With the conclusion of chapter 3 contest of Canon and Vimeo’s Story “Beyond the Still” contest, we’re once again featuring behind the scenes production write-ups from the finalists and winning entry. We’re pleased to bring you finalist entry of Chapter 3: Good an Evil by award winning writer and director Eric Won. Be sure to check his other work out!
Good and Evil production write-up:
Hello, everyone. My name is Eric Won, the writer/director of Good and Evil. Iâ€™m very excited to share my production stories here and want to thank digitalcinemafoundry.com for the opportunity.
I found out about the contest a week before the deadline of 2nd chapter. I was immediately intrigued by the concept of the contest and wanted to participate. Since the deadline was only a week away, I decided to wait and enter in chapter 3. After they announced the finalists, I wrote two scripts based off of â€œAlderwoodâ€ and â€œHangar 7â€ but as you know, the winner was â€œJob Securityâ€. After I watched â€œJob Securityâ€ I wanted to follow the truck driver character and I also wanted to flip the idea of the security guard being a good guy and the truck driver as a bad guy. That night, I wrote a new script called Good and Evil.
I worked with Thomas(John), Fernando(Assassin) and Gino(Kazinski) before and I knew how talented they were so I was very excited when they said â€œYesâ€ to the project. I found Ivana(Stephanie) through my actress friend who recommended her strongly and I liked her look, feel and amazing attitude. Robert(Old boss) is the only actor I found through casting website. He was such a nice guy and he actually had a hook(literally) on his left arm which I thought it would be great visual and back story for the character.
Location is one of the most important aspects of filmmaking for me. I think of it as a character of its own. Location can enhance your story or degrade your story and thatâ€™s why I choose my locations very carefully.
Since my opening sequence was fairly simple, I knew it would make a lot of difference visually by showing the car window with bullet holes. I got the window from junk yard for $40. The result was priceless.
CINEMATOGRAPHY + COLOR by Ray Huang
We wanted to keep the lighting as naturalistic as possible, so we utilized available light and augmented it with a few carefully placed units. For example, in the factory scene we used Kino-Flos coming from the same direction as the overhead flourescents to boost the existing light level and give a little more contrast to the actorsâ€™ faces. We mostly eschewed the use of fill, or eye lights, and let the look go a little rough when the actors went into shadow to try and evoke a grittier feel that was more realistic. The night exterior setups really took advantage of the low light sensitivity of the Canon 7D and followed the naturalistic mantra- the only light we added was the headlamps of the car that drives through the frame. I donâ€™t think we could have achieved the same results unless we had shot on film, or another DSLR.
The 7D has a great chip in it, but it’s still lacking in dynamic range, and the H.264 compression doesn’t leave much wiggle room in post, so I flattened all the settings out in camera to give us the maximum flexibility in the color timing. We used Apple Color on a calibrated display to grade the film, and really tried to use it as another tool to help tell the story, rather than just making the imagery slick or pretty. Eric wanted to push the look as the story got more intense, so we designed a color grade that progressively became more extreme as the conflict built. We pumped up the contrast & blue in the factory to pop the scene from the previous one, which was all warm colors motivated by the firelight. In the final scene, Eric wanted to heighten the tension in the showdown with the assassin, so we gave it a real bleached out look and let the highlights burn out.
We started shooting at 12pm and wrapped at 1:30am. The first scene we shot was the hallway sequence. The location was an empty factory that was right next to our clothing factory location. It was opened when we were tech scouting and I told my DP, â€œLetâ€™s shoot the hall way sequence here if this is opened on the shooting dayâ€ and it was! But after the first shot, the owner came and found us, and he was very upset and tried to kick us out. Since I loved the location, I didnâ€™t want to shoot it anywhere else so the negotiation began. It was actually me begging to the owner for an hour who was threatening me to report to police. After an hour of begging, the location was finally ours, but we were so behind the schedule. By the time when we moved to the clothing factory, it was already 6pm and we were supposed to be out of there by 7pm. So I decided to cut the master shots and get right into the close ups. Since I had similar experience with my previous film
I went for â€œshoot for editâ€ concept which I really donâ€™t prefer but for the purpose of the scene, I think it worked out just fine. I have to admit that I wish I had a good two shot or three shot in the middle. The actors were amazing because all they had were only 2 takes or less and they just nailed it.
We arrived at house location around 8:30pm and finished around 12am. Since there was no pressure of getting kicked out, it was an easy shoot.
EDITING + SOUND
I used FCP and finished editing in two days and I handed off to the sound designer, Ben who did an amazing job. Everything was created in the post â€“ambient noise, footsteps, gun shots, gripping and hustling, sword wielding and etc. Only production sound that was used was the dialogue.
MUSIC by George Shaw
It was great working with Eric Won. I felt like he really contributed a lot of ideas to the score, instead of merely leaving me to figure out what to do on my own, or being a control freak and limiting me from being creative. Though, b/c of an incredibly short deadline, after I did a 1st pass on the score, he came and sat with me while we went through and changed and rewrote things to fit the film better. So it was an interesting collaboration where we had the luxury of bouncing ideas off of each other, rather than me going off on my own and composing the music in isolation based on his notes.
I envisioned something dark and ambient with hip and edgy beats, but with some orchestral elements to add to the dramatic and emotional feeling of the film. The first time I brought in the violins was to give the feeling of tragedy on the close-up of John (played by Thomas Blankenship) when he removes his mask. The next section of the movie, covering the phone call and the tense dialogue in the warehouse, the music needed to stay out of the way, but provide a subtle sense of unease and tension. After Kazinski gets knocked out and the two characters have to escape, the music kicks into high gear, and builds to the reveal of the man wielding a sword. I just wish the movie kept going so I could write some kick ass fight music.
One thing that I was really excited about this contest was the fact that so many people were viewing these videos. I spent one year promoting and showing around my previous film through out the festivals spending so much money and time. Of course you build great connections, but just the fact that I have more than 5,000 views already is simply amazing. Even though I didnâ€™t win the contest, Iâ€™m very proud of my work and happy that so many people have viewed my work and be entertained by it. Big thanks to Vincent Laforet, Canon, Vimeo and the viewers.
â€œThe Making of Good and Evil:â€