Red Hat Ringo - Lighting and Compositing Showcase

Shot 1000_0080: The bandits enter the bank and make their demands. But the old bank teller resists, informing that their heist will incur a heavy penalty.

Shot 4000_0050: After calling the stories of Red Hat Ringo into question, the lights go out in the bank, confusing the bandits.

Shot 4000_0110: The bandits ride off empty handed, racing away from a mysterious figure who stands at the horizon.

Red Hat Ringo is a short film produced by the School of BAHT at UT Dallas about a group of bandits in the old west. When the bandits decide to rob a bank one evening, they are warned about the mysterious Red Hat Ringo, a local legend who defends the town. As the heist continues, they begin to wonder if the devilish stories of Ringo or true, or if they are all just tall tales.

I worked on this short for the better part of two semesters as the Lighting and Composition Co-Lead. While starting off in Look Developmnent, my co-lead and I helped to shape the look of the film. We wanted to define it as having a traditional western inspiration with stylized dramatic lighting wherever possible to sell the drama and mystery in the story as the bandits came into town. Once lighting was underway, we took a great deal of time learning the ins and outs of the technical and cinematic lighting processes of Unreal Engine 5. Though this posed many unique challenges, we were confident in leading our team to create the best compositions possible while maintaining good practices and continuity between shots.

The end result of the nearly year-long effort was the final short film. After hundreds of hours of work put in on creating the look of this film, we landed on this dramatic and bombastic lighting style that favors creating a stylized western aesthetic over matching reality.