Earlier this year, we set out to shoot a short sci-fi/thriller project titled “LUNAR”. I wanted to create a picture heavy on social commentary, that, though set several decades from today, paralleled the issues that we currently live with. The film was also massively inspired by the European/Australian Convict Settlement of the 18th Century.
Scout & Shoot:
Justin Zachary (lead actor), Will Mayer (cinematographer)& I scouted Downtown Los Angeles inside & out to find the grittiest, grungiest locations in the city. We had no budget for this part of the shoot, so we had to keep in mind what we could get away with stealing.
When we shot the film exteriors, the crew was just the three of us. Shooting everything guerrilla, we never remained at a single location for longer than 15 minutes.
The soundstage is where all of our shooting budget went. Very, fucking worth it.
"Due to budget constraints we had to shoot on equipment I already owned, therefore we shot mostly on my RED at 4K w/ Canon glass. Tyson wanted everything to feel organic & real, for this reason we shot mostly handheld with the aid of my EasyRig 3 400N. The EasyRig also was a huge help since I didn't have an AC, it allowed me to pull my own focus while staying mobile. We used the resources we had as much as possible, including my loft & rooftop for some of the shots.
Another tool we used was an IR military camera from a company called FLIR. They supply some of the best IR cameras to the US Military & police forces. These are the cameras that were able to spot the Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hiding out in the boat.
FLIR was generous enough to loan us the FLIR-P660 to use on the film. After out first night experimenting with the camera we knew it would be perfect to use for the Android POV shots."
-Will Mayer (DP)
Post Production :
Precog Studios were commissioned for the pre-viz (pictured) and post-production of the film. Rolf Mohr was my VFX supervisor and creative collaborator. Working with the man is always a pleasure, as he brings much more to the table than just amazing design work.
Precog handled the pre-viz, design, modeling and rendering, matte painting, literally everything. I took their assets and handled all of the compositing. We could not have built this world without them.
Score & Sound:
“LUNAR” was composed by a brilliant musician by the name of Zach Lemmon. Zach is a wizard, and a true professional of his craft. He had very little money to work with on this film, and somehow managed to pull off a very large sound. Check out the original sound track on Zach’s site, here(link coming).
Brandon Jones of Sound Method Post, another warrior of his craft, handled the sound design, sound mix and ADR recording. When you watch this film, know that every vibration of sound is artificial. Brandon & I worked hard on creating the most organic sound possible.
Download the score here: DOWNLOAD
-Tyson Wade Johnston
Writer/Director: Tyson Wade Johnston
Director Of Photography: Will Mayer
Composer: Zach Lemmon
Sound Design: Brandon Jones
VFX: Rolf Mohr, Dean Fowler
Produced by: Tyson Wade Johnston
Executive Produced by: Christopher Hicks, Kim Johnston