Once again, like a broken record, I apologize for the lack of updates. I recently wrapped up shooting a science fiction web series called Deep Six. It’s one of the best series I’ve worked on recently, as a DoP. The director/producer/creator, and good friend of mine, Davin Lengyel, pretty much let me have full creative control of everything camera and lighting! And this felt great! Especially since I’ve shot so many other things recently that had so many “do’s and Don’ts” This one had none.
The web series follows a group of scientist who research a signal out in Tau Ceti (a real place!). An accident occurs and they have to find a way to get home with the resources they have, among other dangers that they could encounter.
Here are a few stills from the shoot, AND the very first VLOG I’ve ever done.
Here’s a rough lighting plan I had drawn, it was super rough because they were still building while we were shooting. I can’t seem to find any stills from the actual sets, so this lighting plan might difficult to understand in terms of visual space.
Everything in the space station was shot on a FS7 with a Ronin. We stuck to rokinon primes to reduce the weight on the Ronin, as I was flying it for pretty much 12hrs, for 15 days. The decision to shoot on the Ronin was pretty simple – we could have a dolly/jib in every shot without taking the time to set up a dolly or a jib. This added so much to every single shot that we had in the space station and I’m glad we decided to use it, even though my body wishes we didn’t.
Something I’ve never tried before was doing some rear projection this close to the subject. It was extremely difficult to control the spill from my lights and not washout the projection. In the end we decided to use the projection for just reflections on any glass we had on our subjects, and we would most likely replace anything projected with the original files that aren’t washed out. We used a 500w bare bulb on a jib to simulate starlight for all the space craft scenes. It would rotate around the ship to simulate any rolls or tilts the ship might be doing in relation to the projection. It actually worked out very well. The interaction of the shadows moving with the characters as the projection moved really sold it.
Though this shoot didn’t stress me out, it was very challenging, as all things are with a limited budget. Our sets were constantly being built, saw dust flying around getting everywhere, time always running out, the Ronin acting up (because of all the saw dust haha), and tight spaces to shoot in. Despite all this, it was a fun shoot with great people. Everything looks great. I can’t wait to see the final project!