RT in the Edit Suite: Tell Tale

We witness short film history with photographer Greg Williams

by | March 25, 2010 | Comments

Greg Williams has given us good reason to buy an iPad. The renowned photographer, who’s shot more A-list names than most A-list directors, is telling RT about his latest shoot. The feature will run in LA Times Magazine, with cover star Carla Gugino gazing sultrily past the masthead in a suitably noir-like pose.

And if you’re still fond of ink and paper, that’s about all she’ll do. But this particular issue, launching the day after the iPad hits North American shelves, has a digital cousin. In this edition, downloaded to your iPad, Gugino will come to life, mouthing, “Welcome to LA.” On the pages within, her boa will flutter in a gentle breeze.

The technique, which aims to make best use of the iPad’s digital display and change the experience of reading a magazine, is one pioneered by Williams, and was most famously put to work on a series of digital campaigns for Quantum of Solace (see an example here). It’s called a Moto – a motion photo – and it’s been made possible only recently, by the advent of super high-definition digital video cameras from which magazine-quality images can be extracted. It’ll look like a photo shoot, but move like a film.

It’s all in aid of Tell Tale, a 7-minute short noir thriller starring Gugino and Adam Arkin. Part detective story, part twisted romance, it follows a couple whose attempt at erotic experimentation ends up in a police interrogation room. Accused of the murder of a police informant — a lover Gugino’s femme fatale character picks up, played by Jesse Spencer — the couple remains cool under pressure. But when they return home, they’re troubled by nightmares of what happened, and by an endless heartbeat reaching up from beneath the floorboards…

Discussions with Gugino and screenwriter Sebastian Gutierrez about Edgar Allen Poe’s The Telltale Heart, on which the film is based, were the catalyst for the project. “Originally Carla and I were just going to do some Motos together,” explains Williams. “Then we thought we’d give it a bit of narrative and it just grew and grew. Sebastian went away and wrote the script — literally that night.”


tell-tale

Williams’ film is, much like his photographic work, exquisitely shot — every frame an iconic image. “When we were shooting the interrogation scene, Greg described it as being a photographic essay,” explains producer Bob Ford. “He started out as a photojournalist and tried to take a similar approach. We covered it with 11 camera positions and it was interesting to see what made the cut.”

The film has been shot on high-definition RED cameras, which have fast earned a reputation as the best way to shoot digital film. It’s these that make the Moto images possible, and this is the first project ever to be shot with the company’s game-changing new Epic camera. “The new camera we’ve been using, once it’s in its final state, is without a doubt going to revolutionise film,” says Williams. “I started taking it on all my editorial shoots, with people like Megan Fox, Jude Law and Robert DeNiro. What I was making weren’t films, but they weren’t stills either. The stills that you pull from it are fantastic, but it also meant I was pulling performances out of actors while I was shooting them. They weren’t posing for the strobe light, they were acting.”

Williams hopes the results will be worth investing in. Challenging the notion that short films don’t make money, Tell Tale will be distributed on iTunes for a nominal fee. The plan is to discover if audiences are ready to pay for high-quality short-form content. “I didn’t think about it as a way to recoup costs,” he tells RT, “but people have always said you don’t make money out of short films and I wanted to test that theory! I think it’s technologically a world-first and I think that will excite a lot of people. Plus, we’re promoting it in a way that’ll really make use of this new device, the iPad, so I hope it’ll reach a lot of people.”

When we watch the film — with Williams providing an audio commentary for the sound effects which have yet to be laid at the time of our visit — it’s pretty clear the project’s production values are high, but what’s really exciting is the potential on screen. Williams plans to return with more shorts — another is already in the can – and tells RT that a feature may follow eventually.

And it’s not just the manner of distribution that Tell Tale plans to do differently. The iPad plays a big role, not just in the LA Times Magazine spreads, but in the idea that filmed entertainment can be enjoyed outside of the cinema or the home theatre. It’s not a new idea, and indeed it has been floated in the past to varying degrees of success. Whether Apple’s device will, like much of their technological innovations in the past, fill a void we didn’t even realise existed remains to be seen. But what’s certain is that Williams will be amongst the first of a new breed of filmmakers willing to put that theory to the test.

Tell Tale‘s LA Times Magazine spread launches on Easter Sunday, 4th April. Keep an eye on Greg Williams’s official website for more info.

