September 22, 2021


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‘He Died Tomorrow’ DP about how he framed unsettling horror in the film

2 min read

Photographer Jay Keitel, a Calarts ex, credits his cinematic sensibilities to experimental filmmaking and animation for his time. This national background forces him to move beyond the traditional narrative form. Amy Semetz’s fancy feature, “She Dies Tomorrow,” (throughout the virtual movies this weekend) about a woman (Kate Lynn Sheel) sure she’s alive in her last hours, immersed herself in abstract scenes and obsolete photography for strong sensory excitement. .

“There’s a preconceived notion that a lot of people started to feel it after the 2011 election,” Keitel said. “Amy wanted to talk about fear, anxiety and isolation.” She has previously collaborated with Semitz in her directed short films “Sun Don Na Shine”, the Starz series “Girlfriend’s Experience” and “When We’re in Miami”.

Multiple color washes illuminate the faces of the characters because each of them serves as a terrifying perception of one of the most effective artistic decisions, as they add great horror and excitement. Semetz had the idea to use these colorful lights as a powerful motif, and it is up to Keitel to translate this aspect into practice.

To achieve the desired result, he created a motion-tracking rig to operate the LED units without repeating the same pattern. “Those light types have changed depending on the mood, who the character is and how they are going. We changed based on their emotions, ”Keitel explained.

There are images scattered across the unsettling plot that resemble emulsions seen through a microscope. These abstract images that carry the definition of other worlds were created at the macro level in the backlit room using multiple organic and metallic items and were shot with Eri 100mm macro lenses as well as 500mm Leica reflex lenses.

As the play developed, Kettle used different lenses to provide a distinct look to each section of the film. For example, Richard Gayle came to play for the Clavias Prime Lens start and middle divisions, then he moved to the Arry Uncoated Ultra Prime, starting with the flashback sequences involving Sheel and Kentucker Adele. Finally, the Angenius Unquoted 26-7676 mm Optimo Zoom was used for the final two scenes of the final clean.

For Kettle, who is trained in the use and processing of film stock, there is great value in working with clear materials. As much as possible, he likes to capture everything in front of the camera before expanding. “Of course the digital intermediate has some manipulation, editing and color correction, but our inspiration was to keep it organic and not just rely on anything computer-generated,” he added.

In terms of framing, Keitel and Schmitz agreed that the visual language of the story would work best among intimacy – sometimes portraits of their men and women at the edge of fancy, like the beginning of the protagonist’s eyes. “Close-up speaks to an internal isolation within the character, perhaps much more than a broad, wide frame. In all our hard work together, we really tend to show a character’s emotional state.”

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