Thursday, August 06, 2020

Lockdown Filmmaking: "Lights Out"

This is another short film that I made under the lockdown restrictions, back in late June, called Lights Out. I premiered it on YouTube on June 26.

This one was born out of some of the darker ideas I wanted to explore about the idea of a character holed up in a single location during a catastrophe. I'd made a film along similar lines a few years, called Aftermath, so I was reluctant to tread too familiar territory. But I had the idea of a character alone in a house on the hottest night of the summer, when the power is suddenly knocked out during an electrical storm, and the dangers that await him in the dark.

I shot this one over the course of two nights -- a comparative luxury compared to the many one-day shoots I've done over the past several years. The Canon Powershot camera that I was shooting with handled the low-light situations very well, which made it possible for me to shoot in the darkness using only a flashlight as the lighting source. I liked the effect it produced, because it allowed me to highlight the little objects that are completely ordinary in the daylight, but at the same time take on menacing new implications in the dark.

This is also a good example of inspiration striking as a result of unexpected conditions. The lightning storm that I captured at the beginning of the film was not planned for -- but the storm came up the evening of the shoot and I knew it would be the perfect way to open the film.

I hope you enjoy Lights Out!

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