The Pawn is a gritty noir-style thriller about an emotionally bankrupt businessman who suspects he may have murdered his estranged wife.
Currently being shot in Melbourne with ProHD cameras, the movie’s DOP Eddie Beyrouthy gave feedback on the production.
“We chose the JVC ProHD camera because it is compact, lightweight and offered flexible features for our movie. We were searching for a camera that offered HDV progressive recording and was small enough for comfortable handheld shooting. The capabilities that this camera has achieved on set have been amazing. We have combined it with a Red Rock M2 Cinema adapter with Nikon Lens kit and it has made on-set shooting a breeze.” He said.
Shooting in real 24p and making use of interchangeable lenses, Eddie and his crew have put the ProHD through its paces.
Director David Brand added, “We have been tailoring our shot composition and subsequent camera moves to suit the drama and tone of the scene. As our story commences, we have been using more locked off shots. When the action and drama kicks in, the camera is more fluid and hence we are using more handheld movements, focusing on close ups and extreme close ups – these also suit the psychological state of the main character. Furthermore, we have used tripods, a jib, a car mount, steadicam and a dolly and achieved excellent results every time.”
The realistic nature of the script often brought amusing scenes into what was otherwise a very serious subject matter. Brand continued, “We shot a street scene in Williamstown involving a cop and our lead actor, who had been made up to look like he’d been beaten. The scene looked so realistic, we had the ‘real’ police show up to make sure everything was OK. Shooting with industry veteran Reg Gorman has been interesting too. We shot in a pub and kept being interrupted by the locals popping into the frame to say hello.”
Commenting on the current state of the Australian film industry Brand concluded, “It’s tougher than ever to make movies in Australia. You really need as much help as you can. With a savvy camera operator, the JVC makes realising your vision a reality, both from a creative and financial point of view. Coupled with a 35mm lens adaptor and some good lenses, the JVC is a great way to start seeing your film unfold before your very eyes. On top of that, the JVC has enabled us to capture shot ideas as they come up on set. With a little lighting prep and a quick chat to the actors, we’ve been able to shoot heaps of extra cutaways and pick up that normally would be out of the question if we were shooting film. Our editor is very thankful for the extra options.”
The Pawn is currently in production with an expected wrap of late August 2008.