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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What made you interested in infrared filmmaking?
    I converted my first stills camera to infrared in 2012 (Sony NEX-7; 720nm conversion). I became obsessed with infrared photography, and when I entered Corcoran College to pursue a Master of Arts in New Media and learned traditional filmmaking, I considered using my NEX-7 to shoot infrared video. In fact I did; I shot the opening sequence seen here in IR shortly before degree completion. I began my MFA work at American University shortly thereafter where I discussed the idea of an infrared movie with Leena Jayaswal, Larry Engel and Maggie Stogner and sought out Nick Tucker, AU MFA, to serve as my DP for Second Sun. I was highly motivated to make the world’s first infrared film. Firsts in the film industry are rare. I am proud to be part of a community of filmmaking pioneers. The timing also spurred me on to complete the film as I wanted to register with IMDb before another filmmaker finished ahead of me. I’d already satisfied thesis requirements with my immersive study of color grading so Second Sun was a pure passion project for me. It wouldn’t have happened without Nick’s support as DP.
  • What cameras did you use to create Second Sun?
    My primary camera was a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. For underwater scenes I used a GoPro6 and GoPro7, neither of which proved to be reliable for infrared video. For aerial shots I used a DJI Mavic Pro. I am purchasing new kit for Acadia Fire.
  • Who converted your cameras to infrared?
    KolariVision converted all of my cameras including my recently purchased Autel 6K aerial camera. The BMPCC4K was converted to Full Spectrum allowing for natural and infrared light to reach the camera sensor. The other cameras were converted to 590nm infrared.
  • How was the look achieved for the black and white and color sequences?
    For black and white I used a combination of color infrared shots and dedicated black and white infrared by way of filters also purchased at KolariVision. I shot the full spectrum of IR from 370nm to 950nm. This range is the near infrared spectrum. Beyond 1000nm infrared light is detected by heat sources emanating from humans and animals. We used the latter in special operations. I later used my skills as a colorist to create the look for each clip and corresponding sequence, bending light and color primarily with a Blackmagic Control Panel Mini. I used a Flanders Scientific DM240 for SDR grading and an Apple XDR Display for HDR grading. These were attached to a new Mac Pro 2019 w/ a Duo Pro video card. The media was stored on an Excelsior 8TB SSD.
  • What kit are you using to create the infrared series of films?
    I purchased Mike from Three Legged Thing to hold my BMPCC4K. I also purchased an HDR monitor with video scopes from FeelWorld. I recently converted a new drone from Autel to 590nm. I also intend to purchase the full range of filters for the aerial camera so I can capture color and black and white infrared. I will also upgrade my internal SSD from 8 to 16TB to accommodate the footage for Acadia Fire, my next film.
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