48 Hour Film Production, “Dance Again”

This past weekend we produced a film for the 48 Hour Film Project titled “Dance Again”. It is about the stress of the mundane items of life and how chocolate cake makes it all better. We had a shoot of only eight hours, followed by twenty-five hours of editing. We had a great crew headed by Christian Parsons, and everyone did a great job. We got the film turned with four minutes to spare… damn, I could have gotten in one more cut!

Above are a few screen shots from the film.
Some people have asked me about how we got the look for the film. This is a very simple short film that takes place over six minutes at one small table. We do have one scene from the kitchen to help the “fantasy” aspect we needed to get in (one of the festival requirements). Anyway, we had set out to do a very simple film, but shoot it as beautifully as we could.

I had put a lot of thought into the look I wanted to achieve, and even before we arrived on the set, we did some critical work to achieve a clean image. A few days before the shoot, we brought all of the shoot monitors into the edit suite and calibrated everything as closely as we could. Here is a photo of that process. Then, our camera rig consisted of an Panasonic HPX500 – this is a 2/3 inch camera that I have spent a lot of time tweaking and setting up looks for. On the front of it, we used a Letus 35 adaptor with Canon zoom and prime lenses and a Chrosziel matte box. The lighting is a mix of soft window daylight, HMI, and tungsten lighting.

What this meant for post-production was that the color, contrast, brightness and overall look were achieved on the set. There was no correction done in post, except on the shot in the kitchen. This is big when you have a short deadline and need to edit, not spend time fixing exposure and color issues. I am coming to the place (perhaps it is back to the place) that we should create the look in-camera on the set whenever possible and change “fix it in post” to “enhance it in post”.

Call me if you would like to know more about this process at 336.854.0406
Here are some production shots from Elizabeth Lemon.

These photos are from Bert Vanderveen.

And, from Tom Lassiter.

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