Friday, July 27, 2012

On a recent photo shoot for Shea Homes, I was asked to share the set with a video crew from Millennium, Inc., and specifically, Joe Mavick, their hired gun from Glimpse Multimedia who was brought in to shoot the television spot.  Really great guys and very easy to work with.  Neither of us, still or video preempted the other in terms of importance on the shoot, however, they clearly had more moving parts and a more involved script.  They had done all of the tech-scouts and did all of the casting and wardrobe, so my per-pro roll was simple.  Just needed to wedge in and get my shots.  Our morning got rolling pre-sunrise at 05:30 and while prop and wardrobe was getting the talent ready I wandered off and got this amazing un-scripted shot that was not on our original shot list.  As it ends up, this image may anchor the ad campaign. One never knows, so shoot it. The perfectionist in me would have loved to have had a couple of kids running from camera, out into the tall grass.  Something to think of next time out.

Now, having lauded the video crew, I will advise that what they were looking for in the way of locations, and looking at everything in the form of a "complete script", instead of as a single view, might not have been my absolute first choice.  I was not on the tech-scout and wasn't able to put in my request for nailed down locations.  There were a couple of really nice sun angles as well as this short section of fence that offered a nice prop, around which we were able to stage our talent.  with a bit of supplemental strobe light off camera-right created about 45 minutes of opportunity.  None of our talent, to my knowledge, were professional, so the "spontaneous dynamic" of the talent group was a bit compromised.  Giving them all something to hold on to, along with a bit of low-grade direction worked quite well.

The architecture on and around the property we were shooting on was really spectacular.  Modern and rustic at the same time.  As we were wrapping our morning shoot and heading into the club house to re-group, I stumbled on the this pretty little silver Mercedes parked curbside.  On a whim, I decided to shoot it...static. And then shoot it again, sweeping the shot at about 1/15th of a second, all taking about 4 minutes of my time.  Later on, in post, I was able to composite the two basic captures.  Another investment of about 30 minutes. You decide...worth the effort ?

As part of our scripted shoot, we were asked to photograph some little kids playing in one of the communities playgrounds.  By this time our "child talent" was hot and tired and not in a very good mood.  As things started to come off the rails, a kid wrangler, one of the Moms, stepped in and somehow got the kids fired up again.  I had them walking along a 2 foot high stone, wall toward the camera, to centralize the action, and walked them through my shot 3-4 times.  Then it was just a matter of waiting to catch the animation, which finally did come.  Light and airy.  Kids are not alway my favorite thing to photograph, but when they ignite it always makes me laugh.

We had 3-4 fairly complicated, cast of thousands, interior lifestyle shots to do, and this is where we knew we would need to dodge in and out with the video crew.  They were lighting with kino's and one big HMI.  The kino flo's were, for the most part, insufficient for our needs, so we needed to set up our own supplemental lighting, where we thought it best placed...and wait until the Joe got his shot done.  By this time, we were running a little behind our intended schedule so I, quite literally, had 5 minutes to get this shot right. You can see the light spilling in from back behind the model in the blue shirt, camera right. This was Joe's HMI spilling through from the other room as they set up for their next sequence.  I can't believe how smoothly and quickly the video crew "shooted and scooted" with all of the gear they were packing. 

Although not on my shopping list, I had my eye on a strong architectural view of this beautiful club house. We wrapped and released our talent just in time for my assistant Kevin Cox, to run over a sneak this shot in.  I do not know who the architect on the building was, but would like to.  Another mention I would like to make is my client David Miles of Miles Strategic DNA.  We have may days of shooting together under our belts and I always appreciate his art direction as well as his loyalty to my work.