Sex and Candy

An aging ex-con learns his therapist has scheduled a call girl to pay him a visit as part of his therapy.

The film is currently touring the festival circuit and is unavaible for public viewing. Please contact me via email for a link to view it privately.

Director: Tracy Garner


Tracy Garner, owner of Paradise Road Productions, approached me with this simple, yet layered script about a recent convict forced into having dinner with a prostitute; all set up by his therapist.

Performance by both Garner and Marley Uribe took precedence in this short, which proved to be challenging for me as a cinematographer. There wasn't a need for any sort of fancy lighting, tricky camera movement, or clever shots. Instead, I needed to focus on enhancing the performances and building character.

I focused on letting the actors do their magic with the dialogue. In my experience with past projects like Schlep and The Watchman's Canoe, the best performances are uninterrupted. Tracy and I agreed, though, that we wanted coverage throughout the film so he and editor Michael Amundsen could place reactions when they needed. Additionally, the coverage was used to imply the movement of the camera. If we started out a scene in a wide, we definitely were ending it in a close up.

I approached coverage in a classical hollywood manner; WS, OTS's, and CU's. Some scenes only needed a WS while others needed the full coverage.

In terms of angles, I wanted to give clues to the audience about the twist ending by trying to keep the character Caleb in a power position (low looking up) to imply that he is a father looking at his daugther. The inverse was done to the character Candy, where she was mostly in the weaker power position (high looking down) to imply she is a daugther looking up at her father. It's subtle and wasn't use too much because some portions of the dialogue implied that she's grown up, hence she's at his eye level.

I wanted the lighting to feel completely realistic and natural as to not take away from the performances. I utilized Lite Mat 2's as well as chinaballs for the keylight on most set ups. Caleb's character was mostly underexposed with a portion of him exposed or overexposed to imply that he is still hiding himself from her. I did this by implying the shade of a lamp blocking light from his face, but not his chest.

We chose to shoot on the Panasonic GH4 because of its size and noise structure. It gave the film a texture that made it feel more natural. I shot in vLog and recorded externally to 10 bit ProRes files. I used my Nikkor lenses, which were a 20mm, 24mm, 35mm, and 50mm.

The film turned out beautiful. It's a smooth story to watch about two characters crossing paths again in life. I'm thankful for Tracy bringing me on to shoot the film. Thank you to my crew: Gaffer Mike Maliwanag and AC Mike Stanislawski for being beyond helpful.