Noise and Color
Set in a desolate and empty dystopia, a loyal interrogator leaves the safety of his community searching for the cause of the near apocalypse.
The teaser trailer for the film can be viewed here: Official Vimeo
This film is currently touring the film festival circuit and is unavailable for public online viewing. If you would like to screen this film for a sample of my work, please contact me via email.
Director: Logan Stone
Producers: Erica Duffy, Jamie McKinney
Principle photography for Noise and Color took place during May through June of 2017. Logan Stone asked me to shoot the film after both a recommendation from my friend Blaine Baker and from following my work. Logan and I discovered we had similar tastes in cinematography, photography, and art. Erica Duffy and Jamie McKinney were the producers on this film.
In the months leading up to principle photography, Logan and I researched films like Out of the Furnace, The Rover, Mad Max: Fury Road, and No Country for Old Men. We took inspiration from the photograph of Jeff Vinditti and Ryan Booth, largely stalking both of their instagram feeds and websites. We also drew references from Andrew Wyeth and Dorthea Lange after a recommendation from Scott Cooper. Most importantly, we drew inspiration and tone from the works of Simon Stålenhag
We agreed to create a certain set of rules for the world we were crafting with the cinematography. At the beginning of the film, the main character Connor, played by Jimi Stanton, is an interrogator for the tiny government that runs a post-apocalyptic town. We wanted to use realism and stablity to resemble the safety this community provides. However, we hinted that the community was flawed and doomed to fail through the use of imperfection. We chose to shoot on Kowa Anamoprhics because of the flaws inherent in the lenses themselves. Futhermore, the production design, by Jamie McKinney and Hero Ux, drove home the idea of a dirty, rusting, and falling apart society.
I used a lot of practical lighting during the beginning of the film; even if we didn't see the light source, I had at an angle that resembled reality rather than a perfect light. There were times that I amplified the exposure out of a practical by bringing in a larger unit just outside of frame.
Night scenes, in particular, was the biggest means of expressing realism. Early on in the film, our night scenes were lit primarily by the headlights of a car or beams of flashlight. I would sparingly use "moonlight" to bring up exposure in the background, but never to imply that moonlight is lighting anything at all.
For stability, Logan and I agreed that any scenes involving the community or at the community will be on either a tripod or dolly. The idea is that this community still has control, and so our operating must reflect it.
Logan and I stuck to these rules because they resembled Connor's character. The rules changed as Connor leaves town and ventures further into the unknown and dangerous world. As he descends into madness, so too must our cinematography. We go from sticks and dollies to almost entirely handheld by the end of the film. As he loses stability with his mind, so to does the camera become more unstable.
Realism with the lighting was still our general approach, but the lighting itself begins to break down in regards to why a certain light bulb is there or how a night scene is filmed. We agreed that night scenes towards the end of the film will go from being shot practically (and real) to realistic day-for-night and eventually a highly stylized Mad Max day-for-night. As one goes insane, so to does the perception of what reality is. "Of course," thinks the mad man, "of course there would be a light bulb on the dash."
One of the centerpieces of the film is a final encounter between Connor and two characters during a sandstorm. A thorough break down of how it was done will be released soon, after clearance from the production. The same type of set up was used for the fog attack scene.
Camera Ambassador provided everything the production needed in regards to camera, lenses, grip, and electric. They went above and beyond to meet the needs of this film and its success is largely attributed to them. That being said:
We shot on the Red Epic with the Dragon sensor. Our intention is to color grade using the new IPP2. Though originally designed for the Helium sensor, I'm beyond impressed on how it handles the raw data from a Dragon sensor.
Again, we used Kowa Anamorphics; specifically a 40mm, 50mm, and 75mm. We also had a doubler that allowed the 75mm to become a 150mm when needed.
Our grip package was packed tightly into a pretty rad looking red delivery truck. It was originally designed for delivering bread, but was retrofitted to become a grip truck. In total, our GE package equaled a little over a standard 1-ton GE package.
My incredible team included gaffer Mat Williams, key grip Larry Pinto, and 1st AC Dan Wagner. I seriously can not gush enough about how fantastic these three were during principle photography. This movie would not nearly look as good as it does without the help of all these wonderful people. I always appreciated (and used) suggestions for better shots, lighting, and storytelling. It takes a village to do cinematography and I am nothing without the crew. Thank you, guys.
I'm quite proud with how this film turned out. Logan and I drafted a set look in pre-production and we stuck to our guns through the entire production. He was a wonder to work with and an absolutely gifted director.
Erica was an incredible producer and she was the other reason the film was a success. She handled the logistics and organization easily when others would falter.
Jamie kept a positive culture on set, which was a breath of fresh air in an industry that bogs down on a crew's morale. When tempers flared, Jamie was there to resolve the conflicts and keep the film going.