The Cinematography Podcast Episode 201: Casper Kelly and Alex Allgood

Yule Log is a crazy, surreal, comedic horror movie written and directed by Casper Kelly and with cinematography by Alex Allgood, made for Adult Swim and available on HBO Max. Even though it’s a month past Christmas, fire up Yule Log if you haven’t seen it already- it’s bound to be one of the weirdest and most original movies you’ve seen in awhile.

For Yule Log, Casper and cinematographer Alex Allgood decided to keep the camera locked off on the fireplace logs for as long as possible, so people might think it was just a recording of a fireplace for holiday ambiance, before introducing more action around (and inside) the fireplace and in the cabin, as people enter and events unfold. The movie takes place in a cabin, but over multiple timelines that overlap and combine different genres from comedy to horror to Lynchian-style surrealism.

Alex liked the script, and felt that even though the movie leads with the long lockoff shot on the fireplace that the dialog kept everything going. He only had about three weeks to prep the movie, and they shot Yule Log in about 14 days. He enjoyed working with Casper and combining so many different creative elements into the movie. Alex always sees projects in terms of lighting first and camera second, so he tried to create a cohesive look with the lighting on the film throughout each scene, using a lot of firelight of course.

Casper has always enjoyed taking risks and seeing things that he hasn’t seen before vs. following a formula. His first job was on the low budget horror movie Basket Case 3, and he wrote and directed another short dark comedy spoof TV show for Adult Swim called Too Many Cooks. With his previous experience and relationship with Adult Swim, Casper pitched Yule Log and was paid to make it- he thinks if he had done it as a spec script, no one would have given him money to make such a crazy film. Casper wasn’t sure the many, many ideas in Yule Log were all going to work, but he wanted to go for it and take risks. But everyone was on board through all the crazy twists and turns the story takes.

You can see Yule Log on HBO Max.

Find Casper’s short for Adult Swim, Too Many Cooks on YouTube.

Find Casper Kelly Twitter & Instagram: @heycasperkelly

Find Alex Allgood: Instagram @alexisallgood

Close Focus: A roundup of news: Alec Baldwin will be charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust.

The Sundance Film Festival is happening this week, and there’s been some big acquisitions, such the movie Fair Play for $20 million by Netflix.

A new Francis Ford Coppola movie is coming out called Megalopolis with a huge cast.

After The Last of Us started airing, the head of Ubisoft is interested in having the “Assassin’s Creed” videogame, which was already made into a movie, crossover further into film and/or television.

Avatar: The Way of Water has made over $2 billion worldwide.

Ben’s short end: The screenwriting software Fade In is easy to look at, has great formatting, easy navigation tools and lots of collaborating tools.

Illya’s short end: With Microsoft laying off its VR teams, it’s looking like VR is a failed experiment for now, and the tools for bringing VR into the world of entertainment just aren’t there yet.

Listen to Ben’s new horror series Catchersavailable NOW only on Audible!

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Instagram: @thecinepod

Twitter: @ShortEndz


Podcast Credits:

Producer: Alana Kode

All web and social media content written by Alana Kode

Host and editor in Chief:  Illya Friedman

Instagram: @illyafriedman @hotrodcameras

Host: Ben Rock

Twitter: @neptunesalad

Instagram: @bejamin_rock

Editor: Ben Katz

Composer: Kays Al-Atrakchi

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