Reckoning: Gear Tests on Location


Posted January 6, 2022

It’s 2022 and we’re getting closer to shooting the movie!

But first, I hope you had a relaxing Christmas.

It’s our first Christmas in North Carolina.

And it took me three times to get the right-sized sized Christmas tree.


This wasn’t a “run to the local nursery” type of thing. Oh no, it was a “drive to the country and cut down a tree” type of thing.

Let’s hope I execute on the film better than Christmas trees.

Speaking of which, we’re testing gear and ordering costumes! As most of you know this is part of pre-production.

Yesterday, I told Journey’s school teacher (her mother) that the lead actress was needed on set for camera testing.

So Journey and I loaded up film gear and snacks from Mommy, and headed out. Stopping only for hot chocolate with whipped cream (gotta keep talent happy).

At the Cashiers Historical Society, Journey explored a kitchen full of antiques while I tested camera and lenses.

Industry Note: If this were a studio film, I could never ask for the main actor to come to set for camera tests. Brad Pitt would be like, “Seriously?” But when the actress is your daughter, and it’s indie film, you can do things studio directors only dream about doing!

One big item for me was testing exposure. Check out the image above — Journey holds a gray card. This card is “middle gray” (which sounds like a place in Lord of the Rings).

Middle gray is part of the Ansel Adams zone system. It’s one thing filmmakers use to set proper exposure. The colored screen on the back of the camera is called “false colors” and it assigns a color to certain exposure levels.

I’m shooting this film on the Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera using Sirui Anamorphic lenses. When we’re actually shooting the movie, the sets will be lit much better than a single light with no diffusion like I used for testing. But even with that, the resulting image is still pretty cool:

See how wide the image is? That’s a 2.4:1 aspect ratio. You get this by shooting with anamorphic lenses. Wide aspect ratios give the film a more epic feel than a normal 16×9 frame.

So that’s a wrap for this update!

In the last email I asked for ideas on how to define all of you — Busy people who care enough to get into behind the scenes info about my film (thank you!).

A few responded with great ideas, but one idea ruled them all:

Virtual Crew from Jerusha Emerson.

I love it! Thank you Jerusha.

So that’s it, you’re now virtual crew. And calling you crew means you’re literally a part of the film.

Hey, maybe there should be a virtual crew section in the credits?

And as crew, you’re the first to hear this update:

We’re planning production for February!

Originally it was planned for September of last year, but that’s just filmmaking. You push ahead, one step at a time. It’s the filmmakers who never give up that get stories told.

Thanks for cheering me on. I really appreciate it.

And thanks for sharing the film! If you know anyone who would like to see more, send them here:

Next up I’ll show you completed costuming for Reckoning!

Until then…

Kyler Boudreau