Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"Beneath The Surface," our latest short film, premiers tonight in Providence

From beyond
Beneath The Surface, a New England ghost story

This past weekend, I shot a short film with team Playomatic for the Providence 48 Hour Film Project.

On Friday night, we initially drew "Road Movie" as our genre, but since we had secured a fantastic near-mansion in Manchester-by-the-Sea as our location, we didn't want to have to leave that behind and hit the road. So we took our chances with the wild card draw. As you can imagine, we were psyched when we drew "Ghost Movie," as it played right into the strengths of our location.

The required elements we ended up with were:

Genre: Ghost movie
Character: M. Chaney, hairdresser
Prop: Pear
Line of Dialog: "If you see him again, tell me."

All competing teams (some 50 or so--about half the number that competed in Boston in April) had to include those same elements; Character, Prop and Line of Dialog, into their film, regardless of what genre they drew.

(The 48 Hour run on pears probably raised a few produce manager eyebrows, too, and it's an Onion headline waiting to happen: "Mysterious Spike in New England Pear Sales Baffles American Fruit Council," but I digress.)

I'm proud of what we accomplished in a short two days.

Shooting the Ghost emerging from the pool
"She swims at night. Only at night..."

Cinematographically (I don't think that's a word, actually) this one was a lot of fun! I used one of my still cameras to shoot some infrared portraits and timelapses, which we animated into the film. The infrared has a natively "otherworldly" look to it, and it was perfect for the ghostly feel we were after.

The old tree swing in the backyard
Ye Old Oak Tree and backyard swing

I even managed to shoot some ethereal underwater footage in the pool of Leigh in a vintage-looking gown for a drowning sequence.

We shot and edited in SD this time, in the interest of speed and simplicity, since we were editing on my laptop on the fly. But, we went tapeless, again, shooting to P2 cards.

It's great not to have to digitize tapes, especially under such time pressure. Shooting to tape just feels so ancient and creaky now, I really try to avoid it whenever possible. Of course, the hard drives I buy now are measured in terabytes not gigabytes, but that's progress for you.

A Visitation
Portrait of a ghost
Some see her. Others cannot.

"Beneath The Surface" premiers at 9pm tonight at the Columbus Theatre in Providence, RI.

Photos ©BradKelly 2008. Pool-side production photo courtesy Art Hennessey.


jenn said...

Wow! Your imagery is fantastic! I just watched the movie The Others", so I'm in prime "ghost recognizing" form, and your shots rival those of that film for sure. I'm glad you were able to use the infrared, as I rarely see that used in films. Great work. Looking forward to seeing the finished piece.