THE TUESDAY DROP: 2500+ New Shots

09.20.22   Get your Decks ready ShotDeck Team! We’re adding the complete second season of Atlanta, as well as several films from 2022 including The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, The Lost City, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Check them out below, and remember you can always request films for future drops by clicking here!

ATLANTA is an American comedy-drama television series created by and starring Donald Glover. Glover plays music manager Earnest “Earn” Marks, and the show follows the lives of him and his client, rapper Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry), alongside their friend Darius (Lakeith Stanfield) and Earn’s on-again, off-again girlfriend Vanessa (Zazie Beetz). The group navigates a seemingly otherworldly version of the Atlanta rap scene. Season 2, entitled Robbin’ Season, premiered on March 1, 2018, and won 3 Primetime Emmy Awards. For Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series (Katt Williams), Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (Christian Sprenger) and Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation. Glover and Director Hiro Murai worked on Season 2 of Atlanta with American production designer Timothy O’Brien, who also worked on Season 1 of the show. 

Having established a tone of surrealism and dream logic in season 1, O’Brien, Murai and Glover wanted to push the scale and look of the film to new heights for season 2. Fundamental to the design of the show was the organic quality of Atlanta as a city. The non-grid structure of the streets and the sprawling nature of the overgrowth both at street level and from an aerial view became the foundation of the organic look and feel of the show. Atlanta also posed a unique challenge to O’Brien given that the vast majority of the show was shot on location – and locations were rarely revisited. The most well-known location from season 2 was the mansion used for the Teddy Perkins episode, which O’Brien and the locations team had to extensively scout before arriving at the mansion that was chosen. The mansion they chose was built in 1911, requiring a lot of non-destructive production design work to transform it into a haunted, creepy home. This was a major challenge given the nature of the place as they first found it, which had previously been used as a quaint retirement home facility for the film Driving Miss Daisy. While elements of the mansion weren’t quite what they had originally hoped for, O’Brien and the crew knew it had the right bones for them, and were able to turn it into the season’s most memorable location. 

DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS is a 2022 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Doctor Strange, directed by Sam Raimi. The film is the sequel to the 2016 film Doctor Strange, and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange, who teams up with a mysterious teenage girl from his dreams who can travel across multiverses to battle multiple threats which threaten to wipe out millions – including an evil version of Strange himself. The film also stars Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Xochiti Gomez, Michael Stuhlbarg and Rachel McAdams. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness premiered at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on May 2, 2022, and grossed over $955 million worldwide from its $200 million budget, making it the third highest grossing film of the year so far. Raimi worked on the VFX of the film with Industrial Light & Magic, Digital Domain, Framestore, Luma Pictures, Capital T, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Weta, Trixter, Crafty Apes and Perception. 

The extensive VFX work of the film was divided up among all the companies so that while the other firms worked on everything else, Framestore would work on the multiverse jumping sequence, while Luma Pictures handled the Gargantos fight scene. All in all, Luma worked on 266 VFX shots, and their work on the Gargantos sequence started with a concept from Marvel and Raimi of the general shape of the creature they were designing. Luma then started developing ideas for the design of the creature with additional context from Raimi and Marvel, keen to find a good compromise between something that looked animal but also had some intelligence and emotion to its behavior. The sequence itself was shot on a backlot in London, meaning that Luma had to extend buildings with an eye to shadow details, but also to the continuity of the creature’s movement and its location across the London streets.

THE LOST CITY is a 2022 American action-adventure comedy film co-written and directed by Aaron and Adam Nee. The film stars Sandra Bullock as Dr. Loretta Sage, a romance novelist, and Channing Tatum as Alan Caprison, her cover model, who must escape a billionaire (Daniel Radcliffe) and find the lost ancient city described in Loretta’s new novel. Da’Vine Joy Randolph and Brad Pitt also star. The Lost City premiered at South by Southwest in 2022 and grossed over $190 million from its $68 million budget. The Nee brothers worked on the VFX for the film with several vendors, including Jonathan Bowen of DNEG (Susan MacLeod was the film’s Production VFX Supervisor). 

The Nee brothers and MacLeod approached their collaboration with Bowen and DNEG from the standpoint that the VFX should be first and foremost about supporting the story of the film rather than about visual extravagance, and that the VFX should, wherever possible, be an extension or a replica of a practical location or effect, rather than completely created in CG. The Well of Endless Tears and the Tomb of King Kalaman and Queen Taha were set extensions of set pieces built on stage, with the sinkhole created in VFX but based on a helicopter shot of a real sinkhole in the Cabo Cabron National Park (DNEG also added islands from San Lorenzo Bay to tie this location to where the majority of the film’s boat work was shot). While the location work was entirely shot practically in the Dominican Republic, the DNEG team added background plates for the hotel foyer and kidnap sequence, which was shot in LA.

THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT is a 2022 American action comedy co-written and directed by Tom Gormican, starring Nicolas Cage as a fictionalized version of himself alongside Pedro Pascal, Sharon Horgan, Ike Barinholtz, Jacob Scipio, Neil Patrick Harris and Tiffany Haddish. Cage channels his iconic characters as he’s caught between a superfan (Pascal) and a CIA agent (Haddish). The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent premiered at the South by Southwest film festival in 2022. Gormican worked on the film with New Zealand cinematographer Nigel Bluck, who was known at the time for his work as a 2nd unit DP on the Lord of the Rings trilogy, as well as his cinematography on The Peanut Butter Falcon and True Detective s2

The majority of the shoot for The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent took place on stage in Hungary, as well as Dubrovnik, Croatia for some of the exterior scenes. Bluck shot with Panavision T series anamorphic lenses, shooting on the Alexa Mini LF, attracted to the image quality and clean look of large format photography. Bluck had a couple of key cinematography challenges in the film. One was to make Hungary in the winter look like Spain in the summer, which Bluck worked closely with colorist Alex Bickel to achieve. Bluck and Bickel’s approach to the problem was to understand that color was much easier to manipulate than contrast ratios in post, leading Bluck to make strong and clear choices about how he wanted to shoot a scene and then approach it uniformly throughout to make things easier on Bickel. The second major challenge was shooting the scenes in which 2 Nicolas Cages occupied the frame together. While Bluck initially experimented with motion-controlled cameras, he and the crew found that the easier solution of locking off the camera and splitting the screen tended to be the best-looking solution for the film as well.

COW (2022)

COW is a 2021 British documentary film directed by Andrea Arnold. It follows the life of a female dairy cow named Luma, at a Park Farm in Kent, England. Cow is shot in a cinéma verité style, and follows the details of Luma’s daily life as she is milked, and as she interacts with her calf or mates. Cow premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, and later played at the 2021 Busan International Film Festival, before being released across the word. Arnold worked on the film with Polish cinematographer Magda Kowalczyk. Kowalczyk’s previous films included the shorts Away With Me and Last Day of Summer.

Arnold had wanted to make a documentary about an animal for years, and after considering making one about a chicken, kept coming back to cows. Arnold and Kowalczyk went into production together knowing that they would be shooting for several days a month over the course of several years, and that they were going to take an intimate and unflinching look at the details of Luma and her calf’s lives. Kowalczyk was aware of the working habits and visual style that Arnold had established with longtime cinematographer, Robbie Ryan, and sought to bring that ethos into how she interpreted the visual language of filming this documentary (for example, panning from Luma’s face to what she sees, instead of doing a POV shot). Kowalczyk shot the film on a Sony FS7 (after experimenting with 16mm film and deciding that it was too risky given the location), using Zeiss lenses. Kowalczyk and Arnold wanted to shoot from inside the cow’s perspective as possible, and this led initially to Kowalczyk framing humans from the waist down in keeping with how a cow would see them. However, over time, Arnold realized that the audience needed to see the humans’ faces, and though this approach may have worked for a short film, that in a feature documentary, the audiences needed to be connected to both the humans and the cow. Kowalczyk used minimal lighting units – 2kW Blondes, 1kW Fresnels and 20×20 LED panels – to light the film, trying to keep the look of a realistic documentary that was elevated into something more cinematic.

KIMI (2022)

KIMI is a 2022 American thriller directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Zoë Kravitz as Angela, an agoraphobic tech worker who discovers recorded evidence of a violent crime but is met with resistance when she tries to report it, leading her to do the one thing she fears most in pursuit of justice – leave her apartment. Kimi was released on HBO Max in February 2022. Soderbergh shot and edited the film himself, under the aliases Peter Andrews and Mary Ann Bernard. 

Soderbergh began working on the film with classic American paranoid thrillers of the 1970s as a touchstone reference point for Kimi, looking to films such as The Conversation, Repulsion and The Tenant, as well as to Panic Room and Rear Window as inspiration for the look and feel of the film. Soderbergh considered Kimi to be a “Saturday night bottle of wine thriller” and wanted to make a film that had the visual style and filmmaking approach of a movie that would directly appeal to an adult audience looking to watch a film at home. Kimi was largely shot in Los Angeles, which doubled for Seattle, and while the script was written before the Covid-19 pandemic, Soderbergh and screenwriter David Koepp decided that the pandemic was the ideal backdrop from which to observe their agoraphobic central character, and the dilemma she faced over the course of the film.