Seventeen years after The Blair Witch Project spooked audiences at the 1999 summer box office, a sequel to the horror film Blair Witch has been released on 16th September.
Directed by Adam Wingard, made and distributed by the Simon Barrett-penned film, Blair Witch was reported by some relevant media, before its release,as Hollywood's biggest dark horse this summer, and it really earned great acclaim as expected.
Official poster of Blair Witch
Horror films are, for the most part, filmed in darkness, and Blair Witch is no exception, so it is very important to choose good lighting equipment. Recently a columnist from the Wall Street Journal, Mike Ayers, wrote an article about why the director Adam Wingard and the photographer Robby Baumgartner chose the Fenix PD35 for lighting these dark environments in the thriller sequel to “The Blair Witch Project”, and how well it performed in this sequel.
Following is the link to the original article of Mike Ayers, and the discussion of how this light was chosen:
In “Blair Witch”, the present-day sequel to the 1999 low-budget horror breakout “The Blair Witch Project", viewers are once again taken on a “found-footage” romp through the backwoods of Burkittsville, Md., in search of the supernatural entity of the title. Over the course of 90 minutes, six characters find themselves in various states of panic and terror. Most of the action takes place in pitch darkness, which gives way to an unsung hero of the “Blair Witch” resurrection: The Fenix PD35 flashlight.
This LED light, which retails from $75 to $139.95, depending on the type of battery you get, was an integral part in bringing “Blair Witch” to life — and a tricky one, too. Director Adam Wingard and cinematographer Robby Baumgartner tested close to 20 different flashlights before settling on the Fenix PD35.
“We had to go through a ton ofdifferent flashlights and brands until we found one that didn’t create a consistent flicker [on the camera lens], so we had a clear image,” Wingard says.
A Character who uses Fenix PD35 in “Blair Witch”
“Blair Witch” was shot on location in 32 days near Vancouver, British Columbia. Baumgartner estimates that 25 days were shot at night, with more than 80% of those nights lit on screen by the Fenix model. The flashlights thus served a dual purpose: to illuminate the shots, but also be a part of the narrative since the characters brought them into the woods as camping tools.
A clip of “Blair Witch” where
PD35 is used
“With actors essentially lighting the background, themselves and each other, it was paramount to get this right or the film would look like shit,” Baumgartner says. “It took a bit of trial and error to figure out how to make the best of a tricky cinematic situation.”
Baumgartner and Wingard had to spend time teaching the actors how to use the flashlights. “It’s not a talent that comes natural,” Wingard says. “I’ve seen actors that have been able to pick this up right away, I’ve seen actors that get annoyed with it. You’re constantly telling them not just to shine here and there, but sometimes you’re lighting up your fellow actor that’s standing next to you.”
The filmmakers also developed on-set tricks to help illuminate scenes. Baumgartner created a vest-type cloth that the actors would wear off camera and would help the on-camera actor know where to point the light.
“We had a week of rehearsals before,because the shooting style was so different,” says Wes Robinson, who plays Lane in the film. “It felt really raw and creative. It didn’t feel like you’re making a studio film.”
Wingard says the original “Blair Witch” cameras “could barely handle shooting at night time,” but that, in fact, helped create a realistic feel that grabbed audiences. “If you go back and watch that film, you can see that they are barely getting any exposure,which is actually scary in itself,” the director says. “It makes you feel like there’s more darkness around you and feels realistic for the experience of being out in the woods.”
Not only was the flashlight a big star on set, it also made its way into the script. Screenwriter Simon Barrett, who has worked with Wingard in the past on “V/H/S” and “The Guest,” says he put notes into the script about what he envisioned. “Usually I tried to indicate in the script what I saw lighting the scene,” Barrett says.
For Fenix, this isn’t the first time the trusty PD35 has been featured on screen. The flashlight has made appearances in “The Walking Dead”, “The Blacklist”, “Prometheus” and the latest “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” film. It’s the company’s best-selling flashlight and is used in a wide-range of professions, from law enforcement to janitorial services. According to Fenix vice president of sales, Patrick Cooper,they’ve never been paid a sponsorship fee or product-placement fee for a movie.
“The thing that we’re really proud of is that we don’t promote it and they find us,” Cooper says.
Actually, in the big family of Fenix, there are some other flashlights that became famous stars in Hollywood movie. For example, with its unique modeling of science fiction, Fenix TK45 involved in many big shots, like “The Last Day on Mars” “Prometheus” “Fringe”, etc.
“The Last Day on Mars”
Adhering to the design concept - Tank (king of the battlefield) ...... the Fenix TK series flashlight fully meets the special requirements of hunting patrols, search-and-rescue, military and law enforcement. In addition to TK45, other products in the same series such as TK15, TK35, TK41 and TK70 are also popular with many science fiction and action movie directors.
TK15 in “Overheard”
TK35 in “Arrow”
TK35 in “The Blacklist”
TK41 in “The Lost Door”
TK70 in “Unforgettable”
The reason why Fenix can frequently appear in movies or TV series is not only the professional and dedicated spirit going into the making of a product, but also continual support and favor from our Fenix fans in the past 15 years. Dear Fenix fans, Fenix’s further progress cannot be gained without your strong support. If you find any Fenix product that appears in other movies, please don’t hesitate to tell us by screenshot, pictures or videos at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!