“Terminus”, by Solomon Chase

(Updated below)

This must have been the closest call of any Kickstarter project at that level. From the $15,000 goal, $15,023 were pledged, after $300 were withdrawn in the last hour (almost giving me a heart attack). I’m so glad that the film was eventually funded though.

“Terminus” was shot last month in Atlanta by (the HV20-famed) Solomon Chase. He used the Canon 5D MkII, and the Technicolor CineStyle picture style; which allowed for an amazing look. Just look these amazing screen-grabs below. The Technicolor CineStyle picture style has even replaced my own ExtraFlat style, as it’s… even flatter and with more dynamic range in the shadows. Very cinematic.

The kid actor is the same kid from “The Walking Dead” TV series! Can’t wait for the film to be released.

Update: I backed two more indie projects on Kickstarter, both sci-fi films: “The Falconer” and “The B-Ring“. Payments are really easy, since there’s no need to enter credit card info if you already have an Amazon account.

Update 2: Solomon was very kind to send me info on how he color graded. Here’s the original un-graded version, here are his instructions (1, 2). Solomon wrote:

“I use different processes depending on what I’m going for. The flooded house shot used 3-4 different layers for example. Again though, as with “Rainy Day” cinematography, if you shoot in overcast weather… the dynamic range is going to look A LOT better. People think there is some magic effect I’m using. As you can see, the original shot looks just fine. The blueish, low contrast grade I created is a very specific and intentional effect – I wouldn’t go using it on everything. The 2nd “Multiply” layer is to add density to the blacks… you can adjust to taste (usually between 15%-35% looks good).”

And here is the result of my re-enactment of the look on Vegas. The way I got close to that look, in a simpler way I think: 1, 2.

As you can see in the ungraded version, it’s neither the grading in post, nor the Technicolor Cinestyle that makes the shot look so great. It’s the lighting. The lighting is perfect during the shoot.


Henry wrote on June 6th, 2011 at 9:03 AM PST:

Hey Eugenia. These screen grabs look great. I would love to get this look from some of the least expensive Canons. I guess that’s just a Technicolor CineStyle thing,huh? Would love to hear your input on this.

Still an avid reader of your blog,although I haven’t been commenting much. Please…continue with the work that you do.

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Eugenia wrote on June 6th, 2011 at 12:13 PM PST:

There’s not much else to say about the style. You just shoot with it. What’s more important is to have the right lighting in your scene. At the end, you color grade to your liking. You should *NOT* use the LUT (or the LUT-like S curve on Vegas), because the LUT just makes the footage like it would be if it was the “Neutral” style. If you’re grading for a movie, you just grade the Cinestyle directly.

Florian wrote on June 6th, 2011 at 2:02 PM PST:

I wonder how the footage was graded, with which tools and which settings. Even with Cinestyle, it’s not easy to achieve the look of the screenshots.

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Eugenia wrote on June 6th, 2011 at 2:06 PM PST:

In the past, Solomon used Vegas. Not sure if that’s what he still uses to edit/grade. It would be nice if he could upload an ungraded, full PNG version of the first picture above so we could play with it.

zima wrote on June 12th, 2011 at 2:50 PM PST:

I think I’m starting to see why “The Walking Dead” was in & near Atlanta – I take it the area looks like that “normally”?… The woman even looks a bit like a zombie!! 😉 (though it’s unlikely one would be roving; to be fair, seeing the images first via Opera Turbo – which gives particularly the boat image a notable blur, lower contrast & saturation (also greyish face) – helped; but after reloading not much changed ;p)

PS. @”Best of 2011, so far” two posts back – yeah, I missed one with that video, sorry (I’m a case study of why it’s not good to fold them 😉 …I only hope I didn’t miss one about Game of Thrones, that I just recommended ;p ); I’m a bit on & off / just my way / old tab groupings get forgotten; often on poor connection. Luckily & unusually, going through the archive here one day most likely won’t feel like a waste time; it has enough of sufficiently timeless stuff. BTW timeless – my way of music is not so great, really, with its constant awareness of “so much of it, so little time” while picking bits and pieces to create more or less my own “consistent” (to me / however weirdly) listening eras.

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