Lighting Archives - Blog
Self-funded, low budget, indie filmmaking is wonderful for the creative and artistic freedoms you are granted as you strive to tell the story and share it with others. You are the filmmaker, the studio, the investor and the distributor. This great power comes with great responsibility and heavy consequences. I’ve spent the last 5 years of my life working to finish a feature film entitled…THE GRIND. The literal and figurative irony does not go unnoticed…but it also drives me to complete my mission.
One of the famous unwritten rules in “Hollywood” is never invest your own money. I’ve broken that rule for 5 years as I’ve invested both a shit-ton of money and time to finish the film and release it to the world. My roles on this film are: executive producer, DP, editor, colorist, composer and sound mixer. I had been hired to do these jobs on previous feature films, but never all on one film.
Before I dive in, here’s 5 years of editing encapsulated into one image…the final timeline.
Every Filmmaker owes a debt of gratitude to the people in “The Industry” who have come before them. Every creative or technical decision you make on your film, TV show, webisode, short film or documentary has probably been made a multitude of times in the past. The “Bolt of Lightning” idea that struck you in the middle of the night has most assuredly been thought of and implemented during the last 100+ years of Filmmaking.
We stand on the shoulders of giants and I take every chance I can to learn more about the history of filmmaking. The Media History Digital Library has just launched their search platform Lantern which contains 800,000+ pages of digitized texts from publications of film, broadcasting, and recorded sound. Brew some coffee and timewarp into the past to learn more about every aspect of Filmmaking than you could possibly imagine!
David Fincher‘s wonderful House of Cards is very dark. Dark in content, dark in tone and especially dark in visual aesthetics. Characters are shrouded in low light levels even in direct sunlight. It’s ominous, dread inducing and spectacular. It also bucks the trend of high contrast, blue/teal blockbuster looks that have been almost unavoidable in Films and TV for the last 10 years.
I recently completed a color grade on Zombie Night, a feature film starring Darryl Hannah and Anthony Michael Hall in which I applied a similar look that emphasized a darker feel with reduced highlights and color casts to set the tone. Here are some examples from Mr. Fincher’s last 3 films that showcase this look…and a color palette board from the film I just graded.