The Space Between
The past couple months have been well, the busiest of my life. 12 flights covering I don’t even want to know how many miles and two trips out of state in a vehicle combined with the post production for these shoots hasn’t really left much time for personal works. Thankfully a couple days were broke lose this last week to finish up a project that started months ago. While this project was done ultimately to fulfill a creative need there were some technical aspects that I chose to focus on specifically. This project we decided to really refine our shot composition to help tell the story. Using the landscape to emphasize and help tell the story through shot composition is a skill that I don’t believe can be over valued. This seems obvious but it is amazing how easy it can be to push through a shoot and not give your surroundings and your lens selection the consideration that it deserves. For this project which is obviously about the loss of your other half I chose a place that I have always loved. It is a small section of beach at the lake nearby that has beautiful rock walls with carvings of couples past all over them. It seemed more than fitting to place this film at this location. The film has two parts, the past “warm and a world in the right place” and the present “cold and alone. For the present I chose to shoot very wide on my establishing shots. I wanted our subject to seem very small in the world. We also chose to shoot above her eyeline a great deal to diminish her against the situation she was in. Sometimes getting above her was as easy as climbing a rock wall. Others it was not as standing on top a ladder in very deep mud with waves pushing you over holding a very expensive piece of equipment can rack your nerves a bit.
The wide shots are some of my favorite in this film and in my opinion succeed in implying her loneliness. We also chose to use a 45mm tilt shift. Tilt shift is a beautiful aesthetic but is somewhat a risk in seeming more like a gimmick and distracting from the story. For this film it seemed appropriate. By using it we were able to really push the viewers eye directly to our subject and help emphasize that she is utterly alone.
Another reason I chose to make this short with this concept is I have never given much thought to telling a negative story. Almost always our projects are aimed at moving people in a positive way. This will probably always be the case but it made me wonder if telling a negative story could push us to see in a different way. Shooting sorrow come to find out is much more difficult than happiness. Down to the way a person moves their hand or takes a step. We as humans speak in two ways, with our mouths, and with our bodies. I wish it was as easy as saying look sad and hit record but it isn’t and I have to say Bre did a tremendous job for me. For those reading this who don’t know Bre is my sister in law and she got about two hours notice before this shoot started and she had absolutely no idea what was in store for her. She is truly a warrior because she was able to immerse herself in the part incredibly well. Minus the one laughing spell that we had but we got through it 🙂 I know that this film portrays loss because my wife hates it. It evidently actually affected her to the point that her butterflies and lollipops world was temporarily assaulted by this film. If she would’ve like it I would have known we failed in telling a story of loss. From a technical standpoint we did many other things differently on this film from color grading to taking it through post at 4K resolution clear through output. I plan to break apart all those topics and review what worked and what didn’t in other posts. Coloring in Speedgrade, Data Footprint, and Time management will all be covered down the road one at a time. I hope everyone hates this film as much as my wife 🙂
Have a great Summer!