DIG captures attention at Sundance 2014

Jan 29, 2014

MPS Studios provided the camera department for the Toby Halbrooks short.

Like many stories told via short film, the premise of DIG, a 2014 Sundance Film Festival selection, is simple but evocative: A little girl watches her father dig a hole in the family back yard. As he works, neighbors are drawn to the yard to watch as well.

The story unfolds from the unique perspective of a child, whose view of seemingly unremarkable tasks “can be magical and mysterious”, according to writer/director Toby Halbrooks (AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS, UPSTREAM COLOR.) During the festival, the project garnered more than 175,000 views on Sundance’s YouTube channel, and almost as many comments.

“There’s been a multitude of different interpretations of the story, which is great,” said Halbrooks,  a four-time Sundance veteran.  “People are genuinely liking it and embracing the metaphor and making it their own.” Read more about Halbrooks and DIG collaborators David Lowery, Shaun Gish and James M. Johnston.

To create the timeless look that the production team believed essential for the story, DP Joe Anderson elected to shoot with an Arri ALEXA and Cooke S4 Lenses, supplied by MPS Studios.

“We shot the whole thing in my backyard during the day, and the ALEXA does so well with daylight,” Halbrooks explained. “The Cooke lenses gave us the soft-focused look we were after.”

“We’ve worked with MPS often for many years,” he went on.  “They are always accommodating. All you have to do is describe the scope of the project and your budget. They’ll figure out a way to make it work.”

“Toby’s creative force and down-to-earth nature continues to propel him as a filmmaker,” said Meredith Stephens, MPS vice president.

“From ST. NICK and AIN’T THEM BODY SAINTS now to DIG, we are proud to have be invited to partner with Toby and his team,” she added. “These guys are creating fresh, thought-provoking projects that are shining a bright light on Texas.”

(Photo courtesy of DIG).

About MPS Studios

For nearly 40 years, MPS Studios has provided the equipment and support services to production companies making movies, commercials, and television. A staff of highly specialized, factory trained, and industry-savvy technicians provide world-class service to clients around the corner and around the globe. The company offers cameras, lighting/grip/electric, sound stages, and complete post services through deliverables. Contact MPS Camera & Lighting Austin or MPS Studios Dallas location to have a rental package or post service customized for your next project. www.mpsfilm.com