Sam Shapson sent me this mail to share his first narrative film shoot in moonlight with the Sony A7s:
My name is Sam Shapson, and I’m a young director with a new project I’m really excited to share online this Tuesday. I saw your article for Carbon Studios “Moonlight” on your website, and I’m thinking my project might just be up your alley.
Its a short film called Refuge, and its the first narrative film ever to be exclusively lit by moonlight.
My team and I shot it over two nights deep in the mountains in the dead of night. With the Sony A7s set to 51,200 ISO, I was able to capture a 6 minute Scifi Thriller set against the ethereal misty mountains of the Angeles National Forest.
I was blown away by what the guys at Carbon Studios pulled off with their “Moonlight | Sony A7s” video and I felt compelled to apply what they’d accomplished to narrative. Working with my good friend and AFI Grad, Derek Stuckert, we developed a story that called for a visceral, otherworldly experience that I believe made the most of the technology. Meanwhile my DP — Barry Elmore, a fellow Columbia College Chicago alumn — went out with me for test after test to see how far the technology could be pushed while staying pure to our goal. After concluding that we would bring no lights, we found that large bounce cards would be absolutely key. This allowed us to literally bounce moonlight to fill in the deep shadows cast on the talents faces.
So then, after tracking the moon and weather for several months, it finally came time for production. Lemme just say that while producing a low-budget, two night shoot in a remote location is one thing, doing so without allowing ANY light spill whatsoever is something completely different. Miraculously, my team and I managed to get everything we needed while avoiding any light from astronomical twilight, city spill, or our flashlights — which we generally discouraged using to keep our eyes dilated. It was seriously an incredibly thrilling experience that I’ll never forget.
I’m hitting you up because I’m looking for journalists whose reader base might dig this kind of thing. If you’re at all curious, I’d be willing to share a private pre-release link with you to take a look for yourself!
Let me know what you think. And either way, I appreciate your time!
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