OFFF Barcelona 2014

Two weeks ago we were sitting in an auditorium in Barcelona watching our film play on the big screen for an audience of like-minded creatives in our field. We are so excited to finally share this project we were so absolutely honored to be a part of.

In March, just one week after both showing work and working SXSW we flew up to Washington state and spent 6 days working alongside the revered Ash Thorp and god amongst men, Anthony Scott Burns on a short they were making for OFFF 2014. But I’m getting ahead of myself, let me start from the beginning.

We arrived at the airport at 7am with the most gear we’ve ever flown with. We each had our carry-on pelican cases jam packed with cameras and lenses, plus backpacks stuffed with any gear allowed to be carried on. We also had two pelicans we were checking on containing everything from wrenches to lights to stands..pieces of grip equipment that surely left them scratching their heads. After waiting in line to check in behind a family with like ten kids, we were next. Kevin hoists the hugest pelican up on the scale…130 pounds. Limit is 100. We can’t carry anything else in our carry-ons, they are packed with such precision that there isn’t a inch of space to spare. Lady behind the counter says we must get it to 100. There at the front of the line, we are those people opening our clothes bag and stuffing screwdrivers and batteries and anything small enough to squeeze into our clothes bags which were already over packed with puffy winter jackets, scarves and boots. The stress was yet to cease there, I ended up getting pulled aside, patted down and had my entire backpack emptied and searched and ended up loosing a tiny multi-tool I forgot was in my wallet. After the commotion was over, we made it, and our flight to Seattle was easy. On arrival, we met up with our producer, Nicholas Bechard, Ash and Anthony, and our main actor, Christopher Thomas, who everybody calls Garfield. From Seattle we drove to North Bend, the town where Twin Peaks was filmed. We stayed in the most picturesque motel right at the bottom of a towering snow-capped peak. You’ll see our motel later when you watch the film, it’s grand. So day one we spent, touring the town and scouting our locations on the mountain, getting the Bronco, and game-planning for the next day’s shoot. Once everything was in order and the night had fallen, we went to dinner at the famous Twin Peaks Cafe. The waitress was great, everything one would want in a famous little mountain-town corner coffee shop – and they made a great veggie burger – and had craft beer – who woulda thought.

When the sun was up the next morning, we were too. Shoot day one was upon us and today looked nothing like yesterday! Yesterday was overcast, gray, and perfect! Today the sun was shining the brightest it probably ever had in Washington, in history! We all freaked out for a second and then hopped in the cars and went to see what it looked like on the mountain. Because of the sun, we had to be very selective about where we shot based on sun and shadows. Lucky for us the mountain was heavily forested and had a lot of great low light to work with. While the heavy forest was great for the picture, at times it posed a huge challenge for the helicopter guys. We are honored to collaborate with Brad Meier from Freefly and Henning Sandstrom, a rad aerial shooter from Sweden. Those guys really had their work cut out for them with this project, the maneuvers we were looking for through trees was dangerous. Those guys arose to the challenge and nailed the shots. Day two was much like day one and day three was more of the same. Day three or four we shot in a place we dubbed Jurassic Park. The moss covered trees were epic! Every day we shot, we were outside in the trees, freezing our butts off, and loving every minute of it because every night, after dinner, we went back to the Northbend Motel to watch dailies and freak out at how beautiful it all looked.

So instead of more rambling about rain and cold, muddy fields, and beautiful wilderness with elk crossing and flying cameras, just watch our film.

OFFF Barcelona 2014 Main Titles by Ash Thorp & Anthony Scott Burns from OFFF, let's feed the future on Vimeo.

The score is gonna get you. It’s gorgeous and perfect. Another fine work by Pilotpriest. Turn up your volume and enjoy.

Upon seeing the finished film, we were all blown away at how the Canon 5D Mark III held up. Going into this project, we knew we needed a compact and lightweight camera for all the hoops we were going to be sending it through. We flew it on a helicopter, mounted it to a Bronco, and attached it to the Movi then ran with it. The Canon 5D Mark III ended up being the perfect candidate for the job. We fitted it with our Zeiss primes and the images are stunning. We had a total of five EOS 5D Mark IIIs on set so we didn’t have to disassemble all the mountings, basically designated one to live on the heli, one for the Movi, one for the car mounts, one for sticks, and one for handheld shots. Because my 5D was one of the workhorses, I ended up shooting all the behind the scenes stills on the Sony 7R. I am impressed with my new little camera which delivers larger images than my 5D! It’s my new, perfect little, go-anywhere camera.

Check out my photos – all from the 7R with the exception of 2 images:

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There’s more to this story, here’s a link to an interview that half the group contributed to: (I’ll post the link as soon as they post it – check back)
It’s pretty cool, they talk about the background and significance of the film, get all technical and nerd out about the helicopter, Kevin and the Freefly guys discuss our first time using the Movi and much more.

And a fun little behind the scenes video shot by Howard Gordon, our production assistant, makeup artist, and man of many things.

washington (2014) from HDG

OFFF Barcelona 2014

CREDIT LIST:

A Topix Production

Christopher Thomas – Ben
Gary Lundstrom – Franklyn
Jude Taylor – Young Ben
Roxanne – Russell The Dog

Directors – Ash Thorp and Anthony Scott Burns
Writers – Ash Thorp and Anthony Scott Burns
Producer – Nick Bechard
First Assistant Director – Nick Bechard
Director of photography – The Joelsons
Editor – Anthony Scott Burns
VFX – Anthony Scott Burns
UI Animator – Andrew Hawryluk
Heli/Movi Camera Operator – Henning Sandström
Remote Helicopter Unit pilot – Brad Meier
Movi/Remote Helicopter Unit – Freefly Systems
Assistant Camera / Set Stills Photographer – Rebecca Joelson
Production Assistant / Set Stills Photographer – Howard Gordon
Color Grading – Marc Morato Metropolitana
Score – Pilotpriest

Special Thanks:
Our amazing family and friends
Stacy Hatzinikolas
Monica Thorp
Freefly
Tony Husted
Jeff Levaur
North Bend Motel

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2 Responses to “OFFF Barcelona 2014”
  1. freddyawad says:

    Reblogged this on Fred's Blog on WordPress and commented:
    OFFF Barcelona 2014 – Behind The Scenes

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  1. […] my bags to get right back on a plane and fly to Washington state where Kevin and I would shoot a short film. In fact, it just debuted in Barcelona in May. You can read about that HERE. Another reason I […]



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