This weekend, we wrapped production on a short film titled “Prophet”, the cinematic brainchild of director Chris Bott that is sure to impress with its visual artistry. 323 provided the RED Epic for this shoot, which brought together some of the most talented people in Pittsburgh for 3 days of caffeine-fueled fun. No people or animals were harmed during production, largely thanks to Chris ensuring that Red Bulls and Starbucks Doubleshots were readily available on-set.
“Prophet” tells the story of an erratic janitor named Herald (played by Jack Culbertson) who frequently sees evil spirits and hallucinations. While the entire film is expected to be visually striking, perhaps the most impressive scenes were those involving the angel, played by Kelsey Peterson. Her wardrobe featured a set of wings that were masterfully crafted by Steve Tolin of Tolin FX. Steve’s expertise and passion for building complex film props became evident the moment the wings were first unveiled. Many instagram photos were taken — in every filter imaginable.
Optically, the film was shot entirely with Zeiss CP.2 lenses at 5k resolution. AC Ron Vaughan frequently switched between 15/25/50/85 primes at the request of DP Michael Hartnett, whose affinity for creative angles was perfectly suited for this project. Lighting was deftly handled by key grip Dan McMullen of Blackwater Video, with assistance from Alan Jaskiewicz. Dialogue scenes were mastered by audio expert Nicholas Vettorel, while 1st AD Zane Cook kept detailed notes of everything in his clipboard. (Side note: don’t ever mess with the guy who has the clipboard) Ryan Woodford documented the shoot with the super cute Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. All of these individuals were instrumental in bringing the script to life.
Production on “Prophet” wrapped with a scene that took place inside an abandoned mall, in which the janitor finds himself surrounded by spirits. To help realize director Chris’s vision, we brought in an 18′ JonyJib to pull off a “reveal shot.” Alan operated the jib, starting the camera at Herald’s feet and then slowly raising it over his head to reveal all of the ethereal presences. Getting the jib movement just right required considerable strength and dexterity, but Alan made it look easy enough for a baby to do.
Errrr… wait, what?
Now Chris is faced with the formidable task of editing this film which, given how laden it is with special effects, will take some time. All-in-all, production went really well and we’re excited to see the finished product! A great time was had by all involved. In just three short days, we went from a crew that was barely acquainted to one that seemed like everyone had known each other for years. We look forward to the screening party… until then, here’s a screengrab from the Epic after one pass of effects processing, courtesy of Chris:
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