What did you shoot on?
From the beginning I always wanted to shoot on anamorphic. We chose it because of the landscape we were shooting on and for the lens flairs. Personally I haven’t used anamorphic for narrative very often so that was exciting for me.
How did this project come about?
This job came about in an interesting way in that they found me through my agent and it just so happened that they wanted to shoot in my hometown of Carmel. I used to run through the mountains in the spring with pollen in the air and to be back shooting there was very special. We were able to shoot in a redwood grove, which was where I grew up and used to shoot bow and arrows. Anyways I was shocked when I was told they wanted to film there. Being able to bring up my crew from LA to shoot in Carmel with the Phillips brothers was all very special.
What were some of the challenges you had shooting on location?
Shooting in an open field was hard. It was the biggest problem that I had to overcome visually with the location. Having to shoot the horses from higher angles with all the flat land behind was difficult. Luckily the anamorphic frame helped with not having to show too much ground.
One of the tools we used to create a lot of the great movement in the short was a 30ft techno crane we put on the back of a flatbed truck. This allowed us to move quickly, audition different shots until we found the one we liked, and work with actors that were high up on a horse.
Another issue was daylight. Since we shot during winter in the mountains we only had 8 hours of light, 6 that were usable. The techno crane allowed us to make the most with the time we had.
What were some of the thoughts behind shooting the bar scene?
For the bar scene we wanted to mix it up. Everything else in the short is very smooth steady floating in and out and so the idea with the flashback was to make it more jarring by going handheld. Even when doing the handheld I made it a little more jarring by slapping the camera around a bit. The bar was built that day on the property and was made of wood from an Amish barn from the 1800’s so that made it pretty authentic and special.
How did the horses behave for you?
Horses are hard. Fucking really hard. We used beautiful horses but they weren’t Hollywood horses. If we didn’t have that crane we’d still be shooting the short today. Our wranglers were champs.