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Filming my second short film next year


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#1 joshua gallegos

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 06:26 PM

I'm pretty excited to begin working on my second film. It's a short film based on a feature length script I wrote entitled 'The Jesus of Kingaroy' which made the Blacklist website top list. 

 

Logline- A tormented young woman suffering from psychological trauma falls for a charismatic leader of a cult who believes they met in a past life.

 

Vertigo has been a huge influence, especially Kim Novak's obsession with the painting of Carlotta Valdes. I'm planning on using Georges de la Tour's painting of the Penitent Magdalen as the source of her obsession. Also Anatole Litvak's 'The Snake Pit' is truly my biggest source of inspiration, as I'm pretty obsessed with psychology and Olivia de Havilland's performance. 

 

For the short film version I wanted to give the flashbacks a noir look, I always felt memories should be muddled as we don't remember them in sequential order. We tend to remember the important parts, and the visual arena of a memory should be dim, like a noir film. This is perhaps a great example of that look   (from Mildred Pierce). 

 

I wanted to make a greater use of wide shots, pan , and dolly shots- I wanted the cutting to be more lyrical as the short deals with the mystery that surrounds the people in this cult. Of course this is all talk and imagination, I'm not a good technician with the camera or lighting scenes, but I'll find a way to make a film I can be proud of and share. I plan on filming with the Canon 7D Mark ii as it is the most affordable option, using the 2.35 wide frame. 

 

I'm afraid I must ask several technical questions in the near future!


Edited by joshua gallegos, 27 December 2014 - 06:28 PM.

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 09:21 PM

Best of luck, sounds cool.


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#3 joshua gallegos

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Posted 28 December 2014 - 01:13 AM

Thank you, David. Took some time to get over my first endeavor, but I feel confident I can make a film 10x better than the first. I wrote a lot of daylight scenes, so I'm afraid I'll need to use HMI units, I prefer to use joker bugs for their versatility- looking forward to unleash this burning desire within me!
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#4 joshua gallegos

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 09:31 AM

I'll be filming in March and I feel a surge of excitement with this new project, which is now entitled 'Introspectre'. I've been watching a lot of interviews on youtube and have been learning a lot from Gordon Willis and Conrad Hall. There was something that Gordon Willis said about making color films, and the difficulty of dealing with color, which is so true! It requires very watchful set design to create the right look, such as Hitchcock films like Vertigo, North By Northwest- which were done to perfection. Since I'm funding my own project with student loans (not smart but what the **(obscenity removed)**), I was thinking of making it a black and white, since most of my inspiration is drawn from classic cinema like 'A Place in The Sun', 'The Snake Pit', characters who dwell within their own selves, I felt it would be the right look and tone for my short which takes place in a mental hospital. 

 

I'm designing some shots, and I wanted to adapt this type of movement, which I think is a dolly shot with no tracks on the floor? The way the camera rides in and out for continuous takes with minimal cutting. As stupid as it sounds, I never quite understood how this was achieved. 

 

 

I haven't done anything since I made my dreaded first short film, so I have to take out my old notes to remember lots of things! 


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#5 Mark Dunn

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 09:53 AM

I think it was shot from tracks with a dolly with a rising platform or a boom arm. The camera just booms out from the dolly as required.

Around 2:02 there's a fast track which might have been done on the spot with the dolly and boom, or else with a short track.

At 3:00, another track back. That's Angela Lansbury, BTW.

A lot of the mid shots and CUs could have been done from sticks at a pinch. but since they needed the dolly anyway, it saved time to stay on it.

Another curved track at the end.

Not easy to replicate on a budget.


Edited by Mark Dunn, 29 January 2015 - 09:56 AM.

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#6 joshua gallegos

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 10:21 AM

Angela won an Oscar for her performance and it was her debut, George Cukor is one of those guys so many people have forgotten, one of my all time favorite film directors. 

 

No one could do that just as good, I don't see many films do such great shots anymore. I wanted to use this technique to simply push in and out of people's faces, I feel it's the best way of getting a closeup instead of cutting to one. 


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#7 joshua gallegos

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 11:49 AM

I had a question about lighting for b&w cinematography, I know I asked this question before, but I couldn't find my past posts. Is it better to photograph a subject with tungsten or HMI lighting? I will be using one lighting unit for the entire four day production, I have worked with a Kino Flo before, but I was thinking of renting a Joker bug 800w unit, because of its versatility and the rest will be lit with practicals. All the scenes are daylight scenes, and will use what I have to work with- which isn't much. 

