For the second time Cinecom has collaborated with Adobe on a creative project. This time they gave us the assignment to inspire ourselves by the new Terminator Film: ‘Dark Fate’. So my brain started storming and very quick I came up with a very cool concept for a short film.
Low Budget Filmmaking
Yannick and Lorenzo were both on vacation when we needed to shoot, so I had to come up with a story that is easy to film and doesn’t require much production or budget. So I started with locations and asked myself; how can I minimize the locations and still be able to tell my story? Eventually I was able to shoot everything at my own house and only a couple of shot in a nature park right next to my home.
I minimized the shots needed so that I had time to setup the camera and lights and fine-tune every shot. One thing I learned over the years is to always look for shots you can delete out of your storyboard. A golden rule is not to exceed 10 shots per minute of film, of course this depends on what you’re trying to tell. Actions scenes might need more shots in order to achieve that ‘action’ look.
The outdoors have their benefit as there’s always some light available. But hard sunlight is not so pleasant. Not only your talents will have trouble keeping their eyes open, but the harsh lighting is far from ‘cinematic’. That’s why we’re blocking the sun with soft fabrics, also known as scrims. From the opposite side, you introduce some hard lighting back by bouncing with a silver reflector. This creates a lot more depth in your shot, but it does require some setup.
The Cheapest Film Lights
What I love about fictional work is that you can get real creative with lighting. In the basement scene we used no film lights whatsoever! Everything you see are practical lights, these are household lights everyone has. We simply turned on a small tungsten peer light, placed a green LED light (from the garage), on the work bench and another red light (also something in the garage) in a little space above the table. When going for a specific style, skin tones and other ‘perfections’ don’t matter anymore. A basement is grungy and so should be your lighting. Create ugly skin tones, hard shadows and awful colors.
A big thanks to Adobe for giving us this opportunity! We had a lot of fun with our small crew, I met some great new people and I’ve got another positive memory stored in my head. Lets just hope nobody takes that memory away and backs it up somewhere ?
Learn From My Film
I also created 4 tutorials, coming from my short film. You can find a link here to the playlist and don’t forget to subscribe to the Adobe Creative Cloud YouTube channel for more tips, tricks and inspirational videos for creatives!