Original DoP… messing us over. DSLR gear, pfff.
Now that we were incredibly happy with our simplified script it was of question of arranging our crew. In panic I messaged a few DoPs on ShootingPeople but no-one replied. So after a bit of smart thinking I remember that someone from our university year offered to DoP projects (on the university course Facebook page) for £250 a day (with a Red Scarlet, hence the fee) so I quickly got in touch with him on Facebook and forwarded the script, schedule and recces. He was also the only one in the year who had proper experience with shooting on a red digital camera and being a DoP with that skill was something he consistently showed off. He liked the film idea and agreed to the dates. Even better he had his own crew of close people that would do the lighting. These guys doubled up as 2 toilet guys and one gang member. The more people involved in this project the more roles I could fill of these extras that I needed purely for body count. I knew these guys were local so that helped a great deal – I also met the DoP in person on a few occasions – to show him the club and discuss the shot lists. We agreed that he would come up with a revised shot list to mine and we’d confirm the best shots on the day. I knew I could trust this guy with my film – he had a good reputation and a professional vibe to him. His portfolio was fairly impressive (even for a 3rd year student) and I really liked his style of cinematography and his shooting of things with a sense of realism (the style I was going for, balance of tripod/handheld) – avoiding the student look whilst not looking too fancy or over-the-top beautiful. I wanted the film to be cinematic, but be realistic and gritty in terms of its shots and angles – he was the perfect man for the job. It was also evident that he has keen on getting and excited to get the best possible shot, with a Red.
Choosing a digital camera – Why was a RED chosen?
I wanted to:
- I simply wanted to use a RED. Every filmmakers dream, if not, you’re not a filmmaker. It’s new tech, and digital is the way forward.
- Avoid the ‘student’ look at all costs that is evident from most DSLRs – the University loan shop offered nothing better than 1080p recording either. The 5D Mark II was a massive no for the club scenes.
- Capture the image equally to how my eyes saw it on the day
- Use a proper cinema digital camera that was intended for filmmaking
- Push myself to the limit in post-production (working with Redcine-X Pro) grading and colour correction – ability to adjust the camera settings in post-production after shooting, one of the benefits of Redcode RAW (R3D format)
- Gain invaluable experience with working with a RED
- Shoot in 4k resolution
- A camera that performed far superior in low-light conditions so the Red Scarlet was chosen
- I did not want to settle for anything less than professional quality
- Ability to crop footage with no quality loss, e.g. turning some long shots into mediums and some mediums into close-ups due to possible time constraints