featuring / Honolua Blomfield
directed by / Ben Ono
produced by / Ella Verhees
director of photography / Ben Ono + Nash Howe
editor / Ben Ono + Nash Howe
additional cinematography / Ella Verhees
water cinematography / Ben Ono
original score / Nash Howe
sound design / Nash Howe
@silkymerman + @super35co
Behind the Lens - HONO
Thanks for everyone who has watched HONO and was stoked enough to share. Honolua Blomfield, 2017 World Title longboarding champ and overall style master, took on this three week journey with us as we filmed in her hometown on the North Shore of O’ahu. Between massive winter swells and the inevitable crowds of the North Shore, I’m happy to say we overcame the challenges associated with mother nature and public filmmaking, respectively. With the help of our small film crew composed of Nash Howe, Ella Verhees and myself - we were able to take our idea of a film and turn our cinematic longboarding universe into reality.
For all you gearheads, here is a list of the tools used in the making of this film:
Camera A: RED Scarlet-W from land.
Camera B: Canon 5DMKIV by sea.
On the RED: EF Sigma 40 1.4 ART | Canon 85 1.4 L | Sigma 24 1.4 ART | 100-400 Canon f4-5.6 with extender. Filmed 5K WS or 4KHD.
Canon was on 85 1.4 or 16-35 II fitted with Aquatech Waterhousing.
Above: Frame Grabs from HONO
Due to limited budget, the true gear MVP’s of the film were the Sigma ART primes. All the intimate dream sequences on land were shot with the RED Scarlet-W & Sigma 24mm+40mm 1.4 ART primes. I have always been a huge fan of the Sigma ART series, but after using their wide angle primes on a 5K sensor, I’m confident this “budget” glass is a budding filmmakers best friend. The look of the Sigma 40mm 1.4 ART is truly special - the lens renders muted colors with a slight glow around the subjects in low light. The film was shot entirely with natural light, the low-light capabilities of the ART glass allowed us to continue filming long after the sun went down - producing some of my personal favorite scenes to conclude the film. The RAW image out of camera was beautiful, requiring minimal color correction in post. The tones produced by the RED Scarlet-W & Sigma ART glass were soft and retained all of the available highlight information, which allowed us to easily mimic a true film look and all the cinematic goodness that comes with it.
• but the image is only half the film - the sound design, mixing & score make the true magic •
As retold by sound magician Nash Howe:
I remember listening to Spotify playlists with @silkymerman and @ellaveee trying to refine the vibe of the film and taking those soundtracks of our road trip to the north shore and reshaping then into what would be the soundscape of our first film. Ben has just as much stoke as I do for quality scores and that stoke just made it so easy to imagine and then to create.
The score went from intense cello to synthwave to a peeled back version of stranger things meets the minimal orchestra and was produced between and after our two shoot days and let me tell ya, I was way out of my comfort zone. I was on HI without my guitar, keyboards and mixing equipment and all I really had was my laptop and headphones that only really work in one ear. Haha. At the same time, I think it’s kind of awesome because to me, when I listen to that soundtrack and the melodies that were written on that laptop it just reminds me of a good friend posting me up for a month as we hustled and made a film together with the tools we had available from ideas that were refined on the fly. I was itching to add guitar, or write a more complex piano progression on the keyboard but I think in its minimalism, it let the story and sound scapes shine through.