Innocents is one of the local Phoenix, Arizona independent film projects that I worked on earlier this year (in May and June 2011). Written by Jeff Houkal and directed by Joshua M. Lambeth, Innocents is a feature length dramatic film. We shot about 5 minutes worth of selected scenes from the script to create a trailer for the film to promote the work of the cast and crew and garner funding for the production of the entire feature. The director and screenwriter are hopeful that production on the entire film will be possible in the near future. The cast of Innocents includes Kasim Aslam, Gina M. D’Atri, Jeff Houkal, Xavier Christian, Cecilia Coloma, Suzanne Ziad Yacoub Yatim, Tim Valdisera, Skyla Cochrane, and Robert Jakob.
Shot entirely on location with a Canon 5d Mark II DSLR camera in 1080p HD, Lambeth served as both Director and Director of Photography, two roles he is well suited to. Lambeth has a knack for lighting and shooting detail images. He simply has that photographer’s eye and his body of work so far shows it. I previously posted a review of his short film Time. My favorite scenes from the Innocents trailer are the interrogation room scenes between writer/actor Jeff Houkal and actor Kasim Aslam. I absolutely love the lighting and cinematography. In collaboration with director Lambeth, I assisted as Production Designer for that scene, suggesting the black wall backdrop and selecting the stainless steel table the two actors sit at. So I guess you could say I am a bit partial to it. But even with my normal impartial film critic hat on, I do stand by my love of that scene for it’s writing, acting, cinematography, and production design.
My specific roles on Innocents were mostly in the sound department. I was the Boom Operator, Co-Sound Mixer, Sound Editor, and Sound Designer. And I dabbled in Production Design on the interrogation scene, and assisted Josh Lambeth with a bit of editing. The sound was recorded with a Sennheiser MKH-416 shotgun microphone (provided by Broadcast Rentals in Tempe, AZ) and a Sennheiser EW100 G3 wireless lavalier microphone. All sound was recorded onto a Zoom H4n portable digital recorder and edited/mixed/mastered in Avid Pro Tools LE 8. Sound work was a bit challenging on this project with some dynamic locations, but I think it turned out decent in the end. This was my fourth short film project where I worked on sound, and I learned a lot. I continue to improve my work and I really appreciate sound on movies like never before in my life! When I see that a film like Unstoppable (2010) had a team of 28 people in the sound department, I can see why my work, along with my fellow crew members, pales in comparison. Their is strength in numbers when it comes to good sound I think! Josh’s brother Christopher Lambeth and Max Goessing created the musical score for the trailer, lending it some emotional gravitas.
I gotta say it was a pleasure working with the cast and crew on this project and I look forward to working on the entire feature film.
Here are some still images from the Innocents trailer: