So, currently sitting out at Stockholm airport after spending an extended weekend in Stockholm. A short but well-needed vacation to say the least. I’ve been involved in quite a lot of interesting and exciting projects since I last wrote here.
First off, I’ve completed my duties as DP on four of the exam films at Skurups Folkhögskola. Feels very exciting to see the films come together in editing and to, at the end of May, finally see them on the big screen (internal screening only), and then eventually, actually finish what has been two very amazing years at film school.
The third exam film I shot, directed by Sergej Israel, took on a bit of a different turn from what I’ve previously shot. Given that the whole film plays out with the basis in shooting all scenes from a first-person perspective, it was very different both in terms of planning and execution. Sergej had made a custom-built helmet rig which I used to shoot the scenes – this also meant I had to do a fair amount of acting, considering I had to portray the vision of many characters in the film. This proved quite difficult, partly due to the cumbersome rig but also in terms of lighting the film, as we wanted to give the characters behind and in front of the camera a relatively free reign in terms of not having specific marks, but dealing with spontaneity as something sought after. While the whole film hasn’t been shot yet, what we did during the production week allotted to us, was to make sure the concept of shooting a whole short film with POV on a small-budget can be accomplished. I’m sure I’ll continue to work on the film once school finished, as it’s quite an interesting project.
On the fourth and final exam film we shot it felt as if we took out all the stops. On the film “Kärlek kl 03.56” (“Love at 03.56″), directed by Dawid Ullgren, we spent a whole week shooting in Gothenburg. This meant moving what became quite a large cast and crew up by car about 250 kilometres. Not to mention a whole bunch of gear. A big bunch. Shortly before starting production it became clear that the film would become quite a bit larger than what we had previously anticipated. Co-produced by both Redhawk Productions and Pastellfilm (who’ve worked on Martin Wikner’s films in the past), we got access to a RED ONE camera to shoot the film on. While I’ve worked as 1st AC on several short films shot on the RED previously, I’d only shot with it myself on the Rugby Commercial we did about a year ago. It’d be the first scripted project and long-form short film I’d acted as DP whilst shooting on RED. To those uninitiated, it’s pretty damn crazy. We shot the film in 4K resolution – four times the size of HD (which we usually work with when shooting on DSLRs as the Canon 5D or 7D) using some russian high speed lenses. Big thanks to Emma Danielsson of CameraCenter in Gothenburg who made it happen! We also rented out quite a large amount of lights from Solid Entertainment in Malmö (as always), among these a big 1.2kW HMI which was used throughout the film as moonlight and to knock out shadowy areas. It felt good to save what had become the largest production we’ve ever made at film school for last. With a big crew and quite a lot at stake you could feel everybody focusing that extra bit on doing their job in the best way imaginable. It was a good last exercise to work in what became a professional environment. The images look pretty amazing and I can’t wait to dive into color grading the film in a few weeks and to see it on the big screen – perhaps even in 4K, some day? Remember to check out our Facebook page for the film to stay up-to-date with the latest news and images from the film!
Whilst most of the films will be ready for our pre-screening at the end of May, it feels good to know the film we present that day won’t have to be the final version. In many of the exam films, we’ve already discussed how we’re going to continue to work on the films during the summer to get them ready for film festivals in 2013. So it won’t be the last you hear about the exam films once they’re “finished”, not by a long shot.
Hope you’re all doing great and I’ll write to you again soon, hopefully with some updates from the color grading process!
Take care everyone!
We’re currently having a few days of time off from the exam films as some scheduling has changed. Good time to catch up on things and get headings straight. Last Sunday, we wrapped production on the second exam film at Skurups Folkhögskola, “På andra sidan väggen” (“Other side of the wall”), directed by Simon Minó. I acted as DP on the project which differed a great bunch from the first film I shot, which I’m currently also editing.
It feels great to work on all these different films as a DP, as they differ quite greatly from one another. While the first film – “Det blev nått slags överslag”, directed by Jonna Nilsson – had a very active cinematography style and had a blood-rushing tempo throughout with a lot of hand-held camera work, Simon Minó’s film was by far on the other side of the spectrum in terms of style. Many lingering wide shots and loads of one-takes meant I had loads of time to focus on both the sets and lighting. With long rehearsals and a very generous schedule we managed to squeeze in around ten takes for each shot in general, with up to 18 takes (!) of some scenes. It was an interesting and rewarding process, and as the number of takes increased I also felt very confident and got to question some descisions I’ve made along the way in terms of composition (lights, framing etc.) and do some minor changes as we went along.
