THE FILM TECHNIQUE
Tycho is known for a distinctive photographic-design aesthetic through his projects known as iso50. We wanted to run with his aesthetic and build upon it cinematically to sculpt a story. We tasked our DP, Joe Picard, to develop some unique cinematic techniques to achieve new looks in camera..
We shot the “audience” narrative — within the visible light spectrum — using a standard RED Epic camera package and de-coated zeiss super-speed standard prime lenses. We thrived on capturing majestic wide-angle shots that enhanced the beauty of our locations and complemented those shots with an assortment of textural macros and long-lens compressions to drive home an intimate experience with our characters.. The de-coated lenses brought us very close to the “Tycho aesthetic” in-camera.. The lenses gave us creamy lifted shadows with muted yet saturated colors, distinctly rich bokeh, and pools of soft focus with crisp focal points. This was a great starting point for our colourist at Glassworks to take it to another world.
We captured the infrared “POV” narrative through the usage of infrared and full-spectrum photography, we custom modified a second RED Epic camera to enable this unique aesthetic. Placing stylized filters over the lens gave a dreamy, highly-affected look that emphasized we were looking through our heroine’s eyes. Lastly, in grade we experimented greatly with channel mixing and advanced processing to render a variety of remarkable looks. We had the guys at Keslow Camera dig out all their old filters from the black and white film days. We used some of the most saturated ones we could find to shift the visible part of the spectrum in a different direction from the infrared colors to create more color contrast and emphasize the surreal nature of our character’s vivid trip..
We wanted to create a whole new look with which to shoot the band, something that would tie the story together.. We started experimenting with infrared lighting and discovered that the IR emitter in the Microsoft Kinect projects a starfield-like dot pattern not unlike what a 3D render of point cloud data looks like; with our full spectrum camera it became photographic.. Some of the lens flares we were able to make with the Kinect are unlike anything we've ever seen before - creating super dense moire patterns and 3D-like caustic inversions of lens geometry. The set was totally dark, aside from a red laser - we could not see anything except while looking through the cameras viewfinder. Operating a camera in this situation was like a real manifestation of virtual reality. The band also couldn’t see each other and couldn’t tell who or what the camera was looking at - which ultimately made the performance feel very raw..
Ultra-Talented Conor Greeble and Mike Williams handled all of the practical builds for the piece, crafting minimalist geometric props that were designed in 3D and then manufactured in the Autofuss wood shop. For her POV shots, they wanted the props to become more surrealist and illuminated, so they fabricated them to have LED’s floating between the layers of wood - which they had good friendMarek Michalowski assemble some circuitry that allowed them pulse and come to life.
THE PRACTICAL FX
They also experimented with an array of different practical effects to generate the visuals for the triangle and circular tunnels.. What was used in the video is a video projector pointed at the camera with some laser cut acrylic shapes directing the light, and of course heavy amounts of haze and light being informed by animated graphic patterns.. They ended up creating massive library of practical footage based on Tycho's signature shapes, utilizing a variety of techniques such a burning Steel Wool embers through a chrome tube, heaps of chemical reactions and some spinning embers to create circular volumes, in addition to the projection tunnel techniques.. Sadly, not all of the footage was used in the edit so Connie Kim put together a super-smoove edit of what was hot, and a thorough breakdown on his Bedtimes.xxx website..
Being that Scott himself has Northern California roots, we wanted the story will be told using three iconic locations in the region - the beautiful redwood forests of Big Basin Redwoods state park, the lush golden field of Ano Nuevo and the stunning beach setting ofSan Gregorio.. All three locations provided a uniquely saturated color palette, atmospheric lighting and rich texture that was definitively in the Tycho aesthetic. In addition, the lush vegetation of each location accentuated the infrared photography, and amplified the contrast between ‘audience’ and POV stylings..
Munko's super Rep Mr. Michael Stanish of Ground Ctrl hooked it up with one of the best young colorists in London, Matt Hare out ofGlassworks UK.. Together they rocked a heavily stylized grade, coming up with an ultra Tycho-faded color treatment and then pushed the Full-Spectrum Photography to a properly surrealist place, where color combinations that couldn't possibly exist together came through with proper definition.. This colour session, along with some Flame love from the Legendary James Mac were the main post ingredients that took the piece to where it needed to go...
Creating “See” was nothing short of an epic thrill ride.. Having a crew so passionate and dedicated made camping in a torrential downpour, crossing rivers and traversing blistering conditions a pure joy.. We all believe that energy had a huge impact on the end result and the feelings the piece will evoke in its audience.. It was definitely one of the richest collaborative projects that Munko has ever been a part of -- purely positive vibes the entire time - the Quattro and them memories shall live forever..
Tycho - See Credit List
Production Company: Ground Control UK
Executive Producer: Michael Stanish
Director of Photography: Joe Picard
Concept: Bradley G Munkowitz, Ian Colon, Joe Picard
Line Producer: Andrew 'Demansky Devankeys' Devansky
Assistant Director: Ian Colon
Edit: Bradley G Munkowitz, Ian Colon
Post Facility: Glassworks UK
Colourist: Matt Hare
Flame Artist: James MacLachlan
Camera Assistants: Magaera Stephens, Noah Hassie, Dakota Wilder Smith
Grips / Lighting: Tej Verde, Dakota Wilder Smith, Patrick Walsh
Props design and fabrication: Conor Grebel, Mike Williams
Practical FX design: Conor Grebel, Mike Williams
Female Lead: Hannah Helena Bjørnø
Male Lead: Eone Darke n’ Cray
Costume Design: Jasmine Hamed
Makeup Art: Melissa Capistrano
Process Photography: Dan Cowles, Maris Curran, Dakota Wilder
Process Editorial: Cyrus Tabar
Camera Rentals: Chater Camera, Keslow Camera
Equipment Rentals: Little Giant Grip & Electric
Extra Special Thanks: Ground Control, Autofuss, Bot & Dolly, Ghostly, Tycho
for Ghostly International