On The Rocks

On The Rocks: A Few Words On The Aspect Ratio

Hey everyone this is Sam Reid here with a quick blog entry! A big thank you again to all those who have supported us on this movie, we are grateful for all your help on this. I figured I’d give you all a little write up on one of the things we are doing with the look of the movie; shooting in the aspect ratio of 2.00:1 and why we chose it!

Back in April of this year I worked with Justin Cauti, Justin Brunelle and Carlee Ryski on a one-day project. It was a short demo scene we shot for Carlee that was an excerpt from a screenplay by Cauti. That project was the first time I tried shooting with the Canon C100 using only natural light. We did something else new too; we framed with the 2.00:1 aspect ratio in mind.

I’ve seen this ratio used before, mainly on all 3 seasons of House of Cards and more recently Jurassic World. But my first knowledge of it came way back when Apocalypse Now! was released on DVD and the film’s cinematographer decided to crop the film from 2.35:1 to 2.00:1. I don’t know if cropping a masterpiece like that was a good idea (it’s the original 2.35 ratio on Blu-ray) but I’m no Vittorio Storaro.  

Early in pre-production Justin Kueber and I talked about shooting On The Rocks in this format. What I liked about it was that I would get the benefit of framing for wider shots but at the same time have a little extra frame space at the top and bottom which would allow us to fit more of the tall mountains and hills of the badlands. 

Even though we are framing for 2.00 we are still shooting in 1.78 so this allows us in post to shift the frame up or down if needed to slightly reframe the shots or stabilize them.

Below is an example of a shot we did featuring the Drifter character as photographed in 1.78:1 and then properly matted to 2.00:1. For fun I also made an example of what it would look like in the more traditional 2.35:1 format. 

Full open matte 1.78:1 aspect ratio as photographed

Full open matte 1.78:1 aspect ratio as photographed

Final matted 2.00:1 aspect ratio as intended

Final matted 2.00:1 aspect ratio as intended

2.35:1 version for comparisons sake

2.35:1 version for comparisons sake

I like how the 2.00:1 format is a comfortable middle ground between the two. It gives that wider, more cinematic feel to the movie and crops out some of the dead space in the shot. But it also allows for some breathing room to the frame and preserves more of the sky. 

For this shot in particular we wanted to draw a visual comparison between the Drifter and the mountain which I hope has an impact on the impression the audience has towards this character. Every project is different though and it's all about choosing what works best for the story you're trying to tell and the characters within it.

That's all for now though! I hope this gives a little insight into the thought process behind the visuals of On The Rocks. I can't wait for next week when we travel back to Drumheller for two more days of principle photography!

Sam Reid

On The Rocks - Blog Update #1

Hi everyone,

First and foremost, WOW! $1380 in 18 days - that is incredible. We can't even begin to thank you for your generosity and kindness. To put it in perspective, $1380 will cover hotel rooms and actor wages, along with paying for some of the special effects required for this film. We are so incredibly thankful to have so many supportive fans out there that support the film and support us as filmmakers as well.

That being said, we have 12 days left and we would love to surpass $1500 (and maybe even $2000) for the campaign. We have an awesome and very popular perk right now, the "YouTube Shout Out Perk". For $25 we will record a YouTube Thank You Shout Out which comes with us reenacting a famous scene in a Hollywood movie. We are terrible actors but it's fun and you get to see us out of our comfort zone - and let's be honest, we are having a pretty awesome time making them. So far we thanked Harleena Braich with a famous scene in Tommy Wiseau's "The Room" and Parker Budda and Jordan Underhill with a famous scene in Nicolas Cage's "The Wicker Man". What's coming up next? Well, we don't want to ruin the surprise but tomorrow Justin Kueber serenades Kyle Connolly to a song from his favourite movie. Check our YouTube Page out tomorrow for all the fun!

If you would like to donate and have a YouTube shoutout and reenactment video click the link below:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/on-the-rocks-short-film/x/10286595#/story

 

As far as the film goes, we are starting to lock down all the locations required for filming. Pretty much left to find is interior scenes and a Canola Field as of right now. Cadet Uniforms, on the other hand, that's a whole different story. If anyone is able to lend us one Cadet Uniform we would be so very grateful. We only need it for one day of shooting too. 

As well, audition resumes and head shots are due tomorrow July 17 at midnight so if you haven't sent in a resume or headshot yet, you have a little bit of time left to do so. So far we have received SO SO SO SOOOOO many applications and we love you all for it. It makes us so happy seeing so many actors and actresses showing interest in this project. It's going to be impossible to choose a cast with so many great auditions and resumes sent in. We should have a finalized cast by next week! 

We are still looking for an OLD MAN for a minor role - the role is not exhausting by any means, however, it is one of the most important roles in the film. If you are interested in this role email us and we will tell you about it because we don't want to spoil any details of the film on the blog. Especially a character of such great importance. If your grandpa or neighbour or friend has ever dreamed of being in a film, this is their chance. 

Email us at: guerrillamotionpictures@gmail.com 

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I (Justin Kueber) haven't really talked about the film as we (Sam and Justin) have kept the plot pretty much under wraps. Since you guys have showed us so much support on our campaign I'll give you a detailed description of the plot without giving too much away:

"Grace and Adam are two infatuated teenagers who decide to run away from home and start a new life on the road. Things start off beautifully as the two are away from their problematic homes and enjoying a seemingly carefree life in the Alberta prairies.  However, after finding themselves stranded in Alberta’s Badlands without any food and barely enough water to survive, their relationship is put to test…" 

ON THE ROCKS is as much a survival story as it is a coming of age story about two teenagers without any direction trying to find their path in life. I know what you are thinking, "boring love story"....come on guys! This is a story from my mind. Give me some credit! This film is so important to me because it touches issues that I am so deeply passionate about and issues that are extremely relevant in today's society. Without ruining anything, I think this film is going to be in your minds for a long time after watching it.   But, that's all I'm saying for now ;)

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 Anyways, we will post more updates as we round out our cast and crew. As always, thank you guys for your continued support. If it weren't for you, this film would just be lines on a computer screen. Thank you so much for helping it come to life.

Justin Kueber
Sam Reid
Guerrilla Motion Pictures Inc.