In June, cinematographer Dave Clement of Thunderstone Pictures teamed up with Director Molly Clayton to shoot a short dramatic film in the forests and along the north shore of Lake Superior in the vicinity of Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Cinevate supported the project by allowing Clement to come by the shop and customize a support rig for the Panasonic AF100 based on the popular DSLR Core Package. A cinematographer based in Thunder Bay, Dave was the brain behind the original Core Rig and has had a close and creative relationship with Cinevate since the beginning of the company.
When asked why he chose the AF100 he said it was “for it’s lightweight, low-light capabilities, built-in ND filters which allowed for the use of multiple filters and the availability of ultra-fast Micro 4/3 lenses like the Voigtländer 25mm f 0.95.” He noted, “We needed a camera that could give us the performance we needed on an extremely low-budget production. I knew we were going to be shooting by candlelight sometimes and in a dark log cabin with limited lighting resources available”. Dave shot the whole film utilizing a single 1200W HMI, a few 200W Dedolights, a couple LED 1000 daylight banks and a Kino Parabeam 400. “I also wanted a larger sensor video camera that could give me both deep focus and shallow depth-of-field. We had these epic Spaghetti Western-style exteriors we wanted. We also considered the Sony FS100, the Canon 5D, the Red MX and the Red Scarlet, but in the end it was the AF100 that had the right combo of features and the right in-camera look given the miniscule post-production budget“. He added he would have loved to try out the new Canon C300 if one had been available.
Clement knew from experience working in the remote Boreal forests of Northwestern Ontario, near the place where Cinevate innovations come from, that he needed a lightweight camera and rig that could be easily and quickly set up on a slider or light dolly in the field. “I had to craft these tracking shots in order to bring the forest alive as it was one of the characters in the film. With the mosquitoes and black flies in full force and tight timelines we were working with, the only way to achieve this was to employ a Cinevate Altas 10 slider fitted with the Dromos Bowl Riser”, said Clement. This gave the self-identified “bush cinematographer” the ability to mount the slider straight to a ball mount of a single tripod and to be able to ball-level his fluid head right on the riser. “The results were surprising I have to say, the movements are quite stunning”, he said.
The production of Clayton’s independent short, which currently has the working title “The Prospector’s Bride”, employed the use of recent graduates from the Film Production Program at Confederation College as well as some seasoned crew who originally hail from Thunder Bay. A grad of that program herself, Molly returned to Thunder Bay after seven years working in the Vancouver film industry specifically to make this film. “Without the incredible support of the Confederation College Film Production, Cinevate and the local filmmaking community none of this would have been possible”, noted Clayton. The lead actors and extras were also local as was the Art Designer Sarah Furlotte who crafted an incredibly believable turn-of-the-century look with few resources. Locations included Thunder Bay’s incredibly cooperative Founder’s Museum, Sleepy G Farm in Pass Lake and various locales along Lake Superior.
Hopefully we can share more information and media as the film goes through post-production. Thanks as well to set photographer Rebekka Redd for providing the BTS pics. You can check out the DSLR Core Package that Dave helped create as part of our Summer Sale running until July 31st, 2012.