 

I'm concentrating more on sequencing shots, composition- and creating movement within frame. I will be filming on the Canon 7D Mark ii  and with a Wide angle Canon lenses. Canon 14mm f 2.8 L and Canon EF 24mm-70mm f/2.8L

 

I was inspired by Coppola's 'The Conversation' and Gene Hackman's loneliness, so I'm using wider shots, it's also a bit of a detective story- not in the conventional sense. 

 

Here's the script I wrote, keep in mind I wrote with a budget in mind (which is miniscule), so I wanted to capture the tone in the script. 

 

https://www.scribd.c...Shooting-Script

 

I will be shooting and editing, since I feel I can learn more by doing everything myself. Any suggestions would be great. I want to keep it extremely simple as if I was filming a documentary, the way Roger Deakins would do it as a beginner- only I'll never be that good. 


Edited by joshua gallegos, 09 February 2015 - 11:51 AM.

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#8 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 11:55 AM

Not sure how much of a difference that may make on digital, but when shooting black & white film, I've always used tungsten lighting provided it was an interior.  For exteriors, I've just used natural light.  Both experiences have yielded very nice results.


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#9 joshua gallegos

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 12:34 PM

Well, all classic films used tungsten and carbon arc lamps and produced amazing results, but since DSLR isn't film, does that mean I should film in color 'neutral' setting and then make it b&w in post? This is the only setting that allows more dynamic range. Really love full frame photography for The Wrong Man

 

 


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#10 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 01:00 PM

Sounds like a logical option, but since I have never used that process myself you should wait for a response from someone with that kind of experience.


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#11 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 02:49 PM

Shoot in color, do your B&W in post. Shooting in color give you the ability to use a RGB channel mixer which can substantially alter the way the image looks when changed to grayscale.


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#12 John Miguel King

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 02:56 PM

Sensors tend to have a prefered colour balance. For example: Alexa likes tungsten whilst Epic likes daylight. You can quickly check this by inspecting the noise floor on the red and blue colour components using the RGB parade. Being a stills camera I'd be surprised if it doesn't prefer daylight.

This might make the pictures cleaner, although I believe when it comes to canon dslr the most important thing is shooting at an ISO which is a multiple of 160 ISO. I've no idea about the why, although it seems to be related to how the gain is applied. It might just be an urban legend.


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#13 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 03:04 PM

Joshua...are you able to do some test shoots and play with the grading to see what you get?  That's obviously the best option.


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#14 joshua gallegos

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 04:24 PM

Thanks everyone for the feedback. 

 

Bill, I'm playing around with the footage from my first terrible short film, I shot on the neutral setting, but all my footage are primarily night scenes. One particular day scene, the sky was completely blown out, so the highlights in b&w conversion were appalling. Pretty sure I will need an ND filter so that it doesn't look so ugly. I worked with  a Canon t4i which has a CMOS sensor, the Canon 7D mark ii has a similar sensor only it's 21.0 megapixels as opposed to 18. 

 

Even though I'm filming day scenes, I didn't want the highlights to be too harsh, but even in films like Nebraska which was shot with the Alexa, the sky is somewhat "blown out", so perhaps that's unavoidable unless I film in overcast conditions. 


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#15 joshua gallegos

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 05:36 PM

Joshua...are you able to do some test shoots and play with the grading to see what you get?  That's obviously the best option.

This is 'neutral' picture style footage converted to b&w 

 

I remember David answered all these questions, but I can't seem to look at old posts for some reason.. 


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#16 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 05:41 PM

That's actually really nice.  Excellent contrast and deep blacks.


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#17 Miguel Angel

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Posted 10 February 2015 - 02:39 PM

It looks great! 

Looking forward to watching the whole short - film!

 

Have a good day.


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#18 joshua gallegos

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Posted 10 February 2015 - 03:09 PM

I wanted to do a forest scene where the cult is congregating and meditating- I would introduce each member by doing a 360 with an over the shoulder rig. There would be a small fire in the middle and fluorescent lanterns next to them, don't know how well that would translate in black and white, but I might just show that part in color. I'm really excited to film again- it's been so long. Even though I don't have a budget I feel it's worthwhile to just get together with some actors and create something. I'd have to see how daylight scenes would translate in b&w conversion, DSLRs are very sensitive to harsh sunlight, which there is plenty of in Texas. I will definitely need an ND .6 to prevent that from happening or simply rate the camera at 200 ISO for all exteriors. 

 

I'm excited to finally be able to move the camera more, I'll have a wheel chair dolly and over the shoulder shots, and long pan shots- I really feel I can create much better movement as opposed from what I did last time, which is liberating. I've learned I need to use wider lenses to open up the frame a bit more, at least a 14mm prime. Like this shot from Umberto D. after Maria stands up. The way De Sica choreographed space and time was so brilliant, it's mesmerizing, we're just watching a woman get up from bed and you can't take your eyes off the screen

 


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