Yesterday, I had a change of pace and directed a teaser trailer as a proof of concept for a short film (though I have additional story elements already in place so I could easily turn it into a feature). My friend had built a set for another movie that I was set to shoot when the production suddenly shut down and the movie was canceled. Since the set was due to be dismantled at the end of this month, we thought it a shame it hadn't been used and decided to shoot a small project on it.
With little warning that we had access to the set before being taken down, this shoot was kind of a last minute thing, so rather than having auditions for casting, I went with some actor friends of mine that I knew would be great. I wrote a short trailer script based on an idea I've been tossing around for a while, and got my actors all on board. Then I spent this past week tracking down wardrobe, generating character breakdowns for the actors, and drawing up storyboards. Nick Forte, my usual 1st AC (and sometimes camera operator), does DP work as well and we get along great, so I brought him on to shoot this for me.
We had a good time, got some great footage, and even finished out the day early (just barely). I had sent Nick some reference screengrabs from Aliens and Prometheus as the look I was going for, kind of an old, run down look with pools of light, and he did a great job giving me the dark, oppressive lighting I wanted and he got it done with a two man crew and minimal G&E kit. When I wasn't busy working with the actors, I also pitched in a hand with lighting.
Shot on RED Dragon, 5.5K WS @ 6:1 compression. A set of T2 Sony CineAlta PL lenses let us make the most of the limited lighting available. Screenshots have a quick grade on them, but may not be the final look.