The other Gotham City

Wholesome and Charming

It’s another production weekend. Another night to be spent creating a dystopian, cyberpunk future.

Our first set of dailies was well received when we screened them for the class. This project is beginning to gain some notoriety outside of our section as being “that sci-fi movie” and “the one with the robot with the glowing mouth” based on some screenshots that were posted to Facebook. It’s exciting to know that people are actually excited to see the film that you are working on.

Last weekend was the difficult weekend: two long, back-to-back days involving a lot of set decorating, lighting, and careful shot planning; so by comparison this weekend should be reasonably straightforward, but I don’t want to get lazy either. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that a straightforward dialogue scene is going to translate into a straightforward shoot.

The biggest challenge that I suspect we will be facing will be one of lighting. The scene takes place outdoors in an alley at night, so we will be shooting outdoors in an alley at night (don’t worry, Mom, it’s a safe alley). We scouted the location during the day and then went back at night to see what kind of lighting we would have on hand. There is a single light over a doorway that gives off a wonderfully awful yellow light: you never appreciate “ugly” light as much as you do when you’re trying to establish a gritty, neo-noir underworld.

While yellow sodium light is perfect for a gritty underworld, it isn’t really the right color for the scene: The scene is blue. The main character is completely depressed-  literally and figuratively on the brink of descending into hell in search of his lost wife. The director wants the light to reflect this, which makes sense, but my dilemma is going to be finding a way to add light to a scene without access to any electrical outlets.

To this end, we borrowed a “pizza light” from our cinematography professor: an LED fixture that be created out of two strips of LED lights and a clean, cardboard pizza box. It’s a brilliant piece of MacGyver equipment that I can’t wait to try out. It is difficult to know if it will give us the effect that we need for the scene, but I’m interested to experiment with it.



~ by Gwydhar Gebien on April 11, 2014.

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