My reel project is a moving image spot that is challenging to cut. That said, I encourage all DP | Directors to experience post editorial to understand the beat and motivation of camera moves. I begin by pulling clips from my most recent projects that I find relevant to my point of view while considering potential client’s perception of production depth. The goal of cutting a new reel is to keep my perspective in front of people. Each project I shoot, either for a client or personal work, convey’s my passion, what I’m good at, and my tireless work ethic. Sound is half of your picture so the overall reel planning begins by a beat. Once I get a feel for it I lay it down in the sequence and begin inserting clips that play well with the track. The two skateboarding spots featuring Jeff Fowler were originally intended for a 6:00 min music video. During pre-production, I scouted three locations and carefully choreographed the actual tricks and movement of the camera. The police were made aware and make a decision to shoot on a Sunday to avoid a lot of pedestrian traffic. The biggest challenge in cutting a reel is eliminating shots that you love but don’t play well with the overall beat of the spot to hit a predetermined length. The idea is to keep the viewer interested in watching all of it. Regarding the skateboarding spots, operating a drone with a professional pilot while I’m operating the camera moves with video assist in sync with each other can be difficult. That’s why storyboarding and choreography in pre-production are paramount. I had to know where the camera and Jeff, the skater, needed to be with respect to timing. For some of the immersive shots, I chase skated along with Jeff’s runs. The wind became a factor with gusts up to 25mph so some of the scripted shots were improvised. The long-form spot played better to cut two 60 sec spots, one about skating technique and one about the lifestyle of youth culture with a “Summer Loving” vibe. I’m my own worst critic and believe you’re only as good as your last shot. The reaction has been positive and has put me in front of art buyers, direct company marketing directors, and some really cool people. That’s where I feel most comfortable. My favorite part of these projects is approving the final cut and looking forward to new inspiration. I feel privileged in getting to know each subject and maintaining a relationship with them. Being awarded a project, especially from a spot you shot a while ago after looking it from a different perspective is pretty great and keeps you moving. I’m currently custom printing a new folio to show along with the new reels. I’m excited to keep the rhythm going with youth culture lifestyle.
I shot this for an editorial. Dani Jo is a creative with skills in modeling and hair and makeup. She sent me a selfie of these incredible braids, which took seven-hours and three people to finish. I had to shoot her in some sort of streetwear style as a taking off point along with British attitude- Amy Winehouse or The Sex Pistols. I pulled clothes from Pretty in Patina but ended up only a granite top from Michelle Consume and these dope Converse brown leather kicks. Originally I lit with big sources cut back with negative fill for a good beauty base. She arrived and I wasn’t feeling it so I struck everything. The considered scope of shooting still and motion I had to audition strobe and continuous light sources. For the second change, I kept it simple and used a Kino Flo mounted low on a pigeon with a grid and Opal gel. I saved the JokerBug HMI and went outside on the dock for change three. It turned out to fit the clothing and feel right. I hope the piece helps get in front of more creatives. What I take away from this is how inspiration can change when you see something you didn’t consider when pre-visualize.
Polaroid 665 provided an instant study how of the light was playing with exposure and feel of a shoot. It was the only instant medium to use a negative, which one could preserve in sodium sulfite and print from. These moments are the positive seasoned over time. The patina is where the caustic jelly to fix the polaroid wasn’t applied well due to moving fast with a large format camera. Polaroid proved an invaluable tool while working with large format film. I adore the latent allure and miss the ninety seconds of anticipation.
Alex Kirts is capable. He’s a bass player in See Through Dresses, designer, and tech weenie who can take a part the amp he plays through. Kirts approached me to do some portraits of the band. He told, “Just make us look cooler than we do”. I pre visualized shooting the group as individuals in a sort triptych anamorphic format lighting them in a kind of “Varga girl candy” high key technique. Alex explained the album artworkwas composed of mostly black and white design elements and wanted my portraits to reflect the concept. Creative collaboration is what drives me and I decided to light low key “Candy” by using gels on all lights in pastel blue, green, and indigo. The band consists of Nate Van Fleet, Sara Bertuldo, who create enigmatic melodies while Alex Kirts, and Mathew Carroll drive the velocity in the bottom end rhythm. They all came to the studio one night, where I turned up some deep house and we joked for quite a while before shooting. Ultimately we all had fun, which is what it’s all about. Most importantly after extensive post work, I realized what I had pre visualized and they were stoked. See Through Dresses is printing the album artwork now. “Horse Of The Other World” is due to drop in June 2017 on their label, Tiny Engines. I’m fortunate to receive a first listen. The music conveys growth in production as it’s very well recorded, mixed, and mastered.
Still life is one of my specialties in that I have the opportunity to style what I shoot. One of my “Guilty Pleasures” is listening to an object- finding or fabricating background elements for conceptual shots. Lighting plays a paramount role in complimenting still life but shouldn’t dictate the approach. Glenn White is a drummer and fashion designer whose launching a new line, DRMHDFLY, focusing on new trends in “Hip Hop Culture” such as the snap back trucker’s cap and scoop cut shirt. He brought the clothes and accessories down to the studio and hung them on the rack. My initial reaction was to contrast- breaking away from traditional street wear imagery creating what I consider “Objects Of Desire” with high key lighting, styling sculptural forms and auditioning props that have a playful sophistication. Ultimately Glenn gave me complete creative freedom, which is a trust that I respect and rare. I organize my work by deciding which items lend themselves to props then shooting the largest objects first down to the smallest to work efficiently. Still Life is inherently very staged so I like to shoot a set up then reset breaking it apart- moving it in different directions to see perspectives I may not have retentively taken into consideration. Glenn said he’s excited moving forward to the next step producing his line, which is the best compliment I could receive. I’m passionate about every aspect of what I’m fortunate to do so- letting inspiration find me and seeking it. I left Glenn with an idea of shooting a Caucasian blonde girl with intricate big volume braids against a really simple background to show how clothes fit and feel. He’s down with it and we’ll move on.