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Let It Be War


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#1 Andrew Poland

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 04:57 PM

Just got off production from an 8 day, ultra low budget student shoot. The story follows the life of coal miners who return from World War 2 trained in explosives, and destroy their company town after their issues with the ownership mounts. We shot Red (Build 21, Redcode 36) with Zeiss Standard Speed lenses. The go to lens used on production was either the 50mm t2.1 or 85 t2.1. Due to the nature of the production design budget, these focal lengths helped hide the majority of the "subpar" production design. The period look was sold from the strength of the costuming. The lighting package consisted of a basic tungsten arri kit (150/300/650 Fresnel, 1k par) 1.2 Fresnel HMI, and 800 Par Bron HMI (which is an absolute workhorse) and a single Kino Diva 400.

The softness of the standard speed edgings around the full frame sensor at 4k really turned to be a blessing. This, together with hard light techniques employed really provided an interesting look throughout the production that, in my opinion, helped develop an aesthetic different than most period piece Red products.

The beginning of the story brings us into the miners WW2 company roaming through France looking for Nazis. Eventually blowing up their holdout. For the below grabs we simply took the 800 Par with wide glass through the back row of trees bringing them to a proper exposure, then brought the 1.2 Fresnel around as a lighting cue that illuminated the soldiers faces two to three stops overexposed. Had a fan tossing some fullers earth around to create a bit of atmosphere which helped anticipate the lighting cues pan.

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Another simple set up showing a bit of the hard lighting employed. 800 par through the silked out window with a bounce card positioned opposite for a hair of fill. Also flagged out the entire opposite window of the trailer to control the contrast desired for the beginning of climax. First is the over the shoulder medium, then the opposite of the action for the intensity building profile coverage.

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Being a part of a number of student film projects over the past four years I've come to learn night shooting on student budgets is never easy often working to employ as many lighting tricks as possible to save your ass. For this shoot I went ahead and did a bit of my own production design that was left incomplete by production design and created a field of worklights for the miners. Purchased a 100 foot lowes generic work stinger, 10 simple sockets and 10 60watt tungsten bulbs (soft whites). Did a bit of wiring the morning of and came up with a pretty fun product. The light and miners in the foreground is illuminated by the 800 par while the work field area is lit by a 1k par as overhead as possible with the 10 60watt practicals doing a whole bunch of work for me. I knew the 1.2 Fresnel flooding the landscape in the background would have only created an awkward realm of detail so decided to eliminate it entirely. This was the only shoot during the production I pushed the ASA past the native 320 for daylight balance (as I've read).

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Last series of photos below show the climax of the flick when the miners get their revenge. I Used lensing options to my advantage here to stay a safe distance from the action and kept the lens ND6'd and Polarized to maintain what I found to be the sharpest point of the lens at t4. Got real lucky with time of day and weather for this shoot. We covered the non-explosion content earlier in the day with overcast skies shooting the coverage with Par kicker lights and 6by bounced fills. This was done in anticipation of a clear magic hour as forecasted by weatherbug on my iphone... not so reliable... I know. As magic hour rolled around the clouds parted and we rattled off five separate controlled explosions. No lights, just camera and the occasional bounce for foreground fill.

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Cheers!
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#2 Edgar Dubrovskiy

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 05:52 PM

Looks good!
Would love to see a trailer/teaser of some sorts.

What uni are you at?

Edited by Edgar Dubrovskiy, 25 May 2010 - 05:53 PM.

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#3 Andrew Poland

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 06:04 PM

Undergraduate senior here in Athens, Ohio at Ohio University. Just wrapping this quarter up and headed out to Hollyweird. Thanks for the love, something in the form of moving image should be out in a month or so, i'll keep the thread updated.
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#4 Andrew Poland

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 06:23 PM

Double post... my fault. Bonus grab.

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Edited by Andrew Poland, 25 May 2010 - 06:25 PM.

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#5 George Ebersole

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 10:20 PM

Nice details on the actors' skin.
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Visual Products

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