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Remnant-13


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#1 Jay Young

Jay Young
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Posted 22 March 2017 - 03:30 PM

Wrapping up weeks of prep for a pilot, turned feature + Webseries, Remnant-13 will begin shooting next Friday. 

 

Remnant-13 is a zombie show, but instead of drawing from the existing literature, this show takes aim at showing the very initial causes and concerns of a single family.  One of the reasons I signed onto the project was the fact that it wasn't a typical zombie show, and didn't play into that realm of standard tropes.  Zombies will be seen, but the director has make huge leaps to stay very clear in vision, and decidedly away from the competition (in Atlanta...).  Because of the focus on the family, and not reliant on interactions with 'monster of the week' storylines, I was very happy to shoot this show. 

 

Originally poised as a television pilot, funding and distribution didn't come as expected, however the producers turned it around and now we are set to shoot a feature, and five 20-minute web specials that will contain material not available in the feature film.  Interesting stuff. 

 

The director and I sat down and watched the gamut of available zombie pictures, and the director said he wanted something very different, very pointed, "hyper-real", super sharp and visceral, even in the more tender moments.  To that end, we tested a number of cameras and settings.  Due to budget limitations, and because I felt the color was good enough, this project will use all Blackmagic cameras.   Our lighting tests, ultimately with the directors blessing are decidedly old school - mostly hard lighting with a large tungsten package, a few HMI's, and little diffusion.  Deep focus was the visual cue that the director sent my way, which I was very excited to do - I pulled up some Dougie Slocombe to show the director, when he jumped out of his chair and exclaimed "That's the look!"

 

The director wanted a more cinematic or cinema leaning television pilot, so we elected to shoot 1.85, however now that we are going theatrical, I feel there is no argument to be made. The producers are want to have the whole screen filled, so there was a bit of gentle coaxing between them and the director.  

 

Our camera settings make most of our young/green crew raise an eyebrow:  Shooting iso 400, native on the 4K sensors, and at a 45-degree shutter, with a working stop of T8.  There are a few key bedroom scenes the director would like to go a bit washed out on, where I might open up the shutter as there isn't much movement and I don't have that many maxi brutes.  In September we shot a teaser at night, in the rain, with one HMI and a few 650w and 150w fresnels.  This is what really got the fire lit under everyone, and now we are ready to go! 

 

I was trying to find the sharpest lens I could to exaggerate the look, but sadly the Leica R's were not available in time, so I am going with a mixture of XEEN primes, and Zeiss zooms. If the 21-100mm LWZ.3 actually arrives by next Friday, I'll use it.  If not, then I have a backup Zeiss 28-80mm T2.9 waiting.  And, since we're shooting a deep stops, I don't really have to worry about how fast they are (something else that confuses the crew)!  The Zeiss isn't quite as sharp as I would like it, but I am hoping the perceived sharpness gained from the increased contrast, and hard lighting, will convince audience viewers that the picture is actually sharper than reality.  I had good luck with the 2.5K Blackmagic tests we shot in September, and the hard lighting really adds to the feeling of sharpness.  The only worrying thing is how much haze to add, as we have tested various amounts, and will be the real key to make all the lighting and sharpness play together.  Not using any filtration on this show. 

 

We are shooting in Bowling Green, Kentucky - with Red Star Pictures Louisville, The Camera Department Cincinnati, and Lensrentals Nashville providing the gear.  

 

I'm not sure how much I'll be able to discuss during the production other than the basic technical details, however it does say in my contract that I am able to use still images, so I'll provide those as I am able. 


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#2 Jay Young

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 10:14 AM

Wrapping up week one - 

 

Day EXT shots, lots of background actors and vehicle moves.  

 

I was able to get the Zeiss 21-100mm LWZ.3.   This lens proved to be very kind to work with, very flat, true, no color issues and performed as would be expected; just sort of neutral. 

All of the images are ungraded, and I can't remember if the DIT put a Rec709 on the dailies or not. 

Here you can see how it compared to the XEEN lenses. 

 

fXpRhk2.png Q4z3vfD.png

 

These images are pulled from the dailies, and I can't recall if they have Rec709 applied or not.  Anyhow, very interesting how the Zeiss lens (on left) has a more green while the Rokinon XEEN has a bit more red.  Only one of the Zeiss zooms was available, and I liked it very much.  Here there are two 5k's just lifting the side of the talents' face (camera right), being pushed through 1/4 CTS about 10 feet away.  A 6x6 and two 4x floppies were setup to block reflection on the shiny black car and add just a touch of negative fill in a particular blocking move on the left side of this frame.

