“For this particular story, I was shooting landscapes, vistas and where nature meets industry. I wanted to capture that in an organic way. It is hard to articulate exactly what the difference is except with celluloid its not 1’s and 0’s, it’s the chemical process, it’s the silver nitrate, it’s organic.”

Baker adopted a controlled approach. “It had less to do with shooting on film and more to do with our budget and time. We only had 23 days, so I was shot listing more than I normally do and figuring out all of the coverage I needed for a particular scene before jumping into it. In the past I would be improvising it more behind the camera. There are a couple of key scenes that I call hosed down where we cover everything and then find it in the edit. We had dolly moves, calculated swish pans and locks. Drew Daniels [Waves] is an amazing camera operator on top of being a great cinematographer. He was doing these camera moves that I was absolutely loving and wanting more of. Drew is as fast with 16mm as most DPs are on digital; he would often be waiting on me.”

The camera and electrical departments were kept to a minimum. “We were small, mobile and flexible,” Drew Daniels said. “My entire crew was me, first AC Jesse Vielleux, second AC Adam Lichtenberger, and a gaffer/grip Chris Hill. There was even a time during testing where I was loading and downloading the film and setting up the tripod. When our crew showed up, our second AC ended up loading the whole time because we were moving quickly and shooting a lot of film. I ended up lugging the camera around, moving cases, and helping to set up lights. I found prep time to be more about getting aligned creatively with Sean and less actually being prepared for things. We didn’t want the camera to be moving all the time, so we tried to shoot mostly on sticks. It is a classic sensibility mixed with a raw indie exploitation 1970s film aesthetic.”

By combing visual opposites, they created a unique look. “We had the Hollywood grandeur with anamorphic and took it back with 16mm,” notes Daniels. “When you shoot on film you focus on the storytelling more clearly. You don’t get the extra shots that you think are cool. The editor knows what he needs. It was fun on set talking about editing because I want to consider what the edit will be and what shots are going to be used for certain parts of the edit. I don’t like to overshoot. We were always considering the juxtaposition of images.” Shooting on film was like returning to an old friend. “I learned how to shoot a film on film. Deep down if you have an opportunity to shoot it on film, it feels right. In the end it’s more fulfilling when you see it. I feel proud of the images that we created on film.”

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