JACKSONVILLE BEACH, FL – April 9, 2015
Slavery in America was abolished in 1865. Or so the average American believes. In fact, more than three million women and children are slaves today. In the dramatic narrative film, Don’t Look Away, the subject of sex trafficking—modern day slavery—is addressed head on. Exploring the alltoocommon story of a young woman enslaved through tactics exploiting social networks, Don’t Look Away exposes the fertile hunting ground stalked by predators in the human trafficking trade. “People think it’s a third world problem,” explained writer/director/producer Stephen Morgan, “but human trafficking is everywhere and thriving here in America. The point of the film is to help bring to light the dangers that are not only in the shadows, but among us.”
Don’t Look Away was filmed on location in Central Florida, Jacksonville, featuring locations in Jacksonville Beach. The company consisted of over 20 crew members, 9 principal cast members and dozens of extras. “The cinematography and artistic treatment demanded an approach with high production value and quality,” Morgan said. “We’re excited to share the results.”
Don’t Look Away was shot by Floridabased cinematographer Michael Minock with the new VariCam 35 4K camera/recorder, provided by Panasonic. “I sent the script to Panasonic requesting to use the VariCam 35 for this film and they agreed,” said Minock. The VariCam 35 was the primary camera on Don’t Look Away’s 18-day shoot. “We had a crucial sequence that called upon the camera’s functionality,” DP Minock said. “We were shooting in a working hospital, and had virtually no time and only natural light.” Minock was assisted by 1st AC, Mo Vega, an industry veteran and Full Sail instructor. “We used as much natural light as possible. With the VariCam 35’s capabilities, sometimes a couple candles would be enough to light a shot,” added Vega.
“We have an amazing opportunity to use our gifts and passions to forward the fight on sex trafficking,” said producer/writer/law student, Alex Couch. “I have a vision to see change in terms of policy. If we can start caring for the victims more, we will be better equipped in our efforts to punish the real perpetrators of this horrific crime."
Most of the film's grip and lighting gear was generously provided by The Art Institute of Jacksonville and many of the students volunteered to crew the project, gaining them real world experience. “It was amazing to hear how much the students enjoyed their work on Don’t Look Away,” said Campus Director Dan MacFarren. “We strive to give our students new opportunities to grow in their craft, and to be able to work on a worthy project like Don’t Look Away did just that.”
The film is currently in postproduction at Studiotown ’s office in Jacksonville Beach with documentary editor, Gabriel Cox, at the helm. “The film is a narrative piece, but the team wanted to cut it in a way to create a visual sense of reality to the story,” Cox said.
The color grading is being done by Daniel Parker at Myjive in Charlotte, NC. “Grading Panasonic’s new Varicam 35 footage has been a sweet surprise,” said Parker. “Considering the film was shot using mostly available light, the images look amazing and the post workflow has been very smooth.”
View the COLOR GRADING comparison video at https://vimeo.com/122340048.
Both colorist Daniel Parker and director Stephen Morgan will be attending NAB in Las Vegas to promote the film at the Panasonic booth.
Don’t Look Away is a not-for-profit project and will be used by organizations around the country to raise awareness and aid in risk reduction and prevention. Viewings and distribution to follow the 2015 film festival circuit.
View the TEASER for the film at www.dontlookawayfilm.com.
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