A new short film, PIN 5:29 was a totally different experience than any other film I've directed.
Horror done differently
I like movies, a lot. I quote them, I watch them repeatedly, I dissect them when I can. Horror movies rarely grab me. I don't like gore, I don't like blood. But I love when a horror film can make my skin crawl. From the outset, that's what I wanted to do: make people cringe. I'd like to think we accomplished that.
The slate at the start of the film. We ended up with over 130 total takes for the final version.
The Rugg Shot™
Probably the most notable shot in the film, The Rugg Shot™ was accomplished by me standing on a step stool, moving the camera with Tom, our terrific actor, and then diving off the stool down toward the knife.
Angles and intentionality
Throughout the film, I wanted every shot to have meaning. Almost the entire first half of the film is shot from a low angle. Tom is dangerous, and he's in control. We shot as wide as we could to remove us from Tom as much as possible.
We shot in 4K with the intention of exporting in HD, this gave us extra pixel real estate to do digital push-ins, and reframe shots slightly and still maintain full resolution. Little trick I picked up from David Fincher.
This shot seems like it doesn't have any visual effects on it, right? Wrong. We shot this the next morning. We had to do extensive color correction & added the moving shadows into the shot to add some implied depth and connect it to the shots before and after it.
Using nose and scar wax, we snipped off pins and stuck them into the hand of the actor for reference. Add a little digital skin and shadows and you've got a pin in a hand.
As we move into the office, the power dynamic shifts, and so does the camera. Tom isn't in control anymore, and neither are we.
Jeremiah 5:29: Should I not punish them for this?" declares the LORD. "Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this?
This Bible verse heavily influenced the story. Those who do wrong shall have vengeance wrought upon them, whether by God, or by another sort of spirit.