Aadil: It was hell on the focus puller. When we shifted to the handheld stuff and our heroin goes into a more natural state, even though she’s in a state of chaos, Khalid is running next to Fabian without a monitor, just gauging distances by eye, and going on gut feel.
Nic: That’s wild.
Fabian: Our focus puller, Khalied Manuel, was incredible and pulled everything by eye. The guys were amazing considering we were on a shoestring. Leon our clapper loader, Clint our gaffer, and Siseko our grip, everyone.
Aadil: It really looks great. I wanted the lighting and look to create a sense of claustrophobia inside the cabin and for the outside to feel like a warm escape. Playing with contrast and juxtaposition, for the film to look romantic but moody, and beautiful but dark, etc.
Fabian: Yeah so we used a lot of blue and cold tones inside with fluorescents and blue gels, and then we let the warm tones take over more for the exterior scenes. The film was shot on a 4perf Arri Studiocam Package with Arri Master Anamorphics. I shot the exteriors on 5207 daylight stock to balance the highlights & shadows. For interiors, I chose 5219 tungsten to see deeper into the blacks. I used low key lighting in the interiors making use of negative space. And I underexposed most of the interiors by a stop, knowing that the dynamic range of 35mm would hold up, and it did.
Nic: I have no idea what that means, but it must have been nice to just have that freedom creatively. To be there in the moment and…
Aadil: Yes, it was both nice but at the same time extremely scary, because at the end of the day if anything goes wrong or it doesn’t work it’s entirely your fault.
Nic: It’s all on you.
Aadil: Which is actually great for me, because I didn’t go to film school and I’d never really worked that way, you know? When I got into directing I went almost straight into commercials and so there was never that space of just exploring your voice in a free way, doing music videos and short films.
Nic: Yes, sometimes you just don’t want to think too much about the actual creation process really. Whenever I do that I get bogged down and I don’t get anywhere. If I switch that voice off I can make stuff, but if it’s running next to me, I’m paralysed by it.
Fabian: There’s the value in playing.
Nic: Yes exactly, in the commercial world you don’t often get to speak in your voice.