Sleeper shot with ProHD

Sleeper is the new action feature film production from Brisbane-based Seven8 Media. Starring Scott Levy, aka Raven, from WWE and TNA wrestling fame, and also Bruce Hopkins from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, Sleeper follows the story of escaped and heavily disturbed convict, Adam Resnik, as he attempts to acquire the object of his addiction – a girl named Kelly.

Sleeper first started in late 2007 with a simple idea of creating a low budget film by using the JVC GY series of ProHD cameras. After an initial concept was created, the script started to take shape under the watchful eye of Director, Dru Brown and Producer, Judd Tilyard. Moulding the scenes, characters and atmosphere of the film to their liking, the go-ahead was given to begin pre-production in December of 2007.

In pre-production, the heads of production searched feverishly for someone to play the strong role of Detective Raynor – an older detective on the road to retirement. Not long after the search began, they were able to contact Bruce Hopkins. Bruce had made his name is Peter Jackson’s masterpiece’s, The Lord of The Rings, playing Gamling.

Based on the impact of the script, Seven8 Media was also able to attract the interest of Raven, who was in the country for a wrestling match. Impressed by the engaging storyline and depth of the character, Raven came onboard the production as Adam Resnik.

Shot on the JVC ProHD series of cameras in true 24p, the film’s high definition footage was remarkable, and mated with the Focus Enhancements Firestore external hard drives, the entire shoot was made technically easier by negating the use of any tape media.

“We had considered our options quite carefully when choosing our shooting platform. No matter what the discussion, we always came back to the reliability, quality and performance of the JVC ProHD cameras.” said Sleeper’s Executive Producer Christian McCarty. “You can’t really go wrong with the cameras and external Firestore drives. For the price, there is simply nothing better, and the shoot went extremely smoothly due to the camera/hard drive relationship.”

Entering into the digital revolution, Sleeper was shot entirely in six weeks, shooting six days per week. The rugged schedule and tight deadlines were challenging, but with an extremely competent and professional crew, the film was finished on time – a true testament to the durability of ProHD cameras.

Creatively, the cameras allowed for Dru Brown to film the way he wanted – fast and accurate. “My style of shooting is quite quick, and sometimes even on the day decisions stand out to me more than the storyboards I had done before we started shooting.” He said. “Thankfully the JVC cameras were able to keep up with my style. There was no need for massive change of setups. They are light enough to comfortably rest on your shoulder for extended periods, and their custom functions gave myself and Dan a wide range of creative options.”

Dan MacArthur, Sleeper’s Director of Photography was already an experienced owner of a ProHD camera. He added, “The learning curve was non-existent for both Dru and myself, as we have both worked extensively with the ProHD cameras before.”

Now in post-production, the hard slog of filming in the cold is over for cast and crew, but a lot of work still remains for Seven8 Media as preparations for the U.S market commence.

Targeting a sale the American Film Market in November, Sleeper is the flagship project for the local Brisbane filmmakers, and the first of many to come.