Jump to content


Photo

90 Minutes in Heaven

my latest shoot

  • Please log in to reply
84 replies to this topic

#41 Justin Hayward

Justin Hayward
  • Sustaining Members
  • 928 posts
  • Director
  • Chicago, IL.

Posted 23 February 2015 - 04:17 PM

Looks fantastic.  How long do those night for day interiors take to set up from the point the camera and blocking are set to rolling camera?

 

Thanks, this is all a really great read.


  • 0

#42 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19769 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 23 February 2015 - 04:36 PM

Depends on my much you planned on using available daylight in the first place, if the plan was always to shine some HMI light into the room anyway, then it can just take a little longer to light some sort of large white or Day Blue unless the light hitting sheers is enough to blow-up the view.  It gets more complex if you are seeing more clearly through the windows, like through cracked blinds, and it gets even more complex if there is camera movement, unless you can get away with just papering the windows, blowing them out, and closing some blinds halfway to break up the whiteness.  But if the camera moves a lot and you need to see white where the camera points but have a clear shot at a hard unit creating sunlight, and you also need to recreate soft overhead light, it can get rather complicated, you are basically turning the location into a soundstage.  You spend a lot of time making it look like daylight outside the windows, and that doesn't count the time spent for the interior.

 

I remember once on a low-budget film spending an hour to light every room of a house for daytime in the middle of the night for a long steadicam move, when I could have been ready in ten minutes if we had just scheduled it for shooting in daytime.  But that's what happens on a short schedule like on some 18-day movie shot in the winter, if the script has a lot of day interiors but also night exteriors, you can count on shooting half of the day scenes at night because of your call times, which get later each day of the week, or you may get a day location that can only be scheduled at the end of the week when you are into night shooting already.


  • 0

#43 Satsuki Murashige

Satsuki Murashige
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3510 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 23 February 2015 - 05:32 PM

These frames are gorgeous! Thanks for taking the time to do these write ups, David. I don't know how you have the energy to do them, I would be wiped out by the end of the week.
  • 0

#44 Miguel Angel

Miguel Angel
  • Sustaining Members
  • 772 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Spain / Ireland / South Africa

Posted 23 February 2015 - 08:46 PM

Absolutely fantastic articles! all the images have a very pictorial (hopefully that's the word) effect.

 

How are you finding the pearlscents filters if you don't mind me asking? 

 

Thank you very much!

 

Have a lovely day. 


  • 0

#45 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19769 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 23 February 2015 - 11:02 PM

I like the look of the Pearlescents very much, you get this nice glow but with less of the "noisy" effect of a ProMist.  I just wish they made a 1/16 version because I'm finding the 1/8 Pearlescent to be halfway between a 1/8 and 1/4 Black ProMist in terms of softening, so when I go wider, I've been switching to the 1/8 Black Frost.


  • 0

#46 joshua gallegos

joshua gallegos
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 334 posts
  • Student

Posted 24 February 2015 - 10:35 PM

I love the dinner scene brings memories of Fanny & Alexander! 


  • 0

#47 Miguel Angel

Miguel Angel
  • Sustaining Members
  • 772 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Spain / Ireland / South Africa

Posted 26 February 2015 - 03:44 PM

Thank you Mr. Mullen, 

I'm going to ask for them in Panavision next time I'm there so I can test them.

 

You can see that lovely glow very well in some of the strong highlights in the pictures that you have been posted, very nice indeed! 

 

Best!


  • 0

#48 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19769 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 02 March 2015 - 05:10 PM

WEEK FOUR

 

When we finished Week Three, we had nine days left in the schedule, which meant that the last week was only four days for 24 total.  This week was scheduled to be the bulk of our day exterior work dealing with the crash on a bridge and the aftermath involving the emergency crews.  There are only two road bridges with an overhead metal structure in the area, both north of the city, and one is too busy to allow any traffic stoppage for filming.  So we were at one that ran through a state park and small community area, but even that was busy enough to only allow intermittent traffic control (ITC).

 

Due to icy weather and dangerous driving conditions in the area, we had to postpone shooting for three days, then work three days, taking only one day off (today) and then finishing the movie in six days next week.

