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Taking on fewer paid jobs, Oakes began to live on the breadline during the day, and working on his dream through the night. Finally, seven years after ﬁrst being inspired with the original idea, he completed work on a proof of concept for his very own science ﬁction feature, “Exit Plan”, shot on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and graded with DaVinci Resolve. MICRO BUDGET PRODUCTION Set in a dystopian future, “Exit Plan” tells the story of exile Adam, a man trapped in the slums. Machines have become the sole workforce on Earth and the lower classes are deemed surplus to requirements, banished from the utopian cities to starve. As rebels plot against the elite, known as The Order, Adam discovers the Earth will soon be de- stroyed by a cosmic natural disaster and needs to ﬁnd a way off the planet together with his only companion, a robotic helper named iO. “Exit Plan” cost just $2,600 to make, all raised on crowd funding website Indiegogo. Of course, creating a short on such a restrictive budget did not come without its challenges. “The main shoot was done on a farm in Wales,” remembers Oakes. “Two crew members actually pulled out the day of shooting due to illness, which left us with a crew of just four people including the two main actors. On top of this tiny crew we had to shoot the entire ﬁlm in a space of only three and a half days. We ended up having about 30 minutes sleep every night before starting all over again the next day!” “Our main camera package was the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, equipped with the Metabones speed booster, and a simple shoulder rig with follow focus - this gave us a nice organic feel,” Oakes continues. “After using DSLRs for years I got sick of seeing the compression you get with h264. So I invested in the Blackmagic Cinema Camera and was blown away with the dynamic range, and the latitude that afforded, as well as the fact you could ﬁlm in 10-bit ProRes. I then tried the Pocket Cinema Camera and was amazed by how similar they were. The Pocket was an easy choice for “Exit Plan” for its ease of use and portability, especially as I was aiming for a very hand held look.” “For lenses I used the Sigma 18-35mm f1.8, which in my opinion is the perfect lens for this camera. In combination with the Metabones adaptor, the Pocket Cinema Camera performs very well in low light conditions, which is great as a lot of our shots were in very dark, gloomy locations. I also used a 100mm Macro lens from Canon for close up work.” HOLLY WOOD’S GRE ATS As well as creating all the many visual effects needed for “Exit Plan”, including a third of the sci ﬁ locations shot on a full green screen and computer generated, Oakes also took charge of editing the ﬁlm, creating all the sound design, and ﬁnally grading “Exit Plan” - the ﬁnal DI was carried out in DaVinci Resolve. “Science ﬁction has always been one of my favorite genres after growing up watching ﬁlms such as “Star Wars”, “Alien”, and “Total Recall,”” concludes Oakes. “And having a love of VFX also lends very well to this as there isn’t much opportunity to show off your CG skills in a romantic comedy! I don’t see directing and VFX as two separate disciplines in my line of work as the VFX is just the picture post I do for the videos I’ve directed.” “As far as inﬂuential directors, I respect Ridley Scott for his execution of “Alien”, Neil Blomkamp for his unique style, and ﬁnally Gareth Edwards because he came from noth-ing to being in Hollywood through doing his own visual effects, much as I am doing now.” “As for the color grading, I used the OSIRIS Vision 4 LUT in DaVinci Resolve as a basis for the entire ﬁlm and went from there,” he explains. “I wanted a very dark, grimy look, and throughout my past with DSLR, the latitude just wasn’t there to push and pull the image to get the results I was looking for. Using Resolve and the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera footage together allowed me to push the image further than ever to give the en-tire ﬁlm the exact feel I was looking for, giving me much more control.” KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 108 DECEMBER 2015 | 67