Without

Written, directed and photographed by Aaron Leong.

A short cinematography project. The assignment was to emulate a given painting’s aesthetic. The painting that I was assigned was Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth. After investigating further into the history of the painting I found out that Christina Olsen, the girl in the painting, had polio.

My idea for the film was influenced by the feelings I got from looking at the painting. Loneliness, solitude, etc. And I wanted to incorporate the polio backstory somehow. I’ve also always wanted to do a project using Sonata, and at first glance, the first song that came to mind was Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. It married perfectly for me.

I shot it on the EX1 with the Redrock M2 lens adapter. A Zeiss 35mm f/2, Nikkor 50mm f/1.2, and a 100mm f/2 were used on this shoot. I increased the color temperature in camera past daylight, to give it a rich orange-ish flavor, and adjusted the gamma settings in camera as well to put the dynamic range where I needed it. I also wanted the ‘dream’ part of the film to be slightly more saturated and dynamic than the ‘true life’ part, which I desaturated the color slightly and gave it a hint of green. I used a slow slider to help give the rooms a lonely feel and an almost voyeuristic feel looking in on the sorrow.

I was toying with the idea of including foley audio or ambient audio, but in the end, nah. There should be no distracting Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.

I hope you like it.

Thanks to Eduardo for the talk about concept!!

Big thanks to Jessica Berkey for all of her help, casting and for the fantastic location!!!

Thanks to Ian Webb for the use of the wheelchair!

Without features Jessie Shortley as Christina. Thank you so much for your talents!!

Thank you to the random house on L st for the facade cameo.

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