 

We still have one day left in a parking lot to shoot the major angles of the car crash stunt against a green screen, otherwise we finished the accident and aftermath sequence, which was a major accomplishment since it turned out that having to let traffic flow past us on the narrow two-lane bridge intermittently cost us a large portion of the time we could be working.

 

We started the day in a side parking lot next to the bridge next to the working trucks and base camp -- since the wrecked car was covered with a plastic tarp by the emergency workers, we could shoot under the tarp with the wreck parked somewhere off of the bridge.  We had this idea to shoot some of the shots of the police and emergency workers talking from inside the car looking out through the plastic.  I switched from the 6 mil plastic sheet used over the car to a 3 mil sheet for the camera to look through.  Since you could still make out the pine trees surrounding the parking lot, when you would have seen the open sky above the lake that the bridge passes over, the grips put a 12x20 Day Blue behind the actors.  It was too hot when hit by the sun, so we clocked it until it became shaded.

90M14.jpg

 

Then we moved the wreck onto the bridge and shot a scene where a sheriff looks around the wreck for signs of life.  Since this scene was proceeded by one of our scenes in Heaven, I had the sheriff start by flaring the lens with a flashlight, and I sprinkled water on the lens.  We can use the bright light to create a transition in editing.

90M16.jpg

 

After the winter storm that delayed us, now I had partially sunny skies to deal with on the bridge, which runs east-west.  So besides breaking the shots into whether we had to look towards the east or west end of the bridge in terms of trying to stay in backlight when possible, that also helped us in terms of equipment since everyone had to park their gear along one lane of the bridge, behind camera, and then flip everything to the other end of the bridge when we turned to look the opposite way.

 

We got a Technocrane for one day in order to shoot a shot where the camera cranes into the air away from the wreck, so I also used it for a low-angle push in onto the wrecked car just moments after the crash. The telescoping arm allowed me to float over the broken debris on the ground and end up on the steam rising from the cracked radiator, which gave us another transition point.  I shot this at 60 fps with a 90 degree shutter angle to make the rain drops more crisp.

90M15.jpg

 

In another short dialogue scene between a police officer and an emergency worker, we shot it as a reflection in a car mirror lying on the ground.  It just seemed better to keep elements of the aftermath feeling a little surreal, which is why on some shots I sprinkled water on the lens, which not only reminded you that it had just rained but it also gives the impression of broken glass.

90M17.jpg

 

We created a second LUT for this section of the movie that was a little harsher and desaturated.

 

The third and final day of the week was mostly spent on a process trailer doing the driving scenes before the crash, plus another driving scene.


  • 0

#49 Miguel Angel

Miguel Angel
  • Sustaining Members
  • 772 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Spain / Ireland / South Africa

Posted 02 March 2015 - 06:34 PM

The sequences above mentioned (on the bridge) have me intrigued, I love the images and I can't wait to see it edited to know how you transitioned between the shots, specially the one with the flares and the one in the car mirror.

Did you choose to have it desaturated because of the scene in Heaven or it was a stylistic decision if you don't mind me asking?

I always forget to say something about ARRIRAW. In the movie I'm working on at the moment we are shooting on ARRIRAW crop mode and apparently it is easier to handle and a bit cheaper because you don't need a lot of cards so maybe you can explore that path for your next movie!

Have a good day and congratulations (almost!)!
  • 0

#50 Rafael Rivera

Rafael Rivera
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 121 posts
  • Director
  • San Jose, CA

Posted 03 March 2015 - 12:55 PM

David, where can I send you a case of wine for generously sharing your wealth of knowledge? I still remember following all your posts on Manure... 


  • 0

#51 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19769 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 03 March 2015 - 06:37 PM

If ARRIRAW "crop" mode means cropping to 2.40, I'm not sure I'd use it (though if I shot anamorphic, I wouldn't have any reframing ability either) -- since I am shooting spherical, it's too useful in post to have the extra vertical information to fix headroom issues or make a better 16x9 full-frame HDTV version for broadcast.

 

The script describes Heaven as having a warm light, so I'm planning on a sort of sunset effect for that lighting, so it made sense that the rain storm and car crash that is intercut with Heaven should be cold, plus it helps emphasize the weather aspects.  The slightly skip-bleach look for the crash is just a feeling I have, we aren't locked into it (we are recording log), I just wanted dailies to have a little more harshness to the look for those scenes because it seemed dramatically correct.


