Tag: sad story

Directing, Editing, Winter Storm Short

Winter Storm Sound Pick Ups

June 1, 2012

Yesterday was an interesting day. Running around in Griffith Park with a sound recordist and an actor, wearing winter hunting gear, is always fun. Waiting on planes, trains and automobiles to pass is not as much. Actually, omit the ‘trains’ part and replace it with buses and circling helicopters. No doubt, LA is a noisy city.

Griffith Park

Still, it was a beautiful day and we grabbed everything I needed for ADR. We didn’t really record much, just some SFX and a few missing lines, but even that took us a couple of hours. Many thanks to Travis Brown and William Stamey for making it happen.

Winter Storm Sound Pick Ups

Directing, Editing, Winter Storm Short

The Colors of Winter Storm

May 22, 2012

Once I was finished with the rough cut, I wanted to address the color issues I had from using two very different cameras and from shooting in unpleasantly great weather. This SoCal winter was the hottest one we had, sometimes above 80˚F, in the past 100 years! How was that supposed to look cold? I went to see my colorist, James Knott, and we spent a few hours on examining the project. He confirmed that it was going to be a rough ride. He could only make it work, he always does somehow, if we made realistic decisions about the look and came up with ideas to create an authentic winter feel. I believe I have a few of those ideas up in my sleeve…

Shortly after our meeting, I received a few reference frames from James. They are pretty rough, but good enough to get things rolling.

Winter Storm Color Ex1

As a starting point, I chose the very last frames of both examples. This process seems to work the best for me. It tones down the bright spots and desaturates the colors, which helps us to convey a colder feel. I think it’ll look spectacular, once James starts cranking and I throw some After Effects magic at it at the very end.

Winter Storm Color Ex2

Directing, Editing, Winter Storm Short

Winter Storm Pick Ups

April 22, 2012

Finally, it was time to get the rest of the shots needed to complete Winter Storm. It’s been way too long and waiting for this moment has been just as agonizing as the hardship I’ve encountered throughout making of this film. Right after principal photography, I lost my lead actor to a theater play in LA, then he performed in New York and he did all of this clean shaven. He started to grow his beard as soon as he returned to LA. He was 3 weeks into the beard growing process when the film’s DP suddenly became available too. I had to seize the moment.

I knew we couldn’t get the ARRI Alexa again (I’m not that lucky), so I started to search for a Canon 5D. Knowing the shots inside and out, I felt that I could get away with a semi-grown beard and a lesser quality camera. I also felt that color correction will be an additional headache, but we’ll deal with that later. Bottom line, I had to get my shots. We went out early in the morning and shot a bunch of different takes for the hunting and searching scenes. We grabbed some details, shot at different angles, long and medium shots and we also played with the pacing of the takes. I had a list of insert shots for other purposes, such as compositing, so we grabbed those as well. Even I was able to shoot a decent amount of footage, which is always fun and working with a word class DP you tend to pick up cool tricks. The stuff they don’t teach in film schools.

Winter Storm

As you can see above, my biggest obstacle is the weather. It looks too bright (again!) for any kind of storm, not to mention a winter storm. It’ll be a laborious color correction process to tone down the sunshine in the footage. I have a few ideas on how to create a cold environment and I’ll revisit the issue soon with a nice little example. Stay tuned.

Directing, Winter Storm Short

Sound? Speed. Camera? Rolling. Slate? Slate???

January 19, 2012

Apple had saved the day again. We didn’t have a slate on the last day of our shoot and I’ve only realized this after all of us have climbed a rocky hillside with the full camera package (lenses and sticks included). Sound and camera were already synced up through a click-box, so we were ‘jamming’, but I felt that some visual reference was still needed. Didn’t need to worry much as Harrison pulled out his iPhone and loaded up an app called iSlate. I was blown away. Apparently it doesn’t take much, but still…

slating with iPhone

Designed by ibuiltthis, iSlate has been around since 2008, so I was a little baffled as why I didn’t already know about its existence. Especially because there are a few apps out there for the iPhone and iPad, most notably the beefed up Movie*Slate.

slating with iPhone

I guess the question is: is it the real deal? No, but it’s pretty close and super convenient. iSlate is especially helpful when all you want to have is a sound reference and some basic numbering sequence for your takes. Changing scene and take numbers is fast and easy and now as I’m going through my files I can appreciate it having it on the set even more. I have clean reference frames and iSlate has made the first steps of post-production a lot easier.

Directing, Winter Storm Short

As The Winter Sets In

January 16, 2012

My short drama, titled Winter Storm, is finally in-production. This intimate father and son tale tracks the morning of their first hunting trip together. I was excited to share a few Winter Storm storyboard frames a while back so I’m definitely very happy to finally reach the point of beginning.

Winter Storm

We have created a Winter Storm Facebook page to ramp up some support. We’ll be documenting our progress there, so check it periodically. Heck, hit the ‘like’ button if you’re in the mood for it, you know we appreciate it!

I must return to the work that lies ahead, but let me leave you with the words of Willa Cather: “There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.”

Winter Storm Short

A Winter Scene (cont’d.)

August 13, 2010

Here are a few frames from the final renders. Matt did an awesome job and I’m very pleased with the end results. LB, who’s going to be producing this gem, has already compiled the shot and prop lists. I’m halfway into assembling the animatics and once it’s done it’ll come in handy for finding/creating a nice soundtrack. (Either that, or it will help us find a decent composer.) I’m also tinkering with the opening scene, which will be composited into the first shot, and playing with some motion graphic design ideas for the end credits.

winter story-final render

Winter Storm Short

A Winter Scene

August 11, 2010

I have a new short film I’ve been working on for a while now and I’m really seeing it come together. Just a month after my story was registered, the storyboards are nearing completion, thanks to Matthew Merenda. Here are some prelimenary frames and I’ll post some of the final renders soon. Much more work to be done before the actual shoot at the end of this year, but I’m excited as hell.
winter story-story board