Vessel is his Kyle Klütz's first sci-fi film. Shot with the RED ONE MX, the VFX-heavy short chronicles an airliner’s encounter with an alien craft. Klütz and director Clark Baker used Frame Forge previsualization software to understand how to work within the confines of an aircraft cabin, where most of the action occurs.
“I’m always conscious of when to move or not move the camera in order to convey the inner workings of the character,” Klütz explains. “It was incredibly helpful to be able to plan moves and coverage with the actual focal lengths and camera heights needed.”
Director and DP also watched films for reference on tone, mood, lighting and camerawork. Steven Spielberg and Vilmos Zsigmond’s (ASC) Close Encounters of the Third Kind and John Carpenter’s The Thing were major influences for both lighting and creature effects.
“My favorite sequence in Vessel is when the alien spacecraft abducts the airplane,” Klütz says. “We spent a lot of time trying to think of ways to believably pull this off, and it was both exciting and nerve-wracking. Seeing the smile on the director’s face once he called ‘cut!’ made it a favorite.”
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