'The Number', directed by Manuela Gray, focuses on South Africa's 'Number' prison gangs. As Manuela's attention was simultaneously across her film, a book and an exhibition of the manipulated imagery, the shoot required the delivery of both motion and stills. We opted to shoot with a Red Epic Dragon favouring its higher resolutions, as these would give us the most useable results for stills extraction.
The shoot was produced by Groundglass Productions and gear and lighting was provided by Media Film Services in Cape Town. The camera package was built around a Red Epic Dragon and a set of Arri Zeiss Ultraprimes. An Angenieux Optimo 28-76mm zoom was also used for some more Verite work. The lighting approach was uncomplicated... a large Dedo Aurasoft 800 sidelight with a second Aurasoft 400 overhead.
We shot in black and white (this with a monochrome 'look' applied to the colour Raw files) against black backgrounds. Most of the stills imagery generated by the shoot was extracted from 75-100fps 5K, 5.5K and 6K frames... these frame rates delivering the tighter shutter needed for stills extraction.
The high contrast grade delivered an almost graphic like rendering of their Numbers iconography. This as Manuela has a particular interest in the body art of the gangs and how this relates to both to their personal journeys and to the intricate Numbers mythology.
A great shoot, generating both striking motion and stills.