 

On location two we were able to get some very nice images.  

 

tNo2RHjl.jpg

 

I forgot the eyelight on the turnaround, which was due to trying to cram too much into one day.  However I am pleased with this.  In this above image there is a mini 9-light with about 6 globes burning - due to distro issues - and a 5K fresnel outside the window in this kitchen.  The house had very interesting window shutter/blinds that would open and provide a lovely diffusion, or close to be pulled up.  We ended up pulling all the blinds in this scene to keep our light levels.  

 

Inside there is a 2K fresnel with a heavy orange gel (Tobacco I believe), a 650w fresnel providing some frontal fill, and two 1k open face just out of frame on the right positioned about 8-feet apart.   Of course there are things I wish I had time to do, but the producer and director wanted to move so fast and we were falling behind I had to make sacrafices - I only hope we might be able to nudge these time-issues in color. 

 

8VSLdQyl.png

 

The location house was situated in such a way that the actual sun wouldn't work for very long in the position we wanted, so we supplemented with 5k's.   The art department really outdid themselves for this scene, making an angsty teen's bedroom in about 2-days.  Wonderful work!  This scene was lit with a 5k fresnel outside the window seen above just to lift the room a bit and blow out since we didn't need to see outside.

 

The actress in the frame grab is walking past a closet with an open face 2K blasted into the ceiling, and flagged to create the effect that the ceiling fan/lamp were working overhead.  

 

Q648crfl.png

 

Here we see the opposite side of the room, where the actual sun is being lifted into the room via a 12x bounce.  Those curtains proved to be awesome - well, I loved the color they gave off, others were less impressed on the turnaround as they made the faces too pink.  There is a very light pink sheer material behind the curtains which adds more diffusion.  This was a very complex stedicam move in which the producers wanted certain things to be seen on screen for digital wizardry to happen in association with some kind of web/internet connectivity or interaction.  This took the largest part of our day. 

 

aklwGQzl.png

 

Here is how the pink curtains interacted with the scene.  In motion, with the windows open the curtains had a nice breeze gently move them so its not continually dark in that corner.  It really is quite lovely. 

 

 

I never felt hindered with only having 12-stops of dynamic range.  Shooting at an effective iso of 100 did take some adjusting in certain situations, and only once did we have to move back to a 180-degree shutter and go wide open on the lens (T3.1 on the 14mm XEEN).  

 

Other than that, I was happy, gaffer liked playing with big lamps, director was smiling. 


Edited by Jay Young, 05 April 2017 - 10:16 AM.

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#3 Jay Young

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 07:31 AM

For week No.3, we were all indoors in a real clinic/hospital type place, and the head Doctor/Owner was fantastic to work with, really gave us the run of the place. 

 

The director wanted a Super Secret Futuristic Hi-Tech clinic look, and flares.  We opted to go Anamorphic for this shoot, as the previous had been shot spherical and they wanted a completely different look.  We had been talking about this particular shoot location for a long while and always knew we wanted to go Anamorphic here, however I suspected when the producers saw the footage, they would want to keep the anamorphic, so I framed the first week of spherical shooting so we could crop if needed.  

 

The electric team really enjoyed lighting the clinic location, as we had a bunch of LED sources of various types and a few small tungsten fresnels (never leave home without them).  We also had three S60 Lightpanels.  These things are very cool.  

 

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The 10-blade Decagon iris made its appearance every now and then, which was cool.   

 

Because of budget constraints, and location issues, we were on house power only.  Luckily the rental house had made a mistake and did not have the lenses I requests, so they sent us a set of LOMO SuperSpeeds which opened to T1.6.  The 35mm in the set is just about the most complex lens from the 70's I have ever seen.   I didn't even know there was such a thing, but this allowed be to shoot around T2.8 for the whole week which was fantastic.  It's not my ideal situation, but it worked out in our favor.   I had requested the original round front LOMO anamorphic set, as I felt the flare characteristic and skin tones would lend itself well to this story.  

 

 

 

 


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#4 Jay Young

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 02:22 PM

Shooting for the next 5 days.  Switching to RED cameras, which I have never used before - looking forward to it!  

Ditched the old LOMO's for Rehoused Vantage Hawk Lomo's... 


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