This project marks my forth collaboration with DIVOT. First time, I was asked to help colour correct his music video No Rhythm. I then was the Camera Op for the music video 9 Million. Finally I shot and edited a short cover of "You Got Me". After working so many times with the same artist, one might think you would get tired and wish to mix things up. But when he inquired about shooting another cover, I was up and ready for it. After having a listen to the song, I knew right away the look I wanted to go for. I shot him a picture of an empty parking lot as a simple previz and he was sold. I like the grimy and dark look parking lots offer. Indeed, I always find my way to one during a photoshoot. During the day you generally have access to restricted light openings which help shaping light to give nice soft frontal light with a rapid fall off, given you are standing near the openings and shooting towards the interior. At night, the overhead fluorescents gives off a more edgy look. The green, glaucous ambience is reminiscent of a Fincher movie (who incidentally loves to lights with kinoflows).
From beginning to end this project flowed flawlessly. The shoot took around two hours. I had initially suggested 2 or 3 setups for the video. But, once the first setup was rigged, we loved it so much, we just shot it from every possible angles and kept it as is. I would throw him an idea or two, he would add his grain of salt and we would arrive at a consensus which satisfied both parties. It's great to work with people where ideas moves forward instead of in a circle. This makes for productive and satisfying results. Once the shoot was done I had a rough draft sent to him that same night. I then polished the video over the 2 or 3 following evenings, bouncing back and forth until the end result was achieved. I usually prefer to keep things natural without to many flashy effects. The artist suggested adding some film burn as transitions. I used them sparingly, and ended up really loving the feeling they added to the video. Keeping up with the concept of film burns and our, to come, film photoshoot, I added some FUJI 4k film grain I found for free on the interweb and called it a day.
After the video was shot we proceeded to take a few pictures. I've had some rolls of CineStill in the fridge for a while and been meaning to shoot them. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to put them through the 35. I had originally planned to use a CTO gelled strobe to shoot these. But, since we were using a tungsten light fixture, I thought we might as well use it as our main light source. Cinestill 800T is rated at 3200K, so it was the perfect match. I rated the film at an 650 ASA. This gave me F4 at 1/60th. I probably should of stopped down the lens and push the shutter a little faster. Some frames suffered from motion blur. Another option I could of done, would been to push the film at 1600 and shoot at around 1200. I've seen many people yield satisfying results with filmed pushed. The only thing that prevented me from doing so, was that no lab in my city pushes C-41 film. I would of need to send it out to a lab out of the province, or country which usually take 2 or 3 weeks. This means I would need to shoot more than one episode a week in order to be consistent with my video output. I'm planning of doing so in the future, but right now, I prefer doing as much as I can in the city itself.
After shooting 2/3 of the roll we moved inside an apartment building. It was getting late and a little cold outside. Here, we shot in an elevator and a staircase. Both of these locations were lit with fluorescent lighting. The ambient light was sufficient to get proper exposure. I was pleasantly surprise at the outcome of the images from these locations. The CineStill film took this light very well.
What do you guys think about the youtube video? Should the episode have been split into two. I kept wondering if I should. In the end I figured I might as well try. The narration is the part that made me the most nervous. It's challenging speaking with no one around to throw back ideas at you. Hopefully I'll get most accustomed. Overall it was a fun and challenging new process. Look forward to hear more from you guys.