Director Tim Cawley tapped frequent collaborators at Brickyard VFX to produce his feature documentary From Nothing, Something, through their feature division, Brickyard Filmworks. The documentary chronicles the creative processes behind such great minds as Tom Perrotta, Sara Quin of Tegan & Sara, Neville Page, Preston Scott Cohen, Huma Bhabha and others ranging from cancer researchers to celebrity chefs, to uncover where people get their ideas and how they bring them to fruition. The film premieres Sunday, April 29 at the 10th annual Independent Film Festival Boston (IFFBoston), in Boston, Massachusetts.
Cawley, an award-winning group creative director at Boston-based ad agency Hill Holliday, has worked with Brickyard many times through advertising campaigns for clients such as Dunkin Donuts and Major League Baseball. He also worked with the Brickyard team for his recent short film, 2009's Big Day of Fishing. When it came time to put his team together for From Nothing, Something, Cawley said, "I knew we needed folks who weren't just talented - that's a given - we needed folks who were next-level passionate about the things they make. I'd already worked with Geoff and the Brickyard team and I knew they fit that bill one hundred and ten percent."
Brickyard's Geoff McAuliffe, Amy Appleton and Henrique Ghersi worked with Cawley on the project from start to finish over the course of two years. "This was such a different process from our usual projects, and it was an amazing learning experience for a lot of the team members," explained McAuliffe. "This was a passion project for all involved, working in locations all over the country, doing all of our own lighting and shooting, and so much more. It was great food for the soul."
DP McAuliffe and cameraman Ghersi shot all of the sit-down interviews in 4K with a RED camera and all b-roll with two Canon 5Ds. They also received additional footage in a variety of formats including Canon 7D, Panasonic 154 AVCCAM, Panasonic HVX, Flip Cameras, DBetas, HDCAMs, DVDs and scanned materials. This footage not only varied in format, but also in frame-rate and resolution. Transcoding the various footage into a specific format, resolution and frame-rate was a major undertaking for the Brickyard team. Once uniform, the footage was cleaned up in Autodesk Flame and delivered to editor Kat Baker. Brickyard ultimately ended up with 10 terabytes - around 100 hours - of footage, stored across 20 drives.
"Brickyard didn't just work on the project, they absolutely lived it, from conception to production, through filming and post," said Cawley. "Together, we achieved something near impossible: we made a downright beautiful feature film with just a handful of hardcore, passionate people. It never would have gotten done without Brickyard."