I’ve included two shots from the film below that set the mood quite well for the style of the film. Simon wanted to make the film as timeless as possible, so the sets were built around the characters to tell us a lot about them without explicitly saying so in dialogue or by on-the-nose exposition. Looking forward to see how the cut flows together and to grade the film later in April!
Also, check out these absolutely mad 3D behind-the-scenes shots from the production of “Det blev nått slags överslag”. Go to our Facebook page for more pics!
Production will soon ramp up on the third exam film, which once again takes a pretty different term in terms of how style and even camera technicals. Remember to check out my Tumblr page for all the latest images from set! Speak to you all soon, take care everyone!
As the weekend draws to a close, I’m rapidly approaching the start of production of the second exam film I’m working as cinematographer on at Skurups Folkhögskola. But hang on, what’s all this? It’s been a hectic albeit fun few weeks and I’ll try to fill you in on all the details.
Pre-production of the films started in mid-October of last year. Right from the outset I’d decided not to direct my own film, but to work as DP on as many films as possible (without breaking down… completely). At the start of December, all the teams were set and locked in for next year’s big productions. In total eight films (plus three documentaries) would be produced over four different periods – two films at one time with one week of last preparations in between. It’d be a busy couple of months.
Now that I’m knee-deep into this filmmaking onslaught, it feels quite great. Just a week ago, we wrapped production on the first exam film I shot, titled “Det blev nått slags överslag”. The genre-bending (and also quite mad) film, directed by Jonna Nilsson, was shot during five days and I’m currently working on the edit. So loads of work, but fun stuff. Don’t worry, i won’t be editing the other films I shoot (even if that would be fun, if given the time).
As we decided to co-produce Jonna’s film, we also got to increase the budget slightly and raise our ambitions from a technical standpoint. Pulling resources from various places meant we got to shoot the film using the new Sony FS-100 camera with Canon lenses. We also had a pretty big crew, including some Redhawk Productions veterans, and were able to have a big lighting department, including a big HMI light which we used to beat out the overcast sky and add some sunlights to indoor shots. It’s looking quite nice, and it’s a blast to edit and will be really fun to grade. Big huge thanks to our friends at Intraframe, Smartfilm, Filmcentrum Syd, BoostHBG, Solid Entertainment, Scandinavian Photo and everyone else who sponsored us with equipment for the film and/or have been a big help in any way – you’re all awesome!
The rough cut for Jonna’s film is as good as done, after receiving some great feedback from film editor Erik Bäfving during the week. It was good to get an outside perspective on the film – normally that’d be preferred from an editing standpoint in all facets of post-production. Erik clued me in to what to look for while editing the film, to focus on what the scenes’ goal are, work on trimming and removing unnecessary dialogue, and reducing the scenes to their bare minimum. As I met Erik with the first rough cut of the first few scenes (25% of the film) it totalled 7 minutes. Now after fine-tuning the film’s edit, the whole film stands at just over 9 minutes. Now, I’m sure the edit will swing back and forth a couple of times as we re-introduce some things which we feel might need some clarification in the story. But to look at a long, very unpolished and sometimes boring version of the film in conjunction with the fast, need-to-know-basis version was a great idea, and something I’ll bring with me whilst editing in the future. What lies ahead now is to try and mix in just a few more beats and breaks in what is now a pretty hectic/mad film from the longer version. We’re rapidly approaching a locked edit just a week after the film wrapped production. A good thing considering a private screening of all the exam films is to take place in late May of this year.
On Tuesday production begins on the next film, a drama directed by Simon Minó. It’s a smaller film, considering the scale of the crew on Jonna’s film, but it’s also a challenge, as any project. Feels good to scale back on everything for a week and work on a more personal and intimate story. I’ve tried to work on as different films as possible during the exam period. During next week I’ll try to update the Tumblr feed more often and give you a bigger insight in the productions as they are happening. After the film wraps in a week I’ll also give you some more pictures and a summary, similar to today’s post. Thanks to Matilda Henningsson and Sergej Israel for providing the behind-the-scenes photos featured in today’s post.
Hope you’re all enjoying the beginning of spring, whilst keeping your crative juices flowing! Take care everyone, speak to you more soon!
