Miguel Melo Queiroz's picture

MISANTHROPOS - Feature Film (UK/Portugal)

A Feature Film based on the Shakespeare play "Timon of Athens", totally shot on chromakey (Green Screen) for adding virtual backgrounds in Post-Production. My roles were Associate Producer and Director of Photography.

A WHOLE YEAR OF PREPARATIONS:

Shooting for this feature film occurred over 18 days without stops, 11 hours a day, at CINEMATE studios in Lisbon. Not to mention prep days, of course. Before my role on set as Director of Photography, I worked for a whole year as Associate Producer, travelling several times to Portugal and UK, in order to get all the logistics and most of the Cinematography crew in place. working on this project was an intensive and unique (in many senses) experience.

In March 2019 I visited both the Cinemate Studios and the Expo-Astoria Hotel, where the whole crew would be accommodated, in order to get a lot of the logistics moving forward. I also established contacts with Bazar do Video, as an emergency supplier for the shoot. At Cinemate studios I was very well received by Sonia Costa and Rui Guerra, with whom I discussed most technical needs for the shoot, in terms of lighting, chromakey and Grip equipment such as the Panther Classic Dolly, the Pegasus 9ft Crane and the Technocrane Supertechno 30.

In the UK I travelled from Edinburgh to London to attend some of the rehearsals, where I met most of the main Crew and where I discussed several production aspects with the Director Maximianno Cobra.

CENOGRAPHY & PRODUCTION DESIGN:

As Associate Producer and being natively from Portugal I had a crucial role in bridging between the Production and several companies in Portugal, where we outsourced among other things, several set design elements such as these twin platforms with stairs that would be used in several scenes.

There were several problems trying to get the platforms built exatcly according to the shooting needs. Both platforms ended up being way too heavy for the wheels that came with them. The wheels quickly gave in, under the weight as can be seen in the photos. So I had to go buy last minute, several stronger wheels from a DIY shop and assemble them myself in the platforms. I hired a skillful painter to paint the platforms in Green Chromakey paint. Finally I had to assemble the stairs and the platforms together, for which I used wood and special heavy duty glue. My gratitude goes out to the Cinemate Studios workshop where skilled craftsmen provided me with the wooden fittings according to the measures I provided.

PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY:

Misanthropos is a Feature Film based on the Shakespeare play "Timon of Athens", totally shot on chromakey (Green Screen) for adding virtual backgrounds in Post-Production. Although I also helped with Cenography and VFX Supervision, my main roles were Associate Producer and Director of Photography.

It has been a true pleasure working with this outstanding cast (here we can see James Reynard as "Timon" and Declan O'Connor as "Alcibiades").

It has also been most gratifying working with a wonderful Cinematography Crew: Justin Pereirinha (Camera Operator), Alan Muszynski (1AC), Brice Bourdet (Key Grip), Bill Kapnis (Best Boy Grip), among other great cinematography professionals.

These non-stop 18 days shoot, with 10 hours a day (plus 1 hour lunch) proved to be really challenging but the crew behaved flawlessly despite any initial stumbles and hickups.