THE MIDNIGHT SWIM | VFX SUPERVISOR/PRODUCER + COMPOSITOR        ︎

"Spirit Lake is unusually deep. No diver has ever managed to find the bottom, though many have tried. When Dr. Amelia Brooks disappears during a deep-water dive, her three daughters travel home to settle her affairs. They find themselves unable to let go of their mother and become drawn into the mysteries of the lake."

Winner AFI Fest, Starz Denver Film Festival and Sun Valley Film Festival. Written & directed by Sarah Adina Smith, The Midnight Swim had a limited theatrical release, June 26th, 2015. 
 
VFX COMMENTARY 

Personally composited, rotoscoped and tracked five complex day to night shots filmed by D.P. Shaheen Seth, that total over four minutes.

The desire to blend a naturalistic, yet magical night sky that intensifies throughout the film, combined with unsalvageable night footage, led to a vfx approach. Filming constraints forced a shoot in bright sunlight, which necessitated partial water replacement and extensive rotoscoping of hotspots on actress Lindsay Burdge's hair, shoulders and arms as she moves toward and away from the unsteady camera, with ultimately her face even fully in frame. Vector based stars featuring the Pleiades "Seven Sisters" cluster were added, allowing for physically correct motion blur matched to the camera's rolling shutter on shots that included a continuous 90 second hand-held take.

VFX RECOGNITION

A stunning shot of the lake, a pier, a woman and a canopy of stars is a poetic refrain.” - The New York Times

I loved the night time shots of the dock... the starlit sky above the dark still lake looks fantastic” - Nerdly

“...look at that moonlight, this is one beautiful image, it reminds me of Camille Pissarro‘s beautiful night paintings. This image is the reason you go to see Midnight Swim, and honestly it is reason enough."