Friday, June 10, 2011

Shooting a Sci-fi Thriller Guerilla Style - Part 1

This past May, I took on the challenge of making a new short film. It had been three years since I last directed a narrative film. I was itching to get back into some of my own creative work. Intrigued by the idea of making a really short film, I took on the challenge of being the director and cinematographer for this new project called “Stop.”

Here is the teaser trailer for the film, which will be released on the web on June 24:

In light of the fact that I’ve been doing a lot of cinematography work these past few years, particularly this past year with DSLR cameras, I felt it was time to get back into the work of telling an original story of my own and incorporate what I’ve been learning. I feel I’ve grown significantly in the last few years when it comes to the craft of lighting, camera placement, and editing. It can be tough as a filmmaker who is always trying to learn new skills and perfect old ones to look back at previous projects now three or four or more years in the past. I’m no longer in the place I was as an artist and a person when I made those films. Now, it’s not that I don’t enjoy those films or find merit in them, its just that in my mind’s eye, they feel dated--like looking at a picture of yourself from several years ago.

So it was high time to take on a new story as writer and director. And while I was at it, I opted to do the cinematography as well. Why? Well, take a look at the two videos below for a little more on that.

Here is a quick look at where the idea for this Sci-fi short came from:

As fellow producer and actor, Trevor C. Duke, and I prepared for this film, we opted to work with a minimal crew. We want to be light and mobile. All the exterior locations were shot with available light, with the occasional flagging or bouncing of sun light for the desired effect. Production took place over two days in early May in New England, so we of course encountered rain and continuously shifting cloud cover and changing sunlight intensity. For the interior scenes, we did light with chinese lanterns, some practicals, and a SourceFour 750w was used outside the window during our night scene.

Here is a glance at the shooting process with such a small crew:

We will be releasing “Stop” on the web for free on June 24, 2011. Please check it out, tell all your friends about it if you like it, and feel free to send me feedback. You can also rate the film and leave comments about it on IMDb:

In my next blog entry I’ll be talking more about shooting this film using Magic Lantern firmware and the new Technicolor CineStyle. In the mean time, you can learn more about “Stop” by visiting the film’s official website:

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