Welcome back for yet another week of the anamorphic cinematography challenge! Week 15 is an artistic category with the assignment being to get a shot focusing on metal. So many choices for metal to film, but there weren't any concerts going on (get it? metal? well I thought it was funny at least.)
The prompt for this week was "Cold, hard steel. Shiny Aluminum. Or even rusted and broken down. Find your inspiration in metal this week."
I decided that my subject matter would be the train tracks that run by my apartment. I've always loved shots of train tracks, the perfect lines, they just make for great shots. So let's go ahead and watch the shot for this week.
Let's talk tech specs. This week was shot on the BMPCC (I know, AGAIN, what a shock) in 1080 30P compressed cinemaDNG RAW, at f5.6, 45 degree shutter, 200asa with the B&L Anamorphic Projector lens attached to a Sigma 18-50mm lens set to around 45mm.
So where to start talking about this week. Well first let's address a "challenge" that I faced to get this week's shot. The challenge was a little sign posted right next to the tracks about the legal ramifications of "trespassing" on the tracks.
Yeah that's right, I'm a rebel. I sneakily got onto the tracks after making sure no one was around and quickly got my illegal shot. Or maybe I'm bullshitting you and just dismissed the sign and took the whole two minutes to get my shot with no worries.
Disclaimer for those reading (just to cover my own ass) I do not in any way condone breaking the law to get the shot, especially in real production situations where you can put crew at risk as everyone learned with a now infamous and tragic train tracks filming incident.
But other than that one "Challenge" this week really was pretty simple. After narrowing down the abundance of options for metal subject matter I just had to pop out of my apartment and get the shot.
It also worked out well that I was exporting proxy video files that were taking over my computer for a few hours so this actually was giving me something to do as well!
Now my favorite part of this shot is the clouds in the background. There was a big storm starting to blow into town when I filmed this so there was a bunch of big fluffy clouds in the background.
Personally I love a nice full sky as a background rather than just a clear blue sky. It's a lot less boring.
This also gave a great look color wise from the warmth of the rocks, metal, and trusses of the tracks to the coolness of the sky.
After I filmed this I ended up watching Mad Max Fury Road and caught myself coloring my shot very similar to their extreme orange and blue color grade. I toned it down once I noticed but I really do love a good orange and blue color grade.
Well that's it for this week, make sure to come back next week to see what's next! As always, if you are participating in a cinematography or photography challenge please make sure to share your image for this week in the comments below!
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Alan Meyer is an experienced cinematographer, but is no stranger to writing.