Matthews Grip Buzz Article   27 Jan 2022

“Don’t Tear Yourself Apart” production BTS

The production techniques used in Monarex’s co-production with Squall Films, “Don’t Tear Yourself Apart,” were featured in Grip Buzz (by Matthews).

A note from JJ Osbun:
“I have enjoyed working with Pedro Tavares on this film. From the start he had a strong vision and a lot of energy and it was not a hard decision to commit to the project with him, because I knew we’d both carry it through. Our schedule was very tight (10 days) and we had a super small crew, gratefully named below.

The experience was fantastic, and even when difficult, it wasn’t too stressful. We all knew it was a challenge, but that we could get it done. Filming an afternoon lunch scene at 1AM, after a long day on the other side of LA, qualifies as one of those difficult but not too stressful moments. Being forced to use a few tools in a myriad of ways was how we stayed on schedule and still managed to achieve a unique look for the film.

Camera was an iPhone 11 & 12 Pro (yes, very frustrating that the 13 dropped a few months later), so we were constantly contending with scene exposure and deep focus, but the small form factor helped alleviate the support concerns typically associated with proper cinema cameras.”

Take a look at the article below for some additional commentary on the subject.

Line producer & casting director, Daniel Barilla
Hair and Make Up, Olivia Jackson
Audio mixer, Aobo Huang
Camera & lighting, JJ
Direction, production design and so much more, P. Tavares

Link to the Matthews Instagram post.
Link to the Matthews website post.

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The captivating film, Don’t Tear Yourself Apart, proves that with ingenuity, friends and go-for-it attitude, anything is possible. Taking advantage of the Covid lull, co-executive producer and cinematographer JJ Osbun and screenwriter/director P. Tavares self-financed their first narrative feature. They shot for 10 days and completed the 97-minute film in 8 months time.

The camera package consisted of their personal iPhone 11 Pro and 12 Pro with 1:33 anamorphic adapters and cages that made creative rigging possible. With just himself on camera/grip/lighting Osbun kept his kit minimal and versatile, opting for color-LED lighting: two fresnels, a panel light, a few smaller fixtures and lots of tools from Matthews.

Osbun used a Go Kit, with 15mm Diff 1 and 2, 25mm Diff 2 and 3, 50mm Dif 3 and 4 C-Reflectors on nearly all setups.“CRLS saved me time after time.” Like when he needed to go low profile while shooting at a police station and a small 15cm C-Reflector sent a beam of sunlight 40 feet to hit an actor’s face who would have otherwise fallen into shadow.

“The scene worked thanks to that C-Reflector fixed to a Babysitt’r, tucked far away.” Later a single light mounted to a Matthews Monitor stand with both 25cm and 50cm C-reflectors pulled off double-duty lighting. “CRLS allows for multiple qualities of light from a single source.”

It was his go-to for helping lights reach out over set. He used it to bounce a 1’x2’ panel light onto the curved white ceiling for an effective makeshift cyc.”I was able to set up scenes within 20-30 minutes by myself, he explains. “It was a sleeper hit —I knew I would use it, but I didn’t realize how much.”

Osbun used three Matthews 4.5” Vacuum Cups to mount the iPhone and lights to vehicles, explaining “With their 1/4″-20 threads you can use Matthews tapped Baby Pins to attach almost anything. Add a few Knuckleheads, and an articulating arm, and your options are significant. Building a car rig in 20 minutes was a big deal for our unforgiving schedule. These tools helped us create interesting perspectives to better tell the story—on a tight schedule with minimal resources—plus, the entire feature production kit fit in my Jeep.”