Sophie: The Film

The shoot

When I met director Alvaro Aro of Vimage Studios several months before the filming of Sophie, I immediately recognized a unique opportunity to DP a high-quality short in the St. Louis area.

Alvaro’s script, beautiful locations, sets and casting provided an awesome canvas on which to light and shoot. He gave me great leeway in terms of lighting, blocking and directing a passionate and talented crew. It was a grueling five days but a chance to expand past commercial work and learn a significant amount in a pressure-packed environment.

The grade

Sophie was a unique and challenging grade —  and a distinct departure from corporate and commercial work and its emphasis on vibrant images with full tonal range.

Sophie was meant to be dark, gritty and hyper-real. It was fun to come up with a unique look for each scene, which ranged from dark forests at night to candle-lit throne rooms and a bright studio apartment. Making people look “lifeless” and adding a lot of digital makeup and effects to eyes and props was a blast.

From a technical standpoint, the grade was quite heavy, and I had to exclude skin tones in almost every shot and work to avoid contamination in the deep shadows. Some of my favorite frames are in the gallery below.