The Gun Equation
Clouded by jealousy, a man stalks and murders his ex-wife's new lover.
The film can be rented/purchased here: Official Vimeo
Official Selection - Cannes Short Film Corner 2015
Official Selection - Blue Whiskey Film Festival 2016
I first met director Matt Weinstein back in March 2013. We both loved Christopher Nolan films and couldn't rave enough about our favorite shots. Since then, it had been a long chain of emails, text messages, and general communcation; project ideas would come up, but our schedules never meshed together. However, the stars finally aligned with her schedules and Matt asked me to shoot his short film, The Gun Equation.
The script instantly sold me, particulary that there was no dialogue. This was extremely helpful for us. The film relied heavily on the actor's experssions and subtle emotions to convey the dialogue between them. Since no dialogue is heavily demanding on actors, it was great to have Matt give direction during the takes; he could direct all he wanted and we didn't care because we were doing the sound in post.
Matt wrote this film to take place in downtown Chicago. He had spent days scouting out the route for the actors and finally brought me and the production to them when he found THE spots.
Filming in downtown would be a challenge. I knew that we had no control over the real people walking on the street, sometimes they would stare straight into the camera. Other times, it was perfect.
To get around needing permission to film infront of buildings, we actually took advantage of long lenses. The opening scene features our main character (Tyler Pistorius) hiding behind a piller spying on his ex-wife and her new lover.
Tyler's position was actually on the side of building away from the store front and out of their way. However, the couple was infront of a busy building. Luckily, Matt and I agreed that we should see this couple's interaction from Tyler's perspective. This worked out great because I covered all of their scene's with a 135mm lens, no where near the entrance of the building. The real people couldn't see us, so they simply ignored or naturally reacted to the couple. Furthermore, we shared the perspective of our main character and were observing the scene exactly how he did.
I have to give a big shout out to my 1st AC, Nicholas Wilson. He was the only crew member I had and was absolutely beneficial. Luckily, he only had to worry about the camera. In pre-production, Matt, Chris Rameriz (1st AD), and I planned our day around the sun. It was either a back light or was blocked by a building, giving us a nice soft light for most of the shoot.
We never had to set up any grip gear with the exception of one shot. The sun peaked out of a building faster than we expected, so Nick had to hold his PhotoFlex reflector over our actor's head for a few takes.
This project turned out very well, and the edit is very smooth. The images were incredible when we viewed the dailies and it all boiled down to very detailed planning during pre-production. I'm thankful for everyone invovled and to Matt for bringing me on to this project.