  • 0

#52 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4161 posts
  • Other
  • Went over the edge... Central Europe

Posted 07 March 2015 - 12:08 PM


I always forget to say something about ARRIRAW. In the movie I'm working on at the moment we are shooting on ARRIRAW crop mode and apparently it is easier to handle and a bit cheaper because you don't need a lot of cards so maybe you can explore that path for your next movie!
 

 

The other low budget Alexa option which I seem to remember is in the latest SUP now is the 3.2K ProRes mode:

 

http://www.redsharkn...e-arri-alexa-xt

 

Freya


Edited by Freya Black, 07 March 2015 - 12:09 PM.

  • 0

#53 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19769 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 07 March 2015 - 12:20 PM

Good news but it does mean renting the XT version of the Alexa.

I like the idea of recording 3.2K for a 2K finish because it will help with visual efx and any shots that need stabilizing or reframing.
  • 0

#54 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4161 posts
  • Other
  • Went over the edge... Central Europe

Posted 07 March 2015 - 05:25 PM

Good news but it does mean renting the XT version of the Alexa.

I like the idea of recording 3.2K for a 2K finish because it will help with visual efx and any shots that need stabilizing or reframing.

 

That's true, the Amira also has a UHD ProRes mode too now which might be handy for working at the indie level but I suspect the older Alexas may have the easiest availability and be cheapest to rent.

 

Freya


  • 0

#55 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19769 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 12 March 2015 - 08:08 PM

WEEK FIVE (FINAL)

 

Because of weather problems on the previous week, we only worked three days then, had one day off, and then worked six days straight to finish the movie.  The final week broke down into three days at three different churches, one day in a parking lot with rain machines and a green screen to do the car crash on the bridge, one day in a motel room and at a fast food restaurant, and then the final day on a stage using a green cyc for the Heaven sequence.

 

I'm not going to post any photos of the green screen work since it's unfinished and not interesting by itself.

 

The first church we shot that week was a nice Georgian-style chapel with high windows on both sides.  I originally planned on having streaks of warm morning sunlight coming in, but because the day exterior portion of the scene was shot on a rainy day with umbrellas, I didn't feel it made sense to have a lot of hard sunlight in the chapel scene. Plus we were denied permission to use a smoke machine so I wouldn't have gotten any shafts of light.  So my next thought was to use only the soft available light that day, even though it was rather dim being an overcast rainy day.  So I turned off all of the lights in the room and noticed that the natural daylight didn't really reach the altar where the main character was standing.  So I ended up shining an 18K HMI through an 8x8 frame of Light Grid Cloth through one window aimed at the altar to bring up that area.  This shot was a slow dolly in through the front doors (inside a lobby, not outdoors) into the chapel on a 21mm Master Prime with a 1/8 Black Frost.  I think at ISO 500, I was at an f/2.8:

90M18.jpg

 

I'm skipping the next church on our schedule, a small one in the countryside. Two days later we were in a huge church with giant windows, with the whole room being on the second floor.  On the south side of the building, where the sun would come through most of the day, I had a parking lot where we could park an 80' Condor with two 18K HMI's on it.  At the distance of the parking lot to the windows, and the huge size of the windows, I knew that only two 18K's would create any sort of effect in the room.  I was planning on just dealing with the real sun tracking through the windows, the 18K's were mainly to spot light one area if necessary.  On the day, I got lucky again with heavy overcast, so now my 18K's could actually create a sunlight effect, at least through two of the windows.  I put 1/2 CTO on them to warm them up and was able to smoke up the room.  But because the angle of the condor didn't give me a backlight in some of the seats we wanted to use for the characters, I ended up putting a 1.8K HMI PAR on the second floor balcony, coming in at an angle close to the windows so it looked like some spot of sunlight that fell further into the room.

 

You can see the effect of the 18K HMI coming through the window here:

90M19.jpg

For fill, I had an HMI Source-4 Leko bouncing into an 8x8 white sheet hung on a crossbar rig ("T-bone").  Again, ISO 500 with a 1/8 Black Frost, I think on a 40mm.  With the overcast weather, holding detail outside the window was easy.

