Dreams Take Flight
In the summer of 2016, fate took a twist for Alex O. Eaton, writer, and director of 'Mountain Rest.' A ruptured Achilles tendon led her to spend five months confined to her parents' Nashville home. Yet, it was within these walls that the captivating narrative of 'Mountain Rest' took shape. A story of tension, imagery, and a captivating luminosity, Eaton's imagination unfurled with the guidance of director of photography Ashley Connor.
"Ashley read the script while flying on an airplane, then fell asleep — and when she woke up, she'd dreamed the whole movie," says Alex. This dreamlike inception marked the start of a journey that would embrace naturalism with every frame.
The heart of 'Mountain Rest' lies within the cabin, where characters clash and emotions swirl. Frankie, portrayed by Kate Lyn Sheil, and her daughter Clara, played by Natalia Dyer of 'Stranger Things' fame, venture to the mountain cabin that harbors a history of 16 years of silence. Here, they meet Ethel, a former actress played by Frances Conroy, who has woven her past into an eternal present. Alongside her, a mysterious younger man named Bascolm, portrayed by Shawn Hatosy.
As the drama unfolds, the cabin and its surroundings come alive, resonating with the weight of emotions and untold secrets. The apex of the tale arrives during a costume party, where Ethel delivers a caustic monologue. This moment of revelation propels the characters towards an intense catharsis.
Letting the Daylight In
Beneath the intricate layers of drama, a challenge stood before the crew: create the illusion of natural daylight within a confined filming space. This is where Litepanels Astra LED lights stepped in, infusing scenes with an authenticity that's nearly indistinguishable from genuine sunlight.
With a CRI rating of 97 and TLCI of 98, Astra panels produce beautiful white light, rendering skin tones perfectly with true to life color reproduction at any dimming level from 100 to 0.1%. Weighing in at just 7lb (3.2kg) Astra fixtures could be boomed overhead and even handheld for fast and flexible location lighting.
“The Astras were fantastic! They gave us the versatility we needed for scene continuity. In fact, the film really looks like we shot it using only natural light, which was really important to me.”Alexandra O.EatonDirector
The Astra LED panels proved not only a creative asset but also an efficient companion for the small and dedicated crew. Durability, energy efficiency, and user-friendly controls combined seamlessly to empower the team, ensuring that their artistic vision remained unhindered by technical limitations.
In the world of independent filmmaking, nimbleness is key, and this ensemble of gear facilitated swift changes in location without compromising stability.
"As a small production, we needed to be as swift as possible," affirms Alex. "The OConnor 2575 fluid head and Cine HD tripod were not only easy to use but very lightweight, allowing us to change locations quickly and easily. The tripod gave us an extremely steady base even when we were in more precarious locations, such as scenes shot at waterfalls, in a cave, and in the woods."
'Mountain Rest' Takes Center Stage
The culmination of dedication and ingenuity, 'Mountain Rest,' now part of the New Directors Competition, will dazzle at the Nashville International Film Festival. The film's journey from dreams to reality showcases the power of collaboration, the brilliance of Litepanels Astra fixtures, and the steadfast determination of a team united by passion.
As the lights dim and the story unfolds on the big screen, experience the isolation, turmoil, and luminosity of 'Mountain Rest,' a cinematic marvel brought to life with the transformative touch of Litepanels technology.