I was recently contracted by Diaries Down Under to produce a short promotional video on the Sherwood Restaurant in Queenstown.
Working with Nick Hyne as producer and Sam Chapman, General Manager of the Sherwood, the video centred around the performance of Nadia Reid.
I chose to shoot the project on my Sony A7s2 in Cine 4 and S-Gamma. I find that S-Log on the camera is noisy and as it is 8-Bit I tend to only shoot this when using with my Atomos Ninja Assassin. I find the settings mentioned above, recommended to my by good friend and colleague Alex Pasquini very good in low light situations such as this as there is little noise evident.
For the project, we filmed the performance of one of Nadia’s songs “Runway” in 4K at 25p. We recorded the audio through a Macbook Pro connected to the sound desk and synced in post with a scratch