional, yes. The director's wanted it stylized, though keep in mind some of the color work is oversaturated on these screengrabs because they are screenshots off a monitor using a Mac widget.


Sorry you got the wrong end of the stick there. The grading looks very good I was meaning the actual "Post-its" (3M types) stuck all over your set. Not actually overwhelming Post correction.

I found them distracting, being set in the future and all. Will we really be using them that far in the future????
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#14 Toby L Edwards

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 10:59 AM

John.
this looks really good. Let us now where we can see the Short when it's done!
Excellent work.

Toby
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#15 John Hoffler

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 11:04 AM

Sorry you got the wrong end of the stick there. The grading looks very good I was meaning the actual "Post-its" (3M types) stuck all over your set. Not actually overwhelming Post correction.

I found them distracting, being set in the future and all. Will we really be using them that far in the future????



lol... i took it as: the unnecessary Post (,) it's everywhere... hahahahaha

it's funny how what's on your mind dictates your perception... i've been working to fix an issue with the lab and it's consuming my thoughts...
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#16 David Auner aac

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 11:13 AM

I found them distracting, being set in the future and all. Will we really be using them that far in the future????


Why not? Would you use another display to tell someone which display is broken? I'd put s Post-It on and be done with that. I found that part kinda nice. The guy is trying to keep sane too. So what do you do to do that? Try to make some firm things to set you straight again. Post some hard facts to keep you from believing your delusions. At least that's what I would do....

Regards, Dave
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#17 John Hoffler

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 12:27 AM

thanks for all the feedback! i appreciate it!
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#18 John Hoffler

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 04:14 AM

I got a PM asking a little more about the lighting setup. Sorry for whomever it was... I accidentally deleted it when cleaning up my inbox...so I thought I'd reply in the public forum with some pictures. (Pictures courtesy of Hunter Siegel)

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the strip of light down the side of the corridor was lit by these kino banks. Depending on the level of deterioration of the ship we'd switch bulbs on and off and tap the leads to create a flickering effect. This also helped to effect exposure when needed. The diffusion taped over the space in the side is Rosco 216.

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this is a picture of the ceiling of the corridor. You can see the $5 flourescents, a few 2-foot daylight kinos, and the holes where the light from the 650w Tweenie's gelled Full-Blue came in.

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this is a wider shot of the bridge, taken during a break with one of the consoles and a wild wall removed. The light is mainly coming from the 5K outside the windows. There is a tweenie mounted on the top of the wall to the far left (back of bridge) that serves as a hair light for the talent at the center console. You can also see one of the 2K space lights overhead... which had half of the opening taped off to control the spill. I also have that 2x4 kino bank on standby for fill light. From left to right: 1st AD Carl Lawson, Director Chad Taylor, Cam Op Kyle Kaplan, and our lead actor Disco San Andreas.

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here is a shot of the practical kino light used in the chess board and flashback scenes. (the female talent's main soft source in the stills in the first posts) On the left is my Operator Kyle Kaplan and 1st AC Jordan Gilbert.
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