3.30.2015

And that's another wrap!

Today we wrapped on principle photography of the latest feature film I'm shooting.  We got to shoot in some fantastic locations, from the abandoned towns of Salton Sea and fields of grass in Malibu, to a bit on a soundstage and the basement of an old hospital.  Mostly shot handheld on a RED Epic, with some small pieces on a Panasonic GH4 riding the DJI Ronin.  While I've flown my Dragon on a Ronin, I have to admit that something small like the GH4 is much easier to hold for longer takes.

While I've already begun some basic pre-production for my next shoot, now that I'm wrapped on this I can really dig in.  Although it's a smaller project (teaser trailer for a Kickstarter campaign), it is ambitious, should be a lot of fun, and we have some really cool shots lined up.  Once that's all done, it's likely straight into another feature, currently scheduled for early May.  Gotta keep shooting!

Nothing quite like natural sun right before sunset.  That soft, golden light is beautiful.  Too bad it doesn't last a couple hours longer.

3.23.2015

CareerBuilder.com commercial

I had one day off from the feature I'm shooting, so what better thing to do than camera operate on that day?  It was a pretty easy shoot and we had 4 cameras: 2 RED Epic Dragons, a RED Epic MX, and a RED Scarlet MX.  Shot on Arri Master Primes, a Canon Cine zoom, and an Angenieux zoom, all in a candy store.

Built up my RED Dragon with an Arri Master Prime.  I think I need a set of these.

3.21.2015

On to the next one

This past week was spent out in the Salton Sea desert area shooting the first week of another feature film.  We shot in a bunch of fantastic locations, with dilapidated remains of abandoned buildings featuring heavily.  Fortunately, it wasn't too hot and we managed to get some great footage.

Most of my features to date have relied mostly on tripod and sliders, but this one the director decided to go for a handheld look.  My shoulder is a bit sore from the not-so-soft shoulder pad on the handheld rig, but I've got a Camera Comfort Cushion on the way and it should be here Monday.  I'm looking forward to shooting the next week on set, which will offer an interesting change of venue.

This guy was hanging out, watching us shoot, and wasn't afraid to pose for the camera.

One of our many broken down building locations.

Something about this location felt a bit fishy...

3.03.2015

Mystic Cosmic Patrol principle photography wrap

Well, we wrapped on the first 3 episodes of Mystic Cosmic Patrol.  It was a lot of fun seeing the hilarious script brought to life by the actors.  On our final day, it was threatening to rain and we had some outdoor scenes to shoot, but the weather ended up working out and we got everything done.  There are still some miniatures to be shot, but principle photography is done and the footage is off to the editor.

Unfortunately, the last two Nobility pickup days overlapped with this project, so I missed out on that, but it sounds like they managed to get it handled fine.  Now I've got a little down time before my next feature begins towards the end of the month if all goes to plan.  So I'll leave you with another picture that doesn't really give anything away.


2.22.2015

Mystic Cosmic Patrol week 1 complete

We wrapped our first week of shooting Mystic Cosmic Patrol.  It was all overnights, which was a bit tough to get used to, but we managed to finish on time and even got out early on the last day of the week.  Our locations are complete and now we're shooting out the rest of the episodes on our soundstage.  We're also back to regular days.

The script is funny and I've enjoyed seeing the actors bring their own comedic elements to the scenes.  Probably the most challenging aspect so far has been lighting the night exteriors with a small lighting package and G&E crew.  I always worry about trying to make the lighting look natural, but over the weekend I watched some episodes of Parks and Recreation that had nighttime exteriors and I noted that even at the budget and skill level of a larger production like that, they were also fighting against having an obvious lighting source or looking muddy, so I think I did relatively well.  I also tend to be hyper-aware of what I'm shooting because I know what and where the sources are, even though it may seem to the end viewer to be fairly natural.

It's been fun so far and I look forward to seeing the finished episodes.  With the quality of the script, I hope the show gets picked up because it's pretty wildly entertaining.  We're shooting on the RED Dragon as A-Cam, with a RED Epic serving as B-Cam, all on Canon EF lenses.  My A-Cam is kitted out with a Teradek Bolt 600, which has been fantastic, and a SmallHD DP7-LCD.  B-Cam has been rocking a Paralinx Arrow and the 1st AC has been impressed with the clarity of the Atomos Shogun monitor/recorder's 1920x1200 screen.

I can't show you any footage from the show, so here's a boring shot of the cast trailers instead.

2.12.2015

Preproduction and a shoot in Dallas

I've been busy lately with preproduction for a series pilot of a show called Mystic Cosmic Patrol, a throwback to the Japanese Power Ranger style of television, but with humor aimed more towards an adult market.  The concept and script are pretty fun, so I'm excited to get this project made.  We had a tech scout today and will begin shooting mid next week.

In between prepping for that show, I made a quick trip over to Dallas to camera operate an Asahi beer commercial.  It was a fun shoot and we got to build up my Dragon with a nice Arri/Fujinon 45-250mm lens.  My AC had a Heden Carat wireless focus unit and I was pretty impressed with the responsiveness and smoothness.  I've been looking around for a nice wireless FF, so this may have to become a piece of my kit.


1.26.2015

Nobility pickup day #1

Yesterday we got some pickup shots for Nobility.  It was a pretty easy day, as we only had a couple shots to get to cover some newly rewritten dialog.  Small crew, one set.  Our original director was not available, so our 2nd Unit Director Alex Vesely stepped in and did a great job.  We should have two more pick up days coming up in the near future.

Behind the scenes shot as Alex (right) directs Adrienne Wilkinson.