By Troy-Jeffrey Allen

Boasting that it was lit entirely by the light of the moon, Refuge is a new short film from director Sam Shapson. And while I can’t speak to the technical ins and outs of why shooting with moonlight is such a big deal (I sucked at lighting in film school), I can recognize a beautifully shot, atmospheric film when I see one.

The fact that the short was made without lighting rigs really helps set the tone of Refuge. Without giving too much away, Shapson uses the lowlight capabilities of his camera to create an otherworldly backdrop. The best part: He didn’t do it with sets or effects, but with the illumination of the night sky.

From Shapson’s Vimeo Page:

Shot deep in the mountains at 51,200 ISO, Refuge is the first narrative ever filmed entirely in moonlight. On an off-world biosphere, biological researchers suspect their newly developed ecosystems may be adapting in unexpected ways.

You can check out the full 6 minute short below. It’s pretty awesome and proves once again that a million digital effects artists are only as good as the ingenuity of the filmmaker involved.



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Troy-Jeffrey Allen writes about action/adventure for Action A Go Go. He is a comic book writer whose works include, The Magic Bullet, Dr. Dremo’s Taphouse of Tall Tales, and the Harvey Award nominated District Comics. In addition, Allen has been a contributing writer for, OfNote Magazine, and His work has been featured in the City Paper, The Baltimore Sun, Bethesda Magazine, The Examiner, and The Washington Post. Yes, he wrote this bio.