SPOILER ALERT! Please see the movie first as there are some photos that can spoil the viewing and reveal the end.
No more. My first short movie after a long time and as I can tell the first short movie that was shot on Sony’s new camera NEX-FS700. Everything fell together perfectly. I wanted to test the new car mount rig, my friend Polona got the car over the weekend and Sony wanted me to test its new camera. Why not combine all this things in one story. No slow motions, just a couple of friends, nice car and some romance. I did try the car rig before to check good mounting points on the car, I went to check the locations for our shoot, so when the day arrived we were prepared.
I mainly used the new lens from SLR Magic HiperPrime CINE T0.95 for the romantic scenes as it is perfect for this kind of stuff. Soft backgrounds, creamy bokeh. The lens was also very kind to the skin. I really enjoyed working with it. I put an old lens gear from shoot35 on the lens as the lens has quite small radius and using zip gears from Half Inch Rails wouldn’t be enough for Genus Follow Focus to make contact with the lens. I also used Fader ND on the lens for finer control of the exposure in relation with the build in NDs. SmallHD DP4 EVF helped me with the critical focus on razor thin depth of filed as everything was shot at T0.95. The camera was rigged on Half Inch Rails S2 Run ‘n’ Gun rig and placed on the new Manfrotto 504HD head which performed perfectly.
Tjaša Kokalj was in charge for the make up and I was really pleased with her work. She is very helpful in front of the lens and also behind the camera so I was really glad she joined our caravan.
The first location turned out not to be perfect for our shoot. The wind started blowing really hard and after two hours we need to find a new location if we wanted to shoot anything. This set us back for a few hours and I was a bit afraid that we couldn’t shoot the whole thing in time. Luckily we quickly found the new location an shooting continued. Of course I couldn’t use any footage from the previous location.
The car was waiting for its time to come so that it could show its acting abilities.
As we were short on time I didn’t complicated the shots with dolly moves and so I operated mainly from the tripod. Polona and Anže who are not real actors turned out to be the perfect choice as they acted better as I would expected. They are not a couple and they had to act quite a difficult intimate scene. But who would complain lying on the blanket in the beautiful scenery, cuddling and caressing each other. (: Even the fight scenes didn’t present any problems for them. Men obviously have a natural gift for strangling women and women have it in their blood how to hit a man with a stone. (:
I had to coach the actors on some action shots as I had a vision how would everything look at the end. They didn’t need any instruction with romantic scenes.
We had overcast weather which was not perfect for scenery shots but was perfect for medium and close up shots as the light was diffused. We did fill the shadows a bit on some shots with Photoflex LitePanels.
We continued to our next scene as soon as we finished the first. This was the last scene in the movie when we found out that she actually killed him and now needs a place to bury him. It would be easier if he would be chopped to pieces as he barely fit into the trunk but we managed somehow.
The day was nearing the end and we needed to shoot all our car shots with her. I quickly rigged the camera to the car and we started shooting. Here I used the kit lens as it has a optical stabilizer and it is versatile enough for the quick style shooting I did here as we needed to end before the sunset. I would need another suction cup for better stabilization as the camera did wobble a little and there are more mounting points on the handle of the camera. Maybe next time, now that I know.
Some configurations are sturdier than others and you really need to test them all and try different angles to achieve the best results. High school physics did help a bit here.
For the last shots I needed to shot the car from the ground. Here I used a Glidetrack SD slider as the camera is small and light enough. We were lucky we had walkie talkies as we needed to communicate when and how I needed the car to drive by me.
At the end we finished on time and I think we did a good job. So a big thanks to Polona Kostjukovskij, Anže Likozar, Tjaša Kokalj and Dino Schreilechner. No slow motions were harmed during the production of this movie.
Photos: © 2012 Dino Schreilechner and Tjaša Kokalj.
We have also shoot some behind the scenes footage that will be edited as soon as I can.
UPDATE: I forgot to tell you more about the postproduction of the shots.
I edited and color graded the footage in Final Cut Pro X. The footage graded perfectly as I was using Frank’s picture profile (Black level +2, Gamma Cine2, Black gamma – range middle, level -2, Knee – point 105%, slope 0, Color mode – type Cinema, level 8, Color level +2, Color phase -2, Color depth – R 0, G 0, B 0, C 0, M 0, Y 0, WB shift – all 0, Detail - level 0). There was some little amount of stabilization dialed in, but not much as I don’t like the appearance of wobble in the shots. Music was composed in the GarageBand on the iPad. I am really starting to like this combo for creating short songs for my videos. I recorded the voice of my lovely girlfriend on Tascam DR-100 with Røde NTG-2 microphone. Audio was also mastered in Final Cut Pro X if you can call it being mastered there as there is a big gap to be filled there in the software.
If you want to see how this idea about a girl and her car come to be you can check the photo shoot I did with Polona a few months ago with the same car.