Art Direction

Paintings for Film, 48 Hour Film Project NYC

director of photography Lee Milby

I was hired by a director who wished to participate in the 2014, 48 hour film fest. The film happened to end up with an artist as a protagonist, so I was able to contribute many things the production in terms of props and set dressing.

film in bushwick brooklyn

Going into this, I really had no idea what to expect. But it sounded fun and the competition was something that I’d always wanted to try, but never really had the opportunity before.

paintings for film sets 2
The prop we had to use for the 48 hour film fest NYC was lipstick.

movie prop paintings 3

prop portraits
I thought it would be totally artsy and twisted for him to kiss the canvas like this, and so it was.
film in brooklyn
The film’s love interest.

The director wanted the film to be about an artist, and I just happen to make fine artwork as well as do video, so we shot the scenes in and around my apartment.

set dressing for film

He wanted chaos, so we made chaos.  The set was made with objects that already happened to be in my apartment, including the paintings.  Some people call this hoarding. I call it prop collection.

paintings for film sets
The idea was that the artist (museum worker) protagonist was selling his artwork on the street.

movie prop paintings nyc

movie prop paintings

The director also wanted a portrait of one of the actors as a key element for the plot, so I painted him from life in about 20-30 minutes on the morning we were shooting so we would have something to work with. The process was even more rushed than you’d expect, because the night before, we lost our original location and plot when someone had to leave the project unexpectedly.

film for 48 hour film fest museum
Mark Ressl provided the bike prop.

48 hour film fest 2014

filming in bushwick nyc

The director wanted to set the painting prop on fire at the end, so Mark used his boy-scout skills to light the scene.

director of photography Lee Milby
This was my favorite shot of the whole film.
film in bushwick brooklyn
We filmed entirely in Bushwick. This was during the Bushwick open studios, so there were artists milling about all day.

We actually had a heck of a time getting it to light, so I suggested having the actor light the fire behind the painting (which we had piled tinder and stuffed flammables behind the canvas), then quickly move his cigarette to the front to simulate him lighting the thing from the front. It worked!

mark ressl film
The best credit ever.