burning book with C'Thulhu

We shot our footage nearly two weeks ago, and while it was great to be back on set (I’m an alumni that’s following an interactive route) I will admit that I was a little sad to not have more involvement on shoot day as I had in past student projects. Luckily for me, but not so lucky for my team, we were unable to get in all of our shots with the RED camera in our indoor shooting area. We were after a shot with a book on fire, but according to safety precautions, we were unable to film inside with the current ventilation system in the building. Fast forward to this past weekend, where we solved the problem ourselves with a quaint little bonfire in my backyard.

I picked up the equipment Friday evening when Ehab was out of class and Saturday night he rode out to my house in Burnaby to shoot in the dark. It was a fairly simple process and I’m glad that we didn’t drag the whole team 45 minutes out of the city to watch us play with a barbeque lighter and paper. We had a quick set up on the back patio stones with only one light that had an orange gel over top just like we did in studio two weeks ago with the RED. After moving the garden hose a little closer to the shoot site and a quick test shoot with some computer paper, we set up the camera, doused the spot where C’Thulhu was to appear later on in post production with water so that it wouldn’t burn, and lit the edges of the paper.

The fire wasn’t as powerful and scary as we would have liked, so Ehab helped it along with a few good squirts of nailpolish remover to get the flames to really consume the book. At one point there was quite a bit of smoke but we were quick enough that none of the neighbours complained. Luckily it all worked out as planned, which was great because we only had one book and one shot to get it all in. We filmed a good 5 minutes of footage, and we only need 6 to 8 seconds, so we’ve got plenty to work with. The weather was perfect and everything worked out as planned. The best part was that it only took about an hour and a half from set up to take down. A perfect little shoot to fill my cravings for motion before heading back over to my development role on the project.