Tag Cloud

Marvel Set visit dragons NBC versus LGBT Lifetime BET blaxploitation historical drama Lucasfilm Netflix Chilling Adventures of Sabrina CBS CBS All Access dogs miniseries crime thriller Heroines CW Seed Fox News TIFF Cosplay indie stand-up comedy strong female leads Sony Pictures social media news 4/20 Freeform witnail singing competition cinemax toy story die hard TV Land TCA Winter 2020 south america Nominations 45 Video Games Tubi Superheroe Starz El Rey Spectrum Originals movies Avengers hollywood DC streaming service dceu festivals Musicals 24 frames Teen Interview Nat Geo Best and Worst television PaleyFest satire Cannes Pride Month christmas movies Cartoon Network romance Schedule Premiere Dates Universal movie cooking Pop sequels cancelled rotten GIFs NYCC Esquire cartoon Comedy sports Classic Film Turner Winners screen actors guild deadpool ABC Family anime Reality Endgame stop motion Pirates Thanksgiving Creative Arts Emmys blockbuster green book Rocky what to watch Anna Paquin TCM Walt Disney Pictures TV Shudder french The Walking Dead Trophy Talk Amazon Studios Country Fantasy Academy Awards YA remakes Film Festival Martial Arts discovery Star Wars Box Office Vudu WGN documentaries sag awards Disney+ Disney Plus hispanic halloween tv cancelled TV shows Television Academy American Society of Cinematographers kids 2018 TCA political drama Quiz jamie lee curtis Infographic medical drama anthology Adult Swim Awards concert Rocketman USA justice league ratings Chernobyl crime drama hist Watching Series Winter TV Comics on TV name the review E3 technology dark IFC Films theme song Brie Larson Elton John Baby Yoda Masterpiece period drama classics composers Action Travel Channel DC Universe video on demand video The Academy Countdown FX franchise true crime Crackle psychological thriller Tomatazos crime dramedy OneApp 2020 Stephen King adventure VICE ESPN police drama foreign australia tv talk quibi Valentine's Day zero dark thirty mutant serial killer unscripted child's play The Purge LGBTQ streaming Rom-Com Binge Guide X-Men MTV cults Ghostbusters finale 2019 Horror comic Black Mirror stoner cats Paramount renewed TV shows award winner documentary 2016 YouTube Premium YouTube 71st Emmy Awards Rock doctor who talk show venice AMC San Diego Comic-Con Hallmark Christmas movies BBC One Apple best Emmys ID slashers National Geographic superhero Mary Poppins Returns Grammys richard e. Grant Marvel Television toronto SundanceTV TCA Awards binge travel The Witch History VH1 Marvel Studios Disney CMT Ellie Kemper worst worst movies aliens TNT Sundance Now APB werewolf cancelled television children's TV based on movie zombies Spring TV Britbox Film Kids & Family BAFTA obituary breaking bad supernatural vampires Mystery indiana jones Certified Fresh Music Podcast Disney Plus Holiday game of thrones BBC America ghosts Musical Calendar TruTV rotten movies we love 007 natural history Toys comiccon 2015 films IFC SXSW independent rt archives President series Columbia Pictures fast and furious batman Hallmark crossover dc casting japanese Trivia Family universal monsters TCA 2017 Black History Month reboot Funimation GLAAD italian Super Bowl space WarnerMedia Comedy Central Comic Book diversity HBO Go Lionsgate revenge cops Awards Tour Mindy Kaling FXX Year in Review all-time HBO Max thriller parents mission: impossible 20th Century Fox reviews psycho TLC chucky Extras free movies Arrowverse ABC A&E biography First Look screenings nature critics emmy awards james bond Ovation adaptation YouTube Red Song of Ice and Fire black Drama Marathons Hulu Dark Horse Comics Character Guide romantic comedy BBC Warner Bros. See It Skip It 2017 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Discovery Channel canceled TV shows Apple TV Plus sitcom facebook Crunchyroll Tarantino criterion Food Network ITV Sci-Fi scary movies nfl Election spanish language Disney Channel TV renewals Biopics E! Shondaland spain Disney streaming service joker spy thriller Polls and Games directors Peacock harry potter Pixar Summer comedies twilight politics 72 Emmy Awards Alien spinoff sequel comic books BET Awards asian-american scorecard Red Carpet 99% Opinion cars DC Comics Epix Apple TV+ Pet Sematary Pop TV Oscars Mudbound VOD game show MCU Spike elevated horror The CW laika Christmas Western Showtime Amazon Sundance TV Acorn TV PlayStation animated New York Comic Con festival war Sundance FX on Hulu Syfy Turner Classic Movies GoT Mary Tyler Moore boxoffice USA Network science fiction cancelled TV series Fox Searchlight latino Emmy Nominations spanish MSNBC Fall TV Captain marvel Amazon Prime Video Star Trek Logo TBS HBO Nickelodeon nbcuniversal book Trailer Sneak Peek Mary poppins comics halloween Tumblr golden globes FOX OWN SDCC PBS fresh Writers Guild of America spider-man teaser zombie CNN Bravo 21st Century Fox Netflix Christmas movies archives boxing Animation docudrama football robots RT History A24 DirecTV Hear Us Out Photos RT21 First Reviews transformers Amazon Prime Reality Competition Holidays DGA mockumentary Paramount Network Lifetime Christmas movies Television Critics Association disaster The Arrangement a nightmare on elm street Women's History Month canceled Superheroes