Nicholson Ren | Cinematographer & Colourist

Showreels

Whiplash/ LaLaland Promo

 
 

The concept of this promo was to combine two dramatic elements of Whiplash and Lalaland. We took the character of Fletcher and imagined he was conducting an audition instead of a band.

Our location was the living room of the Director’s house which had to accommodate a cast and crew of around 10. One side had a backdrop which was meant to conceal a door to the living room and the other had tables and chairs. We had to put up sheets to cover an extended area which we did not want to see. The aim was to make it look like one rectangular room with one entrance.

 
Whiplash Set

Whiplash Set

 

The set up we used was more compact than we normally use. We shot on a Sony A7SII with Samyang Prime lens in Slog2 to an external Atomos Shogun monitor in ProRes HQ. All shots were left on a tripod because of the limited space we had. An Aputure 300d was bounced into the ceiling to raise the ambience of the room as we blocked off any external light to keep it consistent and a flag was used to cut some light off the foreground to keep the attention to the back. 2 smaller Aputure LED lights were used on the sides to reduce the shadows cast onto the backdrop.

 
Camera set up with 1st AC, Dominic Mulligan and Xavier Beckitt on Sound in the background.

Camera set up with 1st AC, Dominic Mulligan and Xavier Beckitt on Sound in the background.

 

When we discussed the look of the shots we went with a gray background so that the colours of the Sophia’s shirt would stand out alot more. This changed during post-production when we decided to turn the background blue, similar to the original Lalaland movie.

Original background colour when Sophia did her audition scene.

Original background colour when Sophia did her audition scene.

Finished look

Finished look

References and Post

From the shots below you can see our references, what we shot and the final outcome. To separate the actress from the background, I had to use a combination of rotoscoping, and qualifying in order to select just her skin tones and affect the background. Unfortunately the lighting set-up was not set-up for that purpose which made the process in post alot longer and more difficult than it should’ve been.

Reference image vs Actual image

Reference image vs Actual image

Finished image

Finished image

Reference image vs Actual Image

Reference image vs Actual Image

Finished image

Finished image

The promo video was covered in 8 shots, all of which are shown below.

whiplash_1.4.1.T.jpg
Whiplash 6.jpg
Whiplash 2.jpg
Whiplash 4.jpg
whiplash_1.15.1.T.jpg
Whiplash 5.jpg
Whiplash.jpg
Whiplash 3.jpg
Nicholson Ren