Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Free Samples

Earlier this year I had the privilege of working with director Jay Gammill and cinematographer Reed Morano (Frozen River) on the indie feature "Free Samples" that recently made its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival. The films stars, actress Jess Weixler (who made a name for herself with the indie feature "Teeth" a few years ago), Jesse Eisenberg (Social Network), Jason Ritter (NBC's parenthood), Halley Feiffer, and veteran actress Tippi Hedron (yes, THE TIPPI HEDRON from Hitchcock's classic "The Birds"). The film takes place over the course of one day, in a hot frozen yogurt truck in central LA. Check out the trailer below!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Prototype - Trailer

So a few months ago I had the privilege of working on a trailer and short film pitch for writer/director Andrew Will for his feature "The Prototype" which is currently in development with Cantina Creative, Bandito Brothers, and Variant Films. Its a sci-fi thriller with plenty of action, some amazing visual effects (courtesy of Cantina Creative) and features an appearance by one of my favorite on screen personalities, actor Neal McDonough. The principal photography on this was shot by DP Bridger Nelson on the Arri Alexa, and was an absolute treat to grade. The look we came up with plays off of a few key hues (mainly the greens, cyans, and blues) and deep rich blacks to give this world an "eerie/unsettling/futuristic-urban feel" (hows that for a description?). Check out the trailer above and hopefully you'll be seeing this in movie theaters in the not too distant future!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Anatomy of a Grade - Episode 09 - The "Bleachy Western Look"

Well, it's been a crazy 5 months since my last post here on the blog, lots of work and a bit of travel to boot have made my web updates a bit infrequent alas. BUT, I've got plenty of content to post and hopefully will be adding a number of new entries over the next two weeks here in between projects. So without further adieu, I give you the latest of the Anatomy of a Grade series:

I often get asked to do the "Beach Bypass" or "Bleach Reduction" effect in the color suite (and by often, I mean, every other day, by practically every other person). The problem is that these terms mean a million different things to a million different people and no two are ever the same. Someone may reference "Saving Private Ryan" as their idea of bleach bypass while another may reference "Three Kings", both use varitions of the "bleach bypass" technique but both look very different and used different methods (both photochemical and digital) to achieve their looks. I'm always wary when someone says they want this look as its never as easy as pulling in a "preset grade" and slapping it on. So I ALWAYS make sure to ask, "What does bleach bypass meant to you? Can you give me a film or reference image that conveys the "look" you're thinking of." Once we start to narrow down the specifics, then we can start designing "our vesion" of the bleach bypass effect for the particular project at hand. Beacause of this I have about 20 different variations on the "bleach bypass look" that I've used and probably about 20 more spinoffs from a handful of those as well.

For this particular shot, DP Andrew Russo want a more aggressive look, and I immediately thought that a "beachy, contrasty" look for the scene might play well with the subject matter and the overall mood as well. What we came up with was a hybrid "bleach/sepia spinoff" that I really fell in love. You don't often see a western done in this particular style and its always great to come  up with something fresh in the grading suite.