Saturday, 18 February 2012

Casting Begins...

Three weeks to go until the proposed shooting date in mid-march.

The revised draft of the script is ready and I've put out a casting call through PCR

PCR offer a very professional service, and my adverts there usually result in a deluge of replies, although this time the requirement is for actors in their 50's so I don't expect to get as many replies as I have in the past.

The ad went live on monday and so far I've got around a dozen replies, including some that look very promising indeed.  There are still a couple of days to go until the deadline, but I don't expect to get many more applications, most actors seem to get their cv's in early.

Location hunting is still ongoing, there are two key locations to organise, including the aircraft cabin interior and the boardroom.  I expect to have both of these agreed soon.  Luckily there are at least two flight-crew training simulators in the South East area and a very large number of conference rooms!

For this project I want to previsualise the entire film before the shoot, so I've been working on the storyboards and the next stage will be to use Frameforge to create digital versions of the shots.

I will post an update on the process soon.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Focusing on this AND that...

I've always loved shots that do something a bit out of the ordinary, and this scene from Pulp Fiction features a great example of split focusing, with Bruce Willis in the foreground in focus at the same time as Ving Rhames in the background.

So i've been continuing to add to my collection of camera gear, and my latest ebay bargain is a used but as new split diopter filter, which is perfect for exactly this kind of shot.

I use a Cokin filter 'P' filter holder for my Canon DSLR, the Cokin range of plastic filters are easily the best value filters on the market and a great way to add value to your shots without breaking the bank.

The filter holder slides onto a ring mount (available for all lens sizes) and has a single filter slot which allows the filters to be rotated or raised/lowered.

The split diopter looks a little like a half magnifying glass, and slots into the Cokin holder easily, although it does exhibit some vignetting around the corners when using the lens at it's widest angle.

Here are a couple of shots that show the diopter in action, the first shot shows the scene with the naked lens.  The camera is looking through a mirror back into the room.  The bed is in focus but the frame of the mirror is soft.

This second shot shows the scene with the diopter in place, and the difference is immediately apparent.  The foreground mirror frame is much sharper while the bed in the background remains in focus. 

The downside to using one of these diopters is the visible edge of the diopter itself. There is always a clearly visible line of soft/sharp focus where the split needs to be hidden, in this case I've aligned it with the edge of the mirror frame, you can just see the blurred line above the starfish.  In the Pulp Fiction example the line is hidden by the edge of the wall.

I'm pretty excited about how well this diopter works, and it's another useful tool for the camera bag, I still need a few more grad ND filters, and a mattebox to control flare.