Latest Shoot: Twisted Metal Playstation Trailer

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Here is a trailer that I worked on with the incredibly talented folks at Zoic Studios that was revealed at the Sony Playstation press conference today at E3 gaming convention.

We shot the “Twisted Metal” trailer over one night in downtown Los Angeles a few weeks ago.   I was the DP on the gig with director Levi Ahmu, producers Chris Jones, Loni Peristere, and EP Erik Press – and a pretty fantastic crew.

This shoot was a blast – I think it’s safe to say that everyone on the crew had fun hanging out with a couple dozen actors dressed up as crazy clowns and freaks ready to light their hair on fire.   While the cast and camera moves were real – the flames were all VFX of course.

The original plan was to use the Canon 1D MKIV or 5D MKII as this would be a low light shoot.     I worked with the VFX team and we were worried that the H.264 compression would bring up too many potential headaches given that some of the characters had to be comped in – and each character had to have the flames added to their heads with VFX.    Therefore we decided to work with the Red Mysterium-X.   I was really impressed with how well the new sensor handled a pretty incredible range of exposure / latitude – far in excess of what I’m used to working with on digital.    I’ve since used the Mysterium-X on two separate videos and keep being surprised at how well it holds highlights and shadows at the same time.

Someday – I’d love to see how the Canons would do relative to this sensor – but until the Canons can offer RAW recoding  (i.e. not H.264 compressed footage that they currently do) we’ll never really know…  As I’ve said – each camera has it’s unique place in the market today – each has pros and cons and I love to work with both of them.

Huge kudos goes to the crew and especially gaffer Mark Lindsay for finding us a spare generator at midnight when ours died at a pretty inopportune time – (anytime a generator dies on an exterior night shoot is a pretty inopportune time!)  – Mark had a new one delivered within less than 30 minutes believe it or not… that’s something VERY few gaffers can pull off out there…and the guy can light circles around you too…

And kudos to Christian Hurley the Technochrane operator who pulled off the wicked shot with the cigar – the shot of the cigar being thrown from the cab ( that cigar in mid-air was CGI – but it was a real move on a real cigar from there on)  the 180º turn back to Sweet Tooth (the clown) all the way to the pan up to his head is a SINGLE shot… and it was done on INCREDIBLY uneven ground mind you.   Sweet.   Always nice to work with pros/veterans.

I’d of course mention the dozens of SFX people – but I don’t yet have all of their names.  I also hope to put up a higher res video on Vimeo (full 1080) to show off the quality of the Mysterium X camera.

Thanks to Loni, Chris, Erik, and Nick C. for thinking of me on this one.    More Behind the scenes videos on the shoot to come in the next few days.


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