After six month of hard work, Only Light is finally complete. We finished the sound mix last Friday and today we are ready to unveil the poster. Beautiful art was created by Scott O’Gara. Making this film was an amazing ride; however it’s not quite over yet. In fact, it’s only the beginning. Stay tuned for exciting news soon to come!
Today our team took a trip to Modern Video Film, a post production house in Burbank, CA. They helped us to put the titles and subtitles into our film, over the color correction video from Fotokem. Our consultant, Lindsey McGrail, recommended this state-of-the-art facility that has an extensive body of work, including Life of Pi, Avatar, and Game of Thrones. Lindsey put us in touch with Tal Fiala and Carissa Clark, who facilitated the entire process of receiving our materials from the USC Post Facilities, processing the files, adding the subtitles, checking them for quality control, and preparing them for delivery back to USC — quite a lengthy process from what we learned.
One of the most fascinating things we discovered is that their company has the ability to send files at a rate of 10 gigabytes per second, which is a little less than 10,000 times faster than the internet access we have in our homes. This is a result of their offices sitting on an Information Superhighway that allows them to transfer data at incredibly fast rates.
Our tour began in a theater where color correction for films takes place. The theater is equipped with both a standard movie screen and another screen to accommodate 3D films. The room is able to project 4K video (4000 lines of visual information on the screen) and boasts Dolby 7.1 surround sound. What this all means is that the theater provides you with a true to life cinematic experience as if you were sitting in a theater anywhere in the world.
We are excited to announce that next week crew of Only Light is going for a tour of an amazing post house Modern Videofilm. MVF not only recognized our cause, the fight against human trafficking here in California as an important one, but they also were of a tremendous help in making of this movie! They really can do miracles. Look out for our report from behind the scenes at MVF!
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This is the part of the post production process when the DP’s and director get to make ALL of the light in the film look fantastic!
Evita and the DP’s (me and Auden) got to take a trip to the Hollywood color and post house, Fotokem. We worked with Steve Peer in front of his awesome Da Vinci color grading system. Color grading is when we make sure that all of the colors in the movie (clothing, skin tones, the sky…. etc) all match from shot to shot, because even though some of the shots in the film look like they are from the same location they might not actually be. With the power of movie magic, some of the locations in the same scene are actually shot miles apart. For example, while Zora sitting on the swing in front of her parents house watching Vannie walk out of his house to walk his dog may look like they are shot across the street from each other, theyre actually shot 20 miles apart. Zora’s swing is in Altadena while Vannie’s house is in fact in Studio City. Or, two shots in our Congo scene that may look like they take place back to back are actually shot a week apart, one on a sunny day and the other during an overcast stormy day. Color correction and grading can blend all of these different lights and looks together. You can also make colors more saturated or even change the hues completely. We really upped the saturation of Laetitia’s wardrobe in the underwater dream sequence and made it a beautiful blue color.
If all of this is a little strange or confusing just know one thing, the color grading session at Fotokem made our movie more beautiful than it already was! Can’t wait to show it to you.
Producer Elena here! We have been busy with post-production, spending long hours in the labs with our wonderful editors Vishnu Perumal and Rachel Mooradian. It’s a great experience watching the film evolve and take shape with every cut they make. We will be picture-locking this Friday and then moving onto sound design and finally color correction.
May 10, the date of our screening, seemed so far away when we began principal photography, but now it’s just around the corner. It’s unbelievable how fast the time flies, when you do what you love!
I don’t have any post-production photos for you yet, but I will share some photos from our last weekend of principal photography. And what a challenging weekend it was! It was raining all day Friday and almost all day Saturday. Saturday was fine, since we were filming interiors, but Friday, oh boy, we were outside under a rainstorm. I must say special thanks to our cast and crew who stoically battled the rain and fought through the day. As a result we have some amazing footage. For instance, meet our FDLR Soldiers:
Saturday and Sunday, we spent in the house of Ben and Sandra Broder in Altadena, who welcomed us and allowed us to film for two consecutive weekends. Keep in mind, we were a fairly large crew of 30+ people. Ben and Sandra’s house was a perfect location for us, as it served both as Zora’s house and Vannie’s basement. This saved us potential company moves, which means more shooting time for us and better film for you.
Laeticia’s fantasies are the light that takes her far away from the darkness of her reality of being trapped in a sex-trafficker’s basement. Here’s a sneak preview of where Laeticia’s dreams take her. Photographs by Tommy Xing.
This past weekend we shot at the beautiful South Coast Botanic Garden, where we created Laeticia’s homeland: the Congo. It has been both a challenge and an adventure to make this happen. As you probably know, Los Angeles looks nothing like the lush green forests of the Congo; however, with determination, creativity and a touch of imagination, we were able to create a perfect location for our African scenes. We really felt as if we had traveled to Congo for a day, and as good friends do, we brought you postcards from our travels. Enjoy!
Props by Patrick Fritz. Costumes by Shawn Barton.
Read the whole text on Indiewire’s Shadow and Act blog: Michael Beach, Michole Briana White, Co-Star in USC-Funded Sex Trafficking Drama ‘Only Light’
“Principal photography has begun on the University of Southern California production titled Only Light, directed by Evita Castine (USC’s Saudade). The drama, scripted by Thembi L. Banks (USC’s award-winning Present Trauma), is one of three projects chosen by the school – to back financially – for its most competitive graduate level course.
Produced by Elena Ostroumova and Zachary Skipp, Only Light centers on Zora (played by newcomer Brooke McNeil), a rebellious teenager trapped in “mundane suburbia,” who discovers Laeticia, a young girl involved in a sex trafficking ring next door.”