That’s a Wrap on Isle of the Dead: XP-573!
“Isle of the Dead” was a cool action-zombie shoot with Director Nick Lyon. Two Red Epic Dragons and a set of 6 Ultra Primes were our base package. We were always shooting two cams, with “A Cam” riding steadicam 1/2 the time.
Anticipating a hectic schedule with time needed for gags and sfx work, I was hoping to find a “simple” approach to the look… Once our locations were locked in as a “jungle” and the Water Reclamation Facility in San Pedro, I knew I could “keep it simple” with a natural look for our day exteriors and relying mostly on practicals for our interiors at the “poop plant” (our affectionate nickname for the San Pedro facility).
I knew the Dragon sensor and Ultra Primes would allow me to work in fairly low light levels, and the “poop plant” has a lot of fantastic existing lighting. Coordinating with production Designer Kalise Wallace, together we had a variety of work lights in all different shapes and sizes, some hanging, some floor stands, some halogen, some incandescent, and ranging from 60w to 600w. The plan was to go with “existing lighting” for our interiors, and add more practicals from our own arsenal as needed. Shooting fast, and with two cameras, it was great to be able to throw up a back light or edge light and not have to sweat whether it might show up in a shot later on. We needed to embrace the “messy” mix of natural and unnatural lighting to meet our concerns, both, for the look of our semi-apocalyptic story, as well as our time crunch!
Our Director, Nick, wanted a lot of twitching and flickering lights, and this was another reason to have our own practicals thrown into the mix. We often had 3 or 4 magic gadget flicker boxes scattered around the set.
Nick also wanted FOG. Our island needed to be mysterious, and we were cheating California for a jungle island. We had several high powered foggers and fans to blow fog basically everywhere. Fog drifts through the trees, making for an alternately serene and creepy look for our jungle, and the fog continues in doors as exhaust from machines or the mysterious island mist drifting in through open air tunnels.
A Fantastic Crew!
We have to thank our crew for the hard work they put in, making this movie happen on a brisk schedule! Thank you all so much! See you on the next one!
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