Visions of an apocalyptic future come to life with Director Will Simmons

Project: Source Director: Will Simmons

DP: David Kruta

Gaffer: Jordan Parrott

Steadicam Operator: Jeff Melanson

1st AC: Teresa Rhinehart

Earlier this year, director Will Simmons approached me to shoot a pitch teaser for his feature length script "Source".

A century after the nuclear holocaust, mankind drifts towards the precipice of extinction. The discovery of a source of infinite energy ignites hope for the future, but its whereabouts are shrouded in secrecy and controlled by those who lust for power. After an enslaved mercenary uncovers the truth, he must decide whether to fight for survival or sacrifice for the greater good.

An ambitious project, we shot 14 pages over the course of four days, including extensive action sequences shot handheld and with Steadicam.


We shot on RED with the Mysterium sensor and Red Pro Primes. I lit the background with three ARRI 1.2k HMIs with 1/4 CTO, and subjects with a 1k tungsten in a 32" chinese lantern. Specials were scattered around the set to provide accents, in the form of 300w and 650w tungsten fresnels, and incandescent practicals.

Below, my crew and I prep a shot as the actors review the scene.


Here, 1st AC Teresa Rhinehart and I discuss a shot. We made extensive use of Steadicam, and due to our small lighting package, we shot wide open most of the time. Luckily, Teresa is a fantastic focus puller and was able to nail most shots on the first take.


Will and I spent a significant amount of time discussing the world in which the story is set, and how the environment would look, in addition to how a group of mercenaries would light a warehouse with practicals. Glowsticks came up early in the discussion, but were scrapped because of their limited glow time.


Overall, the look of "Source" is dark, and I focused on using silhouettes and darkness to accentuate this. As you can see, there are almost no hair or edge lights used, and the actors faces would go from light and fall off into darkness. Unfortunately, the M sensor doesn't do well with low light, so I exposed a bit brighter than the final look, which will show in the final grade.



Gaffer Jordan Parrott really came through on this shoot. In the below shot, he was able to edge the gun from the right of frame with a special, without casting light or a shadow on the ground.


Overall, the shoot was a fantastic experience with a great cast and crew, and I look forward to seeing this made into a full feature.


The "Source" teaser is currently in post-production and will be released soon.