Thursday, September 25, 2014

Beyond, The Interview

            Beyond, The Interview

    This Post is number one hundred on this blog. The idea of post one hundred gave me writers block because I wanted to do something huge then it hit me that most film makers have the same problem. What keeps them from making a movie is the quest to make the perfect movie. Just do the best as a film maker each and every day and sooner or later you will get to where hard work and focus has taken everyone who choose to chase a dream.
Q) This is my interview with Raphael Rogers, the film maker behind the impressive short sci-fi film Beyond. The obvious question has to be what is Beyond about?

Beyond is about a woman who has the ability to survive teleportation and is tasked with exploring new planets.

Q) I have seen films with a crew of a few dozen not be able to accomplish what you did with this film. When the end credits roll, it is just you and the lead actress. When you came up with the idea for this film did you imagine that it would end up being a two person project?

Yeah actually. Bianca and I had done projects before together and I really just wanted to make something where I had complete control so I could get my vision out there. So I tailored the idea towards that end goal.

Q) Are you a film school film maker or did you learn the craft through trial and error?
Also it looks like you did all the effects for this film. Effects that I have to say were as impressive at times as I seen on display in any of the Hollywood tent pole films. Did you know before hand that you were capable of pulling the effects off or was it a matter of I am here and I have to get this done?

I went to school at Michigan State for digital media in general which in some ways I think was better. I learned audio production as well as graphic design and some film. A lot I learned was just from trial and error after I was done with school though.

As for the visual effects. I've been playing with After Effects for a few years. By no means am I amazing at it I just know a few tricks. So some of it I knew how to do and a lot of it I learned in post... that's why it took me six months to finish!

Q) You lead actress, Bianca Malinowski, was great. How much rehearsal went into her performance and how much input did she have on the construction of her character?

There was no rehearsal. She's naturally a great actress, one of the reasons I like working with her. She makes strong choices and had a good amount of input on her character. She's also on Halt and Catch Fire on AMC if you want to see more of her. I wrote it for her.

Q) The most overlooked part of film making by the beginner is sound. Poor sound quality is the one thing that has sunk more films than I can count. The sound in Beyond was great. What did you use and would you have made different choices if the budget was larger?

If the budget was larger I would have used someone that is better at mixing than me! I also would have had sound on set instead of just using the on camera mic. Lots of ADR happened as a result. I used Adobe Audition to record ADR, my own microphone (Rode NT1-A) and a ton of purchased sound effects that I combined together. I play music as well so sound has always been important in my mind.

Q) What was the budget on this film and the length of the shoot?

The budget was $1000 which included rental of the camera, food, gas and props/costume. We shot it in 3 days with 1 pickup day for the cave scene.

Q) The readers of this blog will hunt me down if I do not ask the camera question.
What did you shoot with? How did it perform? Would you recommend it and in the perfect universe what camera would you use?

I used the Canon c100. I would definitely recommend it for a short. Super easy in post. The image looks good out of the camera. Good in low light. I'm about to release another short which was shot on epic, sony a7s, gopro and 5D III. I own the a7s and I love it and I bet the new Sony FS7 is awesome. I enjoy being light and nimble for small shoots as well as just using natural light. I have yet to use the alexa, though I adore the image. Amira would be fun too.

BEYOND, sci fi short film from Raphael Rogers on Vimeo.

Q) This will mark my 100th post on this blog. The thing that I have learned during the past two years is that the one thing most beginning film makers will discover while working on their first project is the importance of what is called Post. The things that happen and must be done once the principle shooting has ended. Sci fi are by their very nature post production monsters. What came up in post that you wish you had known about before hand?

How long it was going to take! It was like running a marathon. Every shot has to impress in sci fi so by the end of post I had gotten better at vfx so I had to go back and make my earlier shots better. Plus there are always pickups unless you're amazing. Editing the story in an intriguing way is challenging.

Q) Every film maker should have heroes. Who are the film makers that you most admire?

At the moment Doug Liman because of Edge of Tomorrow. I think he did a killer job with that and I love that he used so many practical effects in it. I'm a fan of LOTR of course too. Probably my favorite movies. Anything fantasy or sci fi with strong characters gets my attention.

Q) What comes next? Any feature film dreams?

I'm about to release another short. Then shooting another one after that in two weeks. Working on writing the feature for both. Yes I would kill to do a feature, just looking for the right opportunity.

Q) Last question. Any advice you wish you had been given before picking up a camera for the first time?

You won't be good right away. Just because you're making stuff you don't like at first doesn't mean you won't get there. Just keep making stuff in anyway you can. Don't procrastinate for any reason.

 Thank you again Raphael for taking the time to do this interview.

To the readers of this blog I ask as always if you would take a moment to share this post with a friend and to post a quick like on Stumbleupon that would be great.

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