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Last December I was super fortunate to work on a passion project / short-film about teenager's vulnerability with a director, Steve Kenny, that I had wanted to work with since I saw his previous short-films. 

Steve and myself had met last year and we instantly discovered that we liked the same types of cinema and stories, so with similar tastes we kept meeting from time to time to talk about different movies / tv series that we saw and we developed a friendship that led to this project that I lensed last year. 

We shot for one day in several locations around Dublin with the support of a wonderful production company called "Banjoman" that we had both worked with before. 

Through the different months that the project was imagined we talked about camera movement, framing, lighting and something super important, aspect ratio. 
When Steve sent the script to me I kept thinking that it would be great if we could see more of the actor while he was acting so he could emphasise the things that he is going through not only with the look but also with gestures since a teenager's body is changing constantly. 

These nuances in the body that I wanted to capture led me to a 1.66:1 aspect ratio because I also thought that it could be great if we could see a bit of the places where he is at. 

Regarding camera movement, we wanted to shoot the whole short-film on steadicam, with very fluid movements all  the way through.. but on the recce our producer told us that due to budget issues and operator's availabilities (we had €6000 to make the whole project) we weren't going to be able to use steadicam. 
Even though we thought that steadicam was a fundamental part of the piece we quickly changed our plan and decided that we were going to keep the camera locked when the actor was not moving and hand-held when our character was going through some internal conflicts or was moving.

On the lighting side I lit it in a very simple way, I just augmented the natural and available light that was there on the day but we were very lucky because the locations were fantastic and totally fit the story that we wanted to tell. 

And that's pretty much it, we shot on an Alexa Mini @3200ASA while underexposing by 2 or 3 stops sometimes and I think that I should have used less diffusion on the lens  😂 (I had a Glimmerglass 2 and a Black Diffusion FX 3 at all times) but I wanted to break the images even more. 
I asked our colour grader (Peter Oppersdorff from MPC in London) to keep the noise and he gave me even more so I'm in love with that. He was also super respectful with the images and they look like he didn't do anything at all (which I like!)

Anyways! I hope you like it! 😊 

Have a lovely day!

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Really enjoyed the photography in the trailer. I admire anyone who has patience with the conceptual and aesthetic development of an idea. Most films that I like were developed this way. I am sad that there is so much pressure to shoot quickly. We either need a lot of money, or we work absurdly quickly, or we develop concepts that work with less money and a longer timeline for execution.

I don't mean a film where two people sit in a dark room for 90 minutes.  Say, if my concept was founded on the minutiae of the creative life of crickets, and if I caved to the common tendency of looking for images in the literal forms of the subject, his actions or that things acted upon,  I would still be free to explore, with very little money. And if I was bolder, interested in visualizing the experience of a cricket, or using analogy or metaphor to express that, might I still be in a place where creativity, vision and ingenuity was more useful than money.

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On 2/27/2020 at 6:50 AM, John Holland said:

Looks great . I don't think you used to much diffusion.

Thanks John!!! I appreciate that you liked it! 😊 

On 2/27/2020 at 11:26 PM, Gregg MacPherson said:

Really enjoyed the photography in the trailer. I admire anyone who has patience with the conceptual and aesthetic development of an idea. Most films that I like were developed this way. I am sad that there is so much pressure to shoot quickly. We either need a lot of money, or we work absurdly quickly, or we develop concepts that work with less money and a longer timeline for execution.

I don't mean a film where two people sit in a dark room for 90 minutes.  Say, if my concept was founded on the minutiae of the creative life of crickets, and if I caved to the common tendency of looking for images in the literal forms of the subject, his actions or that things acted upon,  I would still be free to explore, with very little money. And if I was bolder, interested in visualizing the experience of a cricket, or using analogy or metaphor to express that, might I still be in a place where creativity, vision and ingenuity was more useful than money.

Thanks Gregg! I hope that some day at some stage we can all work on things where there is no pressure of any kind! But I don't think that that will happen ever ha! 

 

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Your best work yet, Miguel. Simple, powerful, great use of contrast and texture. It’s all of one piece, everything working in harmony. Your sensitive touch working with actors once again shines thru. Congrats!

The one shot I think you could have pulled back on the Glimmerglass was on the phone insert, as the halo around the screen was a bit distracting. But otherwise, the diffusion worked great. Reminded me a bit of Chivo’s work in ‘Children of Men’ as well as some of Janusz Kaminski’s work. 

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On 7/27/2020 at 8:45 AM, Manu Delpech said:

Beautiful work, a nice sense of texture for digital. 

Thank you very much Manu! It is a pity that Vimeo compresses the image so the whole texture can't be appreciated!

13 hours ago, Satsuki Murashige said:

Your best work yet, Miguel. Simple, powerful, great use of contrast and texture. It’s all of one piece, everything working in harmony. Your sensitive touch working with actors once again shines thru. Congrats!

The one shot I think you could have pulled back on the Glimmerglass was on the phone insert, as the halo around the screen was a bit distracting. But otherwise, the diffusion worked great. Reminded me a bit of Chivo’s work in ‘Children of Men’ as well as some of Janusz Kaminski’s work. 

Oh! Thanks for your kind words again Satsuki. 
I think that you are only as good as your director is and Steve is really really good and talented. 

Thinking about it now I reckon that I could have lit the bathroom scene in a different way, probably a bit more natural, letting the bulb in the bathroom being the main source and having the sodium vapor way less strong.

And I should have framed the wide shot of the bedroom scene differently!

Chivo and Kaminski, that's a great combination haha! 😄 

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