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"The Cost"


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#1 John Hoffler

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 05:51 PM

Hey everyone!

I just wrapped a 5-day shoot for a 35mm short film titled "The Cost" and thought I'd share a few shots.

It is a political suspense/thriller, written by myself and my Director Michael Hamill. It was shot all on location in and around Orlando, FL.

We shot primarily on Kodak Vision2 5260, and one scene on 5229. Camera package consisted of an Arri Lite and an Arri 235 for steadicam and jib work. Lenses were Zeiss Superspeeds.

I worked with the same crew as my last short film I posted about "Alone" and they were all fantastic! Due to the different setups and run-and-gun style my Camera Team switched off positions to get things done and all of them performed amazingly... I can trust each of them to Op, 1st, or 2nd anytime without missing a beat. As always my Gaffer and G&E crew rocked!

Below are some stills. I would also like to thank Katie Brandbo, Disco San Andreas, TJ Doctor and James Neihouse for all their help and suggestions! James and TJ saved my butt more times than I can count!
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#2 John Hoffler

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 10:13 PM

DAY ONE:

Day One took place out in front of the Orange County Courthouse. It is a scene where the Main Character's brother, who is a Prime Minister of an African country, exits a corporate building, is swarmed by reporters and then is whisked into a car by his security.

The building is approx. 30 stories tall and faces exactly West so from sunrise till about 11am the building casts a shadow across it's entire front courtyard. The courtyard and building are all made of white/beige stone which bounced the light well. This created a nice, even, shadowless light to work with.

I knew for continuity's sake that I'd have to get all my shots closest to the building before 11am (this included jib and steadicam work). Once the characters started moving away from the building, I knew we could sell it as if they'd stepped out into the direct sunlight, so for the later shots we'd have some continuity of lighting there as well.

Filming in Florida in the Summer is a bitch! Not only is it hot and humid, but the rain comes and goes unpredictably and clouds go in and out. My exposure would jump 3 stops every time the clouds broke...


Jib2.jpg


This is a shot from the end of a jib move gives you an idea of the location. There is a 6K HMI bounced into a 12xGriff off camera right to bring up the exposure under the atrium. 32mm / f8



Courtyard1.jpg



This is a close up as he makes his statement. I panned the 6K over to give him an edge light. 85mm/f5.6


Crash1.jpg
Crash2.jpg
Crash3.jpg



We did a simulated car impact. We accomplished this by doing it in reverse. Previously, the editor and I had done tests with an XL2 to get the timing worked out and ensure it'd look real. The cars started together and then on action revved backwards and all the talent and camera did the simulated impact in a backwards action. When reversed, it looks like a car comes in and slams directly into the door of the picture car. Add sound effects and a speed ramp and you have a pretty convincing impact! There is a 6K HMI aimed into the front window.
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#3 John Hoffler

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 10:27 PM

Jib3.jpg

Dolly1.jpg

Dolly2.jpg


This is a Jib shot and Steadicam shot that'll be cut together to follow them as they make for their car. 40mm/f8



Car1.jpg


This is some work inside the car. I used mostly available light but had a Lite Panel with 1/2 CTO and Diffusion on it for fill that we hollywooded in when needed.
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#4 John Hoffler

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 10:45 PM

DAY TWO:

Day 2 took place in a small restaurant in Downtown. The scene is a conversation that goes throughout the course of the short while the other events transpire across town. Due to the warm tones in the location, we chose to "blue-up" all our lights and use the daylight and I think it made for a really nice mix of color temps.

When I got to the location, I found that the blinds on the windows combined with the tint stopped down the outside light about 3.5 stops when drawn and still allowed you to see some detail out the window.

So I drew those blinds and then rigged 2 4ft Kino banks with Daylight Bulbs over the windows to augment the daylight. There is also another 4ft Daylight Kino over the door which is off camera right in the establishing shot.

The kicker on each actor is a 650w Tweenie. The darker skinned actor's kicker is gelled 1/2 CTO. The other is gelled 1/2 CTB. We also had a light panel gelled 1/2 CTO and Diffusion which we put into each actor's eye line for their respective shots.

We shot this scene primarily at a t2.8 with a 50mm and 85mm.

The camera was always on a moving dolly with a U-shaped track. This allowed us to shift back and forth across the 180 line as the balance of power in the argument shifts back and forth and allow for pushes on the actors as appropriate.

I have to give a lot of credit to my Gaffer Zane Crump and Key Grip Keith Rando for rigging all of the lights off of the available architecture and allowing us to shoot without changing setups.