Hope you’re all having a good year so far! As January moves forward more and more projects are popping up – combining work on these projects, alongside with the four exam films I’m working as Director of Photography on, will be a challenge but a fun one at that.
Since I last wrote here, I’ve worked hard on the first of the upcoming exam films. Just finished the first draft of the storyboard for the film. I drew all of the storyboards in Photoshop using my Wacom tablet. This was I had full control over things like blur and moving different layers and lights around, to best present my vision of the scenes. It’s been a time-consuming process – finished the storyboard in about five days, working half-time mostly. During the process of making it, I feel I’ve gotten progressively better at both drawing basic shapes in general, but being able to distance and tell apart foreground from background using shadowing, and lighting effects. It’s been a fun project so far – I’ve just started work on another one of the four films I’m shooting. It’s sometimes pretty maddening to juggle the projects (which are all quite different from one-another), so I’ve assigned specific days on which I’ll be working with so-and-so project, etc., to keep my head straight.
All this work focusing on the exam films means that my romantic drama, TiD, will be pushed back slightly due to there only being a finite amount of hours a day (anyone got a solution to that yet?). With it originally being set to debut at the Pixel short film festival in April, I feel what remains is not worthy of just being rushed out the door to meet that deadline. The film is rapidly approaching something I’m quite proud of, but it’s still a while left. During the upcoming few months I’ll be switching my attention to the exam films at Skurups Folkhögskola, so I won’t have to short-change on any project concerning its premiere state.
During the upcoming week as production draws closer and closer on the four different short films, I’ll be updating in more rapid and shorter bursts here to keep you posted. Oh, and as I’d do last week, I now have my Tumblr feed linked to the website. Please follow me to see what I’m up to film-wise on a day-by-day basis!
Hope to speak to you all more soon!
Hope you’ve all had a great holiday and have had some time to rest up and grab some new energy for the new year. I came back from a three-week holiday just two days ago and whilst suffering from some jetlag, most systems are pretty much go. As the new year dawns, many projects approach quickly.
First, check out the short VFX and stunt master class on which I worked on the crew as 1st Assistant Camera along with director of photography Dennis Trulsson and director Anders Banke. The film was shot on the Arri Alexa camera, which was amazing. The film turned out pretty great – keep in mind it was done as an exercise focusing on how to set up, shoot and post an action scene rather quickly.
Some updates concerning TiD. Work is continuing on the film – we’re currently on our fifth edit, and have just signed our composer for the film. Ronnie Christopher Doyle will be composing the original score for the film, something I’m really excited for. But as many of the exam films at Skurup are approaching, TiD will take a minor step back for the moment so that I’ll be able to focus fully on my role for those films. This may mean the film will be pushed back a while, but it should all be for the better. Originally, our plan was to finish the film for the Pixel short film festival in the middle of April – with time constraints though, it feels as if that date may be difficult to hit. It feels better not to rush out the film – it’s going through some pretty major changes at the moment, but in the end it should be a better product. Also, check out our release poster which we released just a week ago! For the latest updates on TiD, you can always check out the film’s official Facebook Page.
Then we have human, the latest collaboration with director Martin Wikner on which I worked as DP for two days(sharing the role with Kervin Tran). The film’s edit is coming together, and we’ll soon be heading into working on the VFX-heavy green screen sequence I shot for the film. Very excited to see how it’ll turn out – we’re looking towards focusing all our time on a few weekends – basically lock ourselves into an apartment and only do VFX non-stop. We used the same time-saving method on Wikner’s last film, Fatale. Very much looking forward to starting post work on that project, which will occur sometime before the end of February of this year.
So, what about those exam films at Skurup? Well, in total eight short films will be created, alongside with three documentaries. I’m acting as Director of Photography on four of the short films, and I recently dove head-first into pre-production on the films. They’re all quite different from one-another, which acts as both a challenge whilst being a good opportunity to get some different genres onto my CV and showreel. I’m hoping to give you all a quick introduction to the four projects sometime closer to the weekend, along with a short presentation of the directors. While I’m only student who’s not directing my own exam film, I feel it’s a better for me to focus (no pun intended) on my role as a DP and not have my own project as well.
I’m gearing up for a very busy year ahead, and this year I’ll try to bring you along for the ride in a more focused manner. I’m looking into integrating Tumblr into the website in some way, so I can post images from the making of the exam films. But time will tell!
Stay tuned for more news and more details around the exam films coming very soon…
Take care everyone!