 

Also, this angle was lit with the HMI's through the window as well:

90M20.jpg

Besides the HMI Leko bounce into an 8x8 white cloth near the altar, most of the fill comes from the opposite windows in the room.  I put a 1x1 LitePanel on the floor near the wheelchair so the wheels were visible.

 

But this one was backlight by the 1.8K HMI on the balcony:

90M21.jpg

Fill, besides the ambience from all the windows, came from bouncing the HMI Leko off of the floor in front of the chair.

 

We spent a day in a parking lot doing the actual car crash against a green screen. I picked this frame because the truck driving over the car was blocking the green screen.  We shot this at 60 fps with a 45 degree shutter:

90M22.jpg

 

Finally, a small shot -- this is an insert in the car. I wanted the effect of the pattern of water running down the window to play on the insert, after trying a 4K HMI backed way up, I ended up using an HMI Source-4 Leko to get the hard pattern (easier to see in the moving footage):

90M23.jpg

I didn't actually use the car window, since the insert was so tight we put the papers on a car seat sitting in the parking lot, tented with floppies, and I put a pane of glass right next to the papers and ran water down the glass.


  • 0

#56 Bill DiPietra

Bill DiPietra
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2339 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New York City

Posted 13 March 2015 - 09:13 AM

Just getting into this thread now, but I've read every post and this is amazing work, David.  It clearly looks like you've taken it up to another level.  On a personal note, this is a film I will be very interested in seeing, as an emergency medical technician and a filmmaker.  Ironically, my most recent short has a similar theme - the spiritual journey of an EMT as he fights against Death every night.

 

My favorite shots are the ones of the car on this page.  Not only are they gorgeous, but they tell a story on their own.  The epitome of visual storytelling.  Congratulations and thanks for all the information!  I learned a bunch!


  • 0

#57 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19769 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 13 March 2015 - 09:58 AM

The website for the movie is up and has a few behind-the-scenes shots in the video:

http://90minutesinheaventhemovie.com


  • 0

#58 Chris Burke

Chris Burke
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1675 posts
  • Boston, MA

Posted 14 March 2015 - 08:18 AM

I am curious what is meant by "faith based". is it because of the themes of the story or is it where the money comes from to make the movie? it's just because I haven't heard that term before. there are many movies which deal with spiritual and religious themes Where that term has not been applied.
  • 0

#59 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19769 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 14 March 2015 - 10:13 AM

It's a term that has developed over the past few years, sometimes describing a movie financed by Christian business people with Christian themes and marketed to Christian audiences, but with the hope of a wider audience coming in.  "Seven Days in Utopia" was also produced in this way.  I just saw a trailer for a movie called "Do You Believe?" which is also an example of this genre.  Some of these movies are more overtly religious than others, and some have more crossover appeal to mainstream audiences than others.  Some would call "Heaven is For Real" a faith-based movie even though it was made by a studio -- so the term is rather loose.  I'm sure the same questions are asked in the publishing business since some of the books that these movies have been based on were best-sellers.


  • 0

#60 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4161 posts
  • Other
  • Went over the edge... Central Europe

Posted 17 March 2015 - 10:56 AM

I am curious what is meant by "faith based". is it because of the themes of the story or is it where the money comes from to make the movie? it's just because I haven't heard that term before. there are many movies which deal with spiritual and religious themes Where that term has not been applied.

 

In my experience this is mostly used to refer to a genre of films. You know like you have horror or sci-fi etc.

"Faith based" tends to mean movies that have Christian themes behind them (but I guess it could be other faiths too!)

 

There has been a lot of success in this realm more recently hence movies like Noah and Exodus getting the green light in the hope that Christians will take an interest but that there might be the possibility to take it to an even wider market as well.

 

Freya


  • 0


Paralinx LLC

Aerial Filmworks

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineTape

FJS International, LLC

Ritter Battery

The Slider

Abel Cine

Glidecam

Metropolis Post

Rig Wheels Passport

CineLab

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Opal

Technodolly

rebotnix Technologies

Willys Widgets

Wooden Camera

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Tai Audio

FJS International, LLC

CineTape

Wooden Camera

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Technodolly

Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Paralinx LLC

CineLab

Aerial Filmworks

Metropolis Post

Tai Audio

rebotnix Technologies

Glidecam

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

The Slider

Ritter Battery

Visual Products

Willys Widgets

Opal

Rig Wheels Passport