Archive

Wednesday
Jul252012

Camera Warfare

 My friend Devin Graham has been really succesful with his youtube channel. A while back he orchestrated this huge project and wanted me out doing dirt and grit makeup. It was a huge undertaking with some other really really talented visionary film people. The players included Freddy and Brandon from freddieW and a whole bunch of WWII reenactment soldiers. I got them looking right using a combination of cream and pancake makeup applied with randomly shaped sponges to break up edges. I dusted them off with fuller's earth to finish each one. The idea was to get each player looking as if he'd been on the ground behind enemy lines for weeks. It was pretty challenging work doing so many characters that fast. I've got close ups of some of the guys here.

 

Tuesday
Jul172012

Dr. Fubalous Episode 2

Here are some of my favorite stills from Episode 2. The one of Maude Cakes, played by Glozelle Green, choking to death isn't explained in my video but was accomplished using the same techniques. I could see they'd made her lips bluer with makeup. I showed Scott Winn some samples. He liked it. So I went ahead and turned her skin pale blue all through the choking scene.

You can watch the entire video below the stills.

 


 

Saturday
Jul072012

Entrata Braveheart Spot- artificial lighting techniques

Vignettes have the power to direct the eye more dramatically than any other method- 

until they're noticeable. 

Then they're shlock. 

 

example of bad vignettes: Wherever You Go

I shot this through a canon AE1 camera body with a badly vignietted focusing screen.

 But with the ability to track windows (attach them to elements within the shot) and animate opacity, a good colorist can make them invisible. This is one of my favorite features in DaVinci Resolve. 

 To get the look right in this spot, I needed some power windows to bring down the background and focus the shots. With a static camera on a tripod this would be really simple, but some of these are handheld. So as soon as the camera bumps around organically it looks like somebody's smudged ink on the lens. 

 To marry them to the shots I had to track the backgrounds, but the default tracker sets points inside the window you've created. If an arm moves across any point, it starts tracking their hand instead of the background and you've lost it. So I needed to set my own points on the background where no arms or heads would cross. 

Once the windows were tracked to the background I feathered off the edges and opacity to hide them. Whenever you start creating artificial lighting, subtlety is key. I always end up lowering my key mixing gain(or opacity in english) once I've got an effect working the way I want through a shot. Its how I lower a node's impact without messing up other settings.

I've also got highlight punches pulled on most of the character's faces to draw attention to their reactions in the wider shots and to make the overall blue gray look match without effecting skin tone and hair color. 

Here's one of the referance shots to compare

 

Wednesday
Jun272012

Still I Strive

I just recently finished coloring this beautiful story about children in a Cambodian orphanage and their journey to perform before the royal family. This was a touching project to work on. Cambodia has suffered a cripplingly violent past. There are many orphans. Working on something so important is pretty humbling.

This project was colored on a limited budget. The director told me that since it was documentary it didn't need to be perfect. Mainly he just wanted the night segments to be visable and for the narrative portions to be as polished as I could get them in such a short amount of time. But as I started working through the images I was struck by how good the story was. I couldn't see the subtitels or hear the audio, but I could feel it. So I went ahead and did as much extra matching and polishing as time would allow. Its at that level where I forget what I'm doing and just focus in on the work. When its that good, you can't not make it your best work.

The trailer below was cut before I worked on it, so I've included some stills to show how I got things looking. This was really special to be a part of. I don't think I can take much credit for polishing something that already shines.







Here's the Trailer:

Friday
Jun012012

The Hungry Games

It's easy to assume the way a movie looks is just the way it would look if you were standing there on set... but it's not.

The look of a movie is designed to put you there emotionally. It's that psychological texturing that transforms cinematography, art, visual effects and performance into human experience. You're no longer "seeing" a movie. You are "IN" the movie. That's the challenge and triumph of post production color.

So for The Hungry Games, a short parody trailer I colored for Deseret Book's Pretty Darn Funny web series I grabbed some reference stills from The Hunger Games trailer and went to work.