We recently caught up with broncolor user and super prolific photographer Colin Andersen after he shot soem new video footage. We continue to see more and more of our community of still photographers making the jump into video bringing new and exciting perspectives to the moving image. – CK
By Guest Contributor: Colin Andersen:
I recently made my first steps into shooting footage.
Having never really shot anything more than home video – l had my fair share of concerns. The actual shooting was concern enough, but more of a worry was editing it all in Final Cut Pro – which l had absolutely no idea how to even launch let alone edit an entire sequence!
To compound the stress, this project was for a client, and it had to be done in just over a week. The video was to appear on the client’s web site while it was being rebuilt for a new launch. The clip was intended to be a teaser for the fall catalogue (which l am also shooting), and would be themed around a girl being shipwrecked.
To speed up production and make life easier, everything was shot at my home, which saved on permits and everything else that can cause headaches while shooting on location. Camera used was the Canon 5DMark 2.
Here is a breakdown clip by clip on how it was created.
Pic.1 This was actually the last piece of footage we shot, basically because the light was nice this time of day, which was late afternoon. To create the blowing curtains effect we used a Bowens wind machine just out of frame and the panning motion was achieved by using a Foba studio stand, which has a very smooth fluid action. In FCP l ramped the speed down by about 50%. Lens-Canon 85mm F1.2
Pic.2 This was shot around 7:00 am, again to catch the nice light. The challenge of this shot was to get the models’ timing right so the gates closed just as she passed through them. A few practice runs through and we were able to get it pretty right. My intention was to have the model’s hair blow just as she passed through the gates using the Bowens wind machine. What actually happened on the very first take was the gates closed on the wind machine cord shearing it and tripping the safety switch which cut the power to the entire house, including the gates. Scrambling to keep working while the light was still nice we got the power back on within 10 minutes and ended up using my daughters jumping castle blower to replace the Bowens wind machine. Lens-Canon 80-200mm f2.8.
Pic.3 Again using my Foba studio stand as a dolly, l did the panning shot using natural window light. Lens- Canon 50mm macro.
Pic.4 A crucial element to the story is the shipwreck. Obviously not having the budget to create such a scene l decided to show it using a newspaper. I created the newspaper in Photoshop, printed it out and backed it onto normal newspapers. Using the Foba again as a dolly, l panned across the set while my wife followed shining a broncolor head (Scoro A4s Pack with a P45 reflector) through glass bricks. Lens Canon 50mm macro.
Pic.5 The two water sequences were shot on a pool ledge. The pool tiles were hidden by laying down black weighted velvet. A normal beach umbrella was used to shade the scene, as the sun was directly overhead and very harsh. In FCP l increased the contrast and pumped up the blues. Lens –Canon 80-200mm
Pic.6 Shot immediately after the water scene while the models hair was still wet, we moved straight into the studio. The model was positioned in front of a white seamless background and lit by two broncolor heads with P-45 reflectors. The lighting on the model was achieved by placing a Bron head in a Mola dish to the right and a broncolor bank light to the left. The great thing about this set up is the ability to also shoot stills by simply syncing over to flash.
Pic7. This was actually the very first piece of footage l shot because l thought it would be the most difficult. Luckily, it was fairly straightforward. Using fishing line hot glued around the bottle, l put it into the pool and using a fishing rod was able to keep it submerged and bobbing around. To make the waves we simply just used a big broom to push the water around as well as turning on the water feature (like a waterfall). In FCP l pumped up the blues, desaturated it, and then darkened the water for mood. Lens-Canon 85mm.
Colin Anderson is a photographer specializing in conceptual and narrative based imagery. He also co-founded blendimages.com.