Learning Journey

It’s an age-old truism that while it takes one person to write a film, it takes an army to make one. The key to the success of any film is an efficiently run crew who share a creative vision. From the onset of this production I had a core crew in mind so securing them for this project was one of the most important steps.

What attracted me to the film noir style was its use of chiaroscuro lighting and the use of shadows to create abstract shapes in the composition of a frame. If I wanted to succeed in my director’s vision, I needed a director of photography who was familiar with this style of cinematography. For me, there was only one cinematographer in mind. Cameron Niblock has the intimate knowledge of the techniques required that I needed. Bold contrasts between light and dark are his signature work, so getting him on board for this project was my first step in getting this production off the ground.

Sound Designer Trevyn Stegall once said that "Art paints the surface, sound paints the space." The set location for this project had a large amount of reverb, so getting the right sound designer on board for this project was essential. I needed a sound recordist who was capable of reducing that echo to a workable level. Having worked with John Hamill previously on many projects in difficult locations, I knew he was someone I could trust with this project. Having him on my crew made all the difference when it came to the sound design in post. His work on set meant that foley and soundscaping in post was far more efficient than if I had someone else instead.

The last person I needed for my crew was a capable first AC and gaffer. This is where Marta Kalniņa comes in. She has worked on many projects with my DOP before, so she has already established a good working relationship within the camera department of this project. Like Cameron Niblock, she also has a good theoretical understanding of the practical techniques required in film noir. Therefore she was a logical choice of gaffer to bring onto this project.

Production Stills:

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