A Man and His Dog


Currently I am working on a short film, tentatively titled “A Man and His Dog.” It is about a mountain man, Victor (Sheldon James), who lives alone in a cabin with his aging dog, Carolina (Kahlua).


We follow Victor and Carolina through a single day, sunrise to sunset. We see their mutual need for one another. They eat together, hunt together, and live together.


I am in a cinematography for directors class and this is our first project of the semester. I am working on the project with a great friend of mine, Ken Curry, who is an excellent writer and animator. As a change of pace, we decided to switch roles on this project so I will be directing and he will be the cinematographer. I want him to feel what my shoes are like on most projects and I wanted to get a good handle on how I expect a director to behave.


We had planned on filming at a family cabin in Lyons, Colorado but we were unable to secure the location so we are now shooting for Loveland with Chatfield Reservoir as a Plan B.

  • I always have a cheap backup plan in case locations fall through because they tend to be the most volatile and expensive element of any film.

To give it the feeling of raw natural beauty, we chose to shoot our exteriors at sunrise and sunset. At those times, there is a beautiful golden glow which photographers and filmmakers strive for.


Story is king in every part of filmmaking but for this project we are putting great efforts into making it the most beautiful thing we have ever shot.

To this end, we will be renting professional Zeiss lenses for use on a Canon 5D MkII.

We have access to Canon L series zooms but we have decided for the look of this film Zeiss would be better.

I came to the conclusion from that using Zeiss lenses would be worth it for this project from a couple comparisons I have read in the past.

Shane Hurlbut, ASC produced a beautiful test using Zeiss ZE (the ones we plan to use), CP.2’s, Canon L series, and Leica R lenses. He came up with the following results:

” Zeiss The Zeiss glass produced Sharp, snappy, and contrasty images. Slightly cooler in color temperature as well. The contrast was problematic with shots with strong highlights as it  seemed to lose some detail in the highlights.
Canon | Overall the Canon glass produced great skin tones and colors. The reds seemed to be slightly more saturated then the other lenses with slight bleed between red and magenta on our color charts. Very sharp images as well from the primes and the zooms were a bit softer. The images were almost too sharp in some cases which caused small amounts of moire in hair especially. Also the Canon lenses tended to breath more than the others. 

I envision this film with a cool balance, very sharp, and contrasty. I have noticed the same problems in my own use of the Canon L zooms. They tend to err on the wrong side of soft and too much red. Also, breathing is a huge concern when it comes to making this film feel cinematic.


I plan on updating this post in a couple weeks describing my experiences on this project and the technical knowledge I gain from working with these lenses. And, of course, I will post a link to the final piece.


Here is the shooting script: A Man and His Dog_v2

And Pre-Production: Production Bible

Luckily we have our schools film cage and some awesome friends who are letting us borrow a significant portion of the gear we will need.


[Reward for going this long without one damn picture. You’re welcome.]

The Mixtape from Ithaca Audio on Vimeo.

3 thoughts on “A Man and His Dog

  1. Pingback: Loveland, CO | ATOMIC STRAWBERRY

  2. Trevr, I am happy that you are enjoying your schooling and are doing such a good job. This looks like a fun project. Enjoy!

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