Spencer Gillis: Going digital for GUN

Spencer Gillis: Going digital for GUN

Spencer Gillis, director of ‘GUN’, and winner of Magma’s People’s Choice Award, answers questions about the process of making ‘GUN’ as well as some questions about his past, present, and future of film making.  In addition to winning Magma’s People’s Choice Award, Magma awarded Spencer with an ExpressBox-1T for future use on his upcoming projects.  Below is a selection from the full interview.

Q:  How long of a process was the making of GUN from concept to first showing?

Spencer:  “About a year and a half. I started brainstorming the idea while working on set as a camera assistant on ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’. A couple of co-workers helped with that process and also gave me notes on the script once I started writing. We shot the film over three days in early December of 2011. Post took us a year, and then we premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January of 2013.”

Q:  Was this your first time shooting digital?

Spencer:  “I’ve been a camera assistant on feature films in New York for the last seven years where we almost exclusively shot film. This was my first short film that ever saw the light of day, but I’d shot many things before on a Panasonic HVX200 so digital acquisition wasn’t new to me.”

“I started brainstorming the idea while working on set as a camera assistant on “The Place Beyond the Pines.”

“We shot the film over three days in early December of 2011.  Post took us a year…”

Q:  What was the most challenging technical aspect of shooting GUN?

Spencer:  “Since I was lucky enough to have our whole crew be friends of mine that I work on features with, it was a relatively seamless process. The biggest concern was using a prop firearm on set, especially near the camera. We used a large piece of plexiglass that the grips would rig right in front of the camera anytime our DP Ludovic Littee and 1st AC James Daly would need to be in the line of fire at a close proximity. Of course, the biggest challenge with that is reflections but Ludovic has a great eye for that sort of thing.”

Q:  How large of a team in post production did you have working on GUN?

Spencer:  “Post went in phases. I had two fantastic editors, Adam Brown and Erin Casper, who downloaded and transcoded the footage on set. We spent about seven months editing. Once we had a picture lock, I started work with my sound designer Dan Flosdorf and composer Mark Degli Antoni. Then we moved into our final phase of post where we did our color with Drew Geary at Company 3 NY and final sound mix at Sound Lounge with Ryan Price. These were the artists that worked directly on the film, but of course there were a lot more people that made it happen at every turn.”

Q:  Do you have any projects that you are currently working on?  If so, are you shooting digital?

Spencer:  “I’m developing a feature script and outlining another right now. Also, this December I plan to shoot another short film.  Definitely shooting digital, probably the RED Epic.”

“I’m developing a feature script and outlining another right now.  Also, this December I plan to shoot another short film.”

“Definitely shooting digital, probably the RED Epic.”

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