Lauren Alaina & Lukas Graham

“What do you think of?”

Cinematography  & Unreal Artist / VAD

Production Co.
Virtual Production Supervisor & VFX
Production Designer
Art Director
TK McKamy
Luc Delamare

RiTE Media
Paris Schulman & Mikey Cosentino
Kevin Christopher
Eliza Chance
Taylor Wynn
Kinan Chabani

Breaking It Down 


Previs & World Building

As a DP who works in Unreal Engine, I took the helm of the Virtual Art Department (VAD) and ended up taking the creative through the whole pipeline.  Working alongside director TK McKamy & the team at RiTE Media, I created and kit-bashed the virtual “loads” to be projected in real-time on the volume wall.  In addition to lighting these environments inside Unreal Engine, I was able to use the assets as previs that helped to inform and communicate TK’s creative vision to the rest of the team.
Live Action Integration

Having my hands in the environments at the inception phase meant that I could accurately block our camera moves and plan the corresponding live action and traditional film lighting to augment the volume.  Having this bridge between the two worlds, virtual and live action, proved to be a critical part of the workflow for this video.
Virtual Production on Set

Understanding how Unreal Engine and Ndisplay work translated to efficient and real-time problem solving on set: Being able to orient the virtual environment with Multi-User as well as make on-the-fly color corrections to our LED volume.  Combine that with the traditional responisibilites of a DP and you’ve got yourself a Virtual Production Cinematographer!

I created the smokey mountains with the help of Brushify

The matching shot from in-camera on set

The view from my station at the brain bar

A Brief Camera / Technical Write-Up

Camera & Lenses
We shot Sony Venice full frame with rehoused Canon FDs.  The Venice was a favorite from RiTE on the VP side for multiple technical reasons, and on my end I pushed to shoot full frame in order to achieve a shallower depth of field (which would help render the LED wall with creamy bokeh).  My shooting stop hovered around a T/2, shout out to Neil Dearman for keeping the sharps while we steadi’d all over the place!

The stYpe camera tracking system
(fun to balance︎)
TK had a vision of a dreamlike aesthetic that would aide the overall feeling of being transported through time to a past relationship.  To support this, my idea was to really give the image some texture and overall visual distortion that would lend itself to this dreamy fog vibe.

In addition to vintage lenses, I took the dream theme and ran by combining both Smoque and Glimmerglass filters (the heavy numbers, too).  This created a permanent atmosphere and edge bleed that did two things: It helped to sell the color & black levels of the LED wall by uniformingly lifting our image via heavy diffusion, and it also created an edge glow that appeared like an analog/film halation effect.  During our LED stage build I tested all this out and was pleasantly surprised that the deeper I went with these “distortions” the more seamless the LED volume looked in camera.  That’s not to discount the work done by the lighting, afterall that’s what all the hype is about!  But that’s for a separate write-up...

We added good ol’ regular haze as well