To read an article listing my top 10 tips to achieve high production values on micro budgets, go here:

to hear a recent podcast on the making of this short check out Caleb Pike's website:

Directed / Produced & Edited by Ken Simpson

Cinematography by: Alex Dacev


This was my entry to the third Viewpoint Film Challenge.

It's also a prequel to the feature film I directed, "Headcase".


Shot over nine days, most days were only 4-6 hours long, the longest day was 8 hours. 95% of the time the crew on set consisted of only the cinematographer (Alex Dacev) and myself.

Only three lights were used to light any particular setup. 1x 1K Arri fresnel, 1x 650w Arri fresnel, 1x 300w Arri fresnel. A medium flexfil was used on day exteriors.

The total cost of the film was approximately $1,200.00CDN

The major costs were:
$100.00 for a purchased battery for the 5D
$100.00 for an 8gig CF card for the 5D
$100.00 for pub location rental
$150.00 rental for the 24mm-70mm Canon Zoom Lens
$200.00 on the replica guns (discounted by the good people at nexus canada)
$270.00 for the rental of the Micro Dolly (discounted by the good people at DJ Woods!)
$450.00 for the redrock follow focus which we hardly used because we didn't have a focus puller anyway.

The rest of the money was spent on cab / parking fares, food /coffee, etc...Everything else was borrowed & begged for.


Converted all the native H.264 files into 1920 x 1080 Apple Pro Res (HQ) files @ 23.98 via MPEG Streamclip.

Edited in Final Cut Pro

Effects: Rain, muzzle flashes, minor roto achieved through Adobe After Effects CS4

All the audio was recorded after the fact with the H4N Handy Zoom sound recorder. My girlfriend and I did almost all of the foley, and the rest was sound effects libraries. All the actors were brought in later to re-record their lines. I would cue the scene up on my laptop and have them say their lines into the zoom. Simple as that!

Colour timing done by Alex Dacev through Apple's Color.

Filmed entirely in Toronto, Ontario - Canada

To see more work by myself and the cinematographer Alex Dacev on the 5D Mrk II visit:




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