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chris kempinski

Riese Web Series

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Production just wrapped on this steampunk/action/adventure series. It should be able to download off the website in early November. This is going to be the first chapter that consists of 5, 10 minute webisodes




I will post photos when I get the OK



Edited by chris kempinski

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Looks great. Didn't expect to see a web series with such high production design. Cinematography looks great as well. Looks more like a feature film than an episodic series.


Any info on the technical specs and production?

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Now that the first episode is out on Youtube and Koldcast.tv I can talk about what's going on from a camera and lighting perspective.


first here are the links






Here's the boring bit. All of the outside stuff was MOL. Steve Goad ( Gaffer to the stars ) ran after us all day with a 2K putt putt for video village and some smoke machines. As you can see with some shots, we had crappy party smokers so the atmosphere was extremely unpredictable. I had a bunch of PA's and art types blowing smoke into garbage bags, ripping holes in them and hiding them behind trees and bushes. When the wind shifted direction it all turned went away, and that happened often. On the next bunch of episodes we are spending the money to get proper smokers and tubing to surround the location.

The fight sequence started first thing in the morning, super shafty light, warm, beautiful. Because we were in a valley we lost our sun early, that meant we lost our shafty warm, beautiful too. It ended up being a 24 setup sequence with 2 cameras, one shooting 60fps and wide, the other 24fps and tighter. Once we lost our light I tried using mirror boards from the top of the hill. That managed to help with some background hard hits for our tighter shots but still not what I was hoping for. The other thing we lost out on doing for that scene was a high shot of the fight. I had an AWP man lift with a mitchell mount on the top of the hill, so it would have been almost 75 feet straight down to where the fight was happening. Oh Well, always fighting the clock it seems.

I did really like the dream stuff, it was mostly lots of smoke, camera set to 4000K, We did tweak it a fair bit in Final Cut color. Most of this was shot splinter unit. We are very fortunate for our budget to have what we had, 2 cameras, one steadicam, and one studio set-up, a 1500 amp gennie, 10 ton lighting truck, 5 ton grip truck (all thanks to Huyghe Meakes Illumination, the best commercial guys in Vancouver).

Next time we are talking three cameras YAY! We had to keep switching the steadicam rig to a bastardized studio rig quite often for hand-held fighting stuff. This episode coming up we are talking about keeping one body left full time as steadicam and having an A, and B cam on most shots. I think this is going to be a life saver in terms of time and energy on poor Mischa, wicked 1st AC by the way, I love long lenses and T1.3

The other thing I thought turned out well was the green screen, Matte painting. I didn't light the green screen... I put my subjects in the light ( diffused ) and the 20X20 green screen in the shade. I'm sure it was rotoscoped but I didn't hear any complaints and it looked pretty good.


when I get more time I'll write more in regards to pre-pro on these next episodes. let me know if there are any specific questions, I love reading all your experiences in my spare time!!


cheers for now


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Just watched all of Chapter 1 Chapter 2 doesn't seem to be up yet. I'll just keep checking back.


Really enjoyed that! Nicholas Humphries made the comment that you guys get to make up the rules as you go and he's right! As long as its consistent, the Steampunk universe you guys have created works!


I'm gonna echo Steve McBride - I didn't expect it to look that good! Usually I hear "web series" and come to find out it's a group of people running around with whatever $300 camcorder they could get at Best Buy.


I'd definitely like to hear more information - I'm with a group of people trying to make a web series as well, so any information is great.


Was the production able to do any storyboarding, whether the whole thing, or just a coupla signature shots you wanted, or did you decide on your blocking mostly when you got on set with the performers? And how closely did you stick to them, or did you find you started departing from them - maybe getting ideas for better staging, or just plain needing to speed things up (on the set of The Shield the cast and crew apparently had a saying for new directors - "Feature Film by day, Documentary by night!")?


Were there any particularly difficult lighting or camera sequences, and how did you figure out a workaround?


What was your favorite scene/setup, and again, what was involved?



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