We shot both of these in one day and moved at a whirlwind pace with a small crew, mostly natural light and some well-placed units. We let the Alexa and compositions do a lot of the heavy lifting. I’ve always loved Legos, and I’m thrilled I got the chance to shoot for the brand.
I’m hoping to release more behind the scenes material as we get closer to the release of the film, but for now enjoy this sizzle reel I cut from the project.
When I got the opportunity to shoot a period-piece Cold War spy thriller, I jumped at the chance. We would be given the opportunity to create and mold our version of the past. Outside of historical references, it was a great chance for me to lean into some recent and old spy thrillers as I crafted a look with director AJ Martinson III that told the story and built our world. We extremely intentional about our use of color, camera movement, and lighting to orient the audience and subtlety reinforce the character’s choices and stakes. We were elated to be recipients of a grant from Panavision which allowed us to shoot on the beautiful Panavision Primo lenses with a Panavised Alexa. A few scenes were later shot with a Sony F5 and modern glass to separate the two time periods in the story. For most of the film, we used diffusion or haze to give the light, environments, and image texture.
AJ was a fearless collaborator and welcomed my voice in the creation process which was a huge joy. I love working with directors that have a strong vision but welcome ideas from the people around them. Can’t wait for the next film with him. I worked with a stellar team that helped me execute and develop the look for the film.
Director: AJ Martinson III
Cinematographer: Nicholas Matthews
Starring: Kaiwi Lyman, Jeff Hatch and Corey MacIntosh
Shot on Arri Alexa, Panavision Primo® Prime Lenses
1st AC: Benjamin Steen
2nd AC: Derek Endo
AC Dayplayers: Adam Marquez, Timber Hooy
Gaffer: Cole Pisano
Best Boy Electric: Max Schwartz
Key Grip: Yohan Herman
Best Boy Grip: Nick Doll
G&E Dayplayers: Sean Talbot, Caleb Wall, Mikey Gilmore, John Morgan, Yongmin Hwang
I’m hoping to roll out a number of short behind the scenes posts that detail how and why we lit this film in this manner. But for now, I’ll just say that this film was equal parts exciting and challenging to shoot. This was my first international feature film as a cinematographer, and I can’t wait to shoot internationally again. We shot all over Mexico City’s beautiful and vast urban world. The crew I ended up with were fantastic collaborators and we worked through the language barrier without too much difficulty. We had a stellar cast that included Gerardo Taracena, José Sefami, Nina Seničar, Martin Santander. Our director Ray Gallardo was a tireless leader, collaborator, and friend through the process. We were constantly referencing Michael Mann as we tried to create a grounded, taut, crime drama with character-driven action sequences. The film is wrapping up post production, but for now enjoy this sizzle reel I cut from the movie.
Director: Ray Gallardo
Cinematographer: Nicholas Matthews
Production Designer: Yikai Wang
Feature Film shot in Mexico City on the Alexa with Zeiss Ultra Primes.
It’s been 2 and a half years since I’ve cut a new demo reel. And in that time span, I’ve met great crew, directors, and producers that have empowered and enabled my work. I’ve had the esteemed privilege of shooting 4 independent feature films in Mexico City, Los Angeles, and the Mojave Desert. I’ve been able to use a variety of cameras and lenses to achieve specific styles of story-telling from the Arri Alexa, RED Epic MX, Sony F55, and using Ultra Primes, Panavision Primos, Elite Anamorphic Primes, Zeiss MK III Superspeeds, Russian Spherical Lomos and more.
Enjoy the updated site and demo reel!
They’re a tribalistic filmaking ritual. Even in this digital age they are still ever present, a 100 year old filmaking tradition. It also seems these days there are a gazillion slate “apps” that all ape the original concept…. two bits of wood being banged together on a board made of slate that you can write on.
The slate, as much as the camera itself, has become an icon for representing filmaking in action. Even the general public know that they’re an intrinsic part of the process.
There is of course a serious and useful purpose to slates, but that original purpose has also grown and transformed as well.
So really, let’s consider, what IS the purpose of the slate ? Well, there are two primary reasons to slate.
The first is to provide a synchronisation reference for double system sound syncing. An audible clap with a visual reference so…
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Many moons ago, I made a Profile for the FS100, that mimics (as good as possible) the look of vintage Kodachrome film. Now I made a LUT that does the same. I kind of “re-engineered” the KODACHROME 828, daylight & Type A material, that was made from 1936 to 1962. This is the film that came out before the K-11 processing. It has a very nice “Vintage-Sweet-Home-Alabama-Look” to it, and gives you some very special red, yellow and blue tones. It also has a certain elegance and poetry to it that I really love. The K-TONE is a 3D cube LUT that plays nice wit most NLEs and color grading programs. The K-Tone LUT is expecting Log footage as input.
Kodachrome was manufactured by Eastman Kodak from 1935 to 2009. Kodachrome was the first successfully mass-marketed color still film using a subtractive method, in contrast to earlier additive “screenplate” methods…
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