CrookedWide.jpg
BruceCrooked1.jpg
BruceCrooked2.jpg
StevieCrooked2.jpg
StevieCrooked4.jpg

I'll post some more later tonight from Day 2-5! Let me know what you think!
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#5 John Hoffler

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 11:12 PM

A few more...

Nhaila.jpg

Another close up from Day 1. A little bounce from a 6x6 Muslin. I was using the sun as a backlight but it went behind the clouds. We had wrapped the 6K because of the rain and in retrospect I would've liked to have given her a nice hair light with the HMI but hindsight is 20/20...


BAGMAN.jpg

On Day 2 we did some walking scenes with another character in the streets around our restaurant location. The clouds obliged me this day...lol. 40mm/t8

GunMan.jpg

Also from Day 2, this is our Jackal/Hitman character drawing a gun on the bodyguard of our main character. He is being Keyed by a 2ft Kino Bank w/ Tungsten Bulbs and some Red X-Mas lights that were already in the location. There is a 4x Daylight Kino over his head that is backlighting him as well as some light from outside the windows. 50mm/t2.8

BruceRoof1.jpg

From Day 3. Our main character on the roof of a parking garage during the climax. Used the sun as a backlight and bounced some fill using a 6x6 Muslin. 50mm/t5.6

Jib6.jpg

Wide shot of parking garage roof. 18mm/t8
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#6 John Hoffler

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 11:28 PM

DAY FOUR:

Day four took place in a hotel room. We shot from about 8pm-2am so we needed to simulate INT. DAY on this location.

We used a 1.2k HMI outside of the window gelled Full CTO and hung a bedsheet up with grip clips to make the "curtain".

There is light coming from an adjacent bedroom frame left which is a 1k par bounced into a 4x4 foamcore. We also bounced 2 tweenie's off of a 6x6 silk for ambience. The same Lite Panel was used for eye light.

The shot starts on one character at a mirror and then moves into a 2 shot.

Hotel1.jpg
Hotel2.jpg
Hotel5.jpg


DAY FIVE:

Day Five consisted of a conference room scene and some scenes of our main character running through the streets on his cell phone.

The conference room was a NIGHTMARE! It had bare walls, some painted forest green, some beige, and some stark white. There was a whole row of windows to one side that looked out into a hallway with Mint-green walls. My initial idea was to place 1.2k HMI's outside the windows through a silk to simulate daylight... but the mint green of the hallways seeped into the room when the HMI's were out there and all efforts at controlling it failed.

Originally the Director had wanted to begin on a wide master, but the hideousness of the room forced us to do a dolly shot using foreground elements to mask the overall room. Then we covered the scene in 4 closeups.

So I instead chose a 1k par bounced into foamcore, a tweenie raking across the table and providing bounce, and a 4x4 Tungsten Kino. Outside of the doors was a 1K nook light bounced into white card. Again, I have to give props to my Gaffer for helping me work out a really bad lighting situation and my Director and AD for being patient and allowing us to fix the issue.

For the turnaround set up, I draped a 20x20 silk over the windows to the hall and pushed 2k BJ's into it. It worked admirably as an overexposed window. Without the silk, the background looked almost chroma key green!!!!!!! yuck!

We also had an issue this day because we used an older can of 5229 that was bad. When we developed the negative there were shifts in density and a lot of grain... but luckily this scene is short and was supposed to stand out differently from the others. and it's not too distracting to the untrained eye... it just drives me crazy...

Conf1.jpg
Conf3.jpg
Conf4.jpg

The clouds behaved when we did our running work... thank god!

Street1.jpg
street2.jpg
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#7 Serge Teulon

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 05:40 AM

Filming in Florida in the Summer is a bitch! Not only is it hot and humid, but the rain comes and goes unpredictably and clouds go in and out. My exposure would jump 3 stops every time the clouds broke...


That is called "Filming in the UK 24/7" (apart from hot and humid of course)


Good stills btw!
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#8 John Hoffler

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 08:08 AM

That is called "Filming in the UK 24/7" (apart from hot and humid of course)



lol... I bet!
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#9 Serge Teulon

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 10:49 AM

Yeah no joke...

For a student film there seems to be quite a lot of resources on this project. What film school is it for?
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#10 John Hoffler

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 12:29 PM

I attend Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL. However, this project was independently produced and shot over our summer break. We had assistance from instructors which allowed us some access to certain pieces of gear but the majority of it was rented/bought with our own funds and donations from family and friends.
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