Shot on EPIC DRAGON: The Final Girls – Screening in Los Angeles

The NUART theater is hosting a special midnight screening of  The Final Girls this Friday, January 15th at 11:59 PM.

We hope you get a chance to check it out, and welcome your thoughts in our comments section below.

Shot by featured filmmaker Elie Smolkin and directed by Todd Strauss-Shulson, The Final Girls plays with visual and storytelling tropes of campy B-movie horror flicks. Shot on 3GRs Red Epic Dragon using our Angenieux zooms and Cooke s4s.

Like the look? Feel free to request a quote if you’re interested in renting this gear.

A modern-day group of friends enter the world of a 70’s B horror movie – and try to get out alive. The plot largely supports the jokes, but also delivers some legitimate edge-of-your-seat thrills and a solid hero(ine) story. Taissa Farmiga (American Horror Story) delivers a stellar performance as Max Cartwright, a shy teenager pulled into this surreal adventure that ends up a lot more personal than anyone could have imagined.

final girls

Spanning horror, comedy, period, spoof, thriller and drama, The Final Girls allowed Strauss-Shulson and Smolkin to borrow from a number of aesthetic genres. Check out the killer article on their motion-control sequence in Popular Mechanics!

The Final Girls stars Taissa Farmiga, Malin Akerman, Nina Dobrev, Thomas Middleditch, Adam DeVine and Angela Trimbur. It was released in the US on October 9th, 2015.

the final girls

Want to read more? There’s a great conversation about shooting the movie with cinematographer Elie Smolkin on Five Frames.

And Strauss-Schulson discusses his inspiration and influences for much of the aesthetic on Slash Film.



Shot on EPIC M-X: “All’s Fair…”

This brand-spanking new short from Director Todd Strauss-Schulson and Ulterior Productions tells the story of a young man distraught after  being turned down by the love of his life and the new friendship that just might help him move on.

The film was shot on two RED Epics with Angenieux zooms (16-42, 30-80, 17-80) & a Nikkor fisheye lens. Director of Photography, Elie Smolkin noted to 3GR how the pace challenged him and the small crew:

We had a very, very limited budget on this one so it was a “let’s use whatever is in the van” kind of shoot. That challenge made it a lot of fun and I think we were able to find a cool look because of it.

We shot over a few days in LA and having 2 cameras to help cover the improv and all the montage set ups was a huge help. Working with Todd and Ken (Ken Franchi, Producer) is always a fun experience, it’s a guerrilla/fast pace style of shooting but with a high production value in mind. That’s a hard task to complete but we make it work and end up getting something great out of it. Alex Bickel did a great job refining the look in color and the cast was fantastic.


1st AC: Ryan Hogue

B Cam Op: Matt LaRoche

Gaffer: Tyler Bell

Key Grip: Tina Densmore

Colorist: Alex Bickel

Shot on EPIC M-X: ENTERTAIN_bot Camera Test

Shot by 3GR Featured Filmmaker Elie Smolkin on RED Epic + Angenieux Optimo DP Rouge 16-42mm Zoom. Motion Controlled via General Lift’s Genuflex Mk III. Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson.

From Todd:

I have always wanted to shoot dance numbers in a hyper cinematic way. Doing what Busby Berkeley would do if he were alive today. Having the camera dance with the dancers using modern technology. I shot this test as a proof of concept.

Shot on EPIC M-X: Valibation

We’re excited about this new short film titled Valibation by writer/director Todd Strauss-Schulson. It was shot by 3GR featured filmmaker Elie Smolkin on RED Epic + Angenieux Optimo DP 16-42 Zoom + RED Pro Primes.

Strauss-Schulson and Smolkin used an Impala MOCO rig to execute some of the shorts most eye-catching shots. Each MOCO setup would take 2 hours to to program and complete, so the production was only able to film six shots in a 12-hour day.”Todd had a strong vision and pushed us to execute the craziest, most ambitious shot lists. Our shot design was always motivated from a storytelling perspective,” says Smolkin.In instances where a MOCO rig proved impractical, Smolkin utilized a Fisher 10 Dolly w/ a center-mount Jib and Arri Geared Head to replicate the robotic movements of the MOCO rig. Smolkin and his team built an additional rig that could rotate the camera 180-degrees on the Z-Axis for the shot when Yale exits the doctor’s clinic.

Smolkin collaborated with focus-puller Lance Kuhns, Key Grip Ben Benesh and Gaffer Tyler Bell. “Our crew was tiny, but they killed it. I’m blown away by what we were able to accomplish on such a tight schedule,” Smolkin boasts.  “Our 360-degree MOCO shots proved quite the challenge. Lance’s focus pulling was incredible, especially considering the high-level of difficulty. Ben and Tyler were able to rig and hide lights in the craziest places.””Valibation was my toughest shoot, but also one of the most fun and rewarding.”
Learn more about the project here and watch the short at