Recreating A Miniature Timelapse In Studio

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Each day nine people are killed by distracted driving in the U.S., and their life stories are abruptly cut short. The families of the victims are left wondering what could have been were it not for such senseless tragedies. The short film “The Treehouse” imagines the unfinished story of Howard Stein. 

As a cinematographer, I wanted to give a very “independent film” look to it. So I recorded the set live, not frame by frame as usual. And used as few motion control camera moves as possible. Aways having a natural almost documentary look, assuming motion blur and blown-out windows. 

But to this shot, we wanted it to be big. It’s a twist on the story and it needed that impact. 

We rigged an Arri L7 on a 6 axis motion control rig. 20 DMX channels animating lights. Another 3 axis motion control moving the camera and focus. And a making of camera. All controlled by one software called Dragonframe. 

The scene starts with an interior night. Howard turns the workshop light off and it’s now a “no light” light, low key night setup. The sun rises warm and diffused. As it comes up it gets closer to 5600k. The diffused light from the sky coming from the window gets more present. The horizon changes color with a couple of Skypanels. Howard enters the door and realizes something happened during the night. 
It took one day to get everything ready. Hope you guys enjoy watching the film as much as I enjoyed shooting it!

Follow me at @lrcinematography, the director @gui_films and the motion control operators @drivemotioncontrol & @oficinadogringo

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