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Independent Thriller OUTLIER Shoots and Posts with Blackmagic Design

02/03/2021

Independent Thriller OUTLIER Shoots and Posts with Blackmagic Design

data-src=https://creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/avatars/263018/5fa08c562aaf4-bpthumb.jpg data-srcset=https://creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/avatars/263018/5fa08c561c0e7-bpfull.jpg 2x class=lazyload avatar avatar-80 photo height=80 width=80 />

Brie Clayton March 1, 2021

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Blackmagic Design announced today that independent feature film Outlier was shot on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, and posted in DaVinci Resolve Studio. The film was produced during the Covid-19 pandemic with limited cast and crew.

Trapped in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend James (Logan Fleisher), Olivia Davis (Jessica Strayer) is able to flee with the help of a kindly stranger, Thomas (Thomas Cheslek). Soon Olivia's fear from past traumas begins to extend to Thomas, who claims he only wants to keep Olivia safe. But as she discovers Thomas is hiding a mysterious project from her, Olivia convinces herself she must flee once more, even if she knows she isn't safe on her own. With no good choices, Olivia must face her fears to escape her past.

data-src=https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/01171607/1-outlier.jpg alt= class=lazyload wp-image-2404922/>Filmmakers Nate Strayer and Isabel Machado-Rodriguez had decided to escape the pandemic in 2020 by relocating back to a family home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The plan was to quarantine with family, yet as filmmakers they had little patience to wait for the world to open back up before they produced a project. After a long discussion about first feature films, budgets involved and what it would take for us to make a film sometime in the future, said Strayer, we decided why not do it now while we have all this time?' That night we all sat down as a family and started brainstorming what locations we had access to, and what types of stories we could tell using them.

The result was the screenplay for Outlier, a thriller designed not only around available locations near their Michigan family home, but also limited cast and crew. With Strayer as director and Machado-Rodriguez as cinematographer, the two decided to shoot the project entirely on their Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K. The idea that we could shoot a feature film that looks just as good as the films we love, on a tiny, lightweight, relatively inexpensive camera seemed too good to be true, said Strayer. Luckily though, I had owned the camera for about 6 months by the time we wanted to start this feature and I had already been blown away by the dozens of projects we were able to complete with the Pocket 6K.

Insisting on adhering to Covid protocols meant the cast and crew, even if small, would need to stay in the same house for the duration, a necessity that ended up helping the film, rather than hurting it. The whole cast and crew stayed in the same house, woke up together, ate breakfast together, went and shot, then would wind down watching a film to pull ideas or inspiration from every night, said Strayer. In fact, Covid almost gave us an advantage because we had nowhere else to be. What we lacked in money we made up with time. Some days we'd finish shooting a scene and I'd edit together a cut in Resolve, and realize we missed something, or that it wasn't quite what we wanted. We knew we could just wake up and do it again the next day.

Despite a captive cast and crew, the challenge of shooting a low budget film with limited resources still posed challenges. But the Pocket CInema Camera 6K, and the Blackmagic RAW codec, helped bridge the gap between quality and no gear. We used mostly natural light, we had a couple of bounce boards and some lights that we got from a hardware store, and that was it, said Machado-Rodriguez. Most of the time, we were a two person crew, so there were a lot of situations where I was worried about matching takes. I was impressed by the dynamic range we had to play with in Blackmagic RAW. The footage looked incredible, and it was so simple to work with when it was time for post production.

data-src=https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/01171647/3-outlier.jpg alt= class=lazyload wp-image-2404923/>Later, for reshoots, with Machado-Rodriguez unavailable, Strayer brought in long time collaborator and cinematographer Joe Failla to finish out the film. No stranger to the Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, Failla was excited to continue the photography with the camera. We were able to shoot much faster with the Pocket 6K than we could have with a large studio camera. We needed to shoot quite a bit of Outlier' handheld and the overall weight allowed us to use energy making creative decisions instead of lugging around an oversized camera. The Pocket 6K can be stripped down and functional for run and gun work like Outlier' called for without compromising on image quality, or it can be decked out with all the bells and whistles modern productions call for.

Though Strayer planned to bring editor Mike Hugo aboard in post production, the process of starting the edit in DaVinci Resolve Studio while shooting made the most sense. Cutting in Resolve felt like the natural thing to do. Going from Pocket 6K Blackmagic RAW footage recorded onto an SSD, and then plugging that same SSD into our computer was the most seamless way to look at dailies that I've ever experienced. We could have a scene roughly edited minutes after shooting to make sure it worked. I ended up just doing the rough cut and then handing it over to our talented editor Mike Hugo, but my experience with Resolve was seamless and intuitive.

For Hugo, this would be his first project editing in DaVinci Resolve Studio. I had been hearing a bunch of good things about editing with DaVinci Resolve and was waiting for the right project to really dive
LINK: https://creativecow.net/independent-thriller-outlier-shoots-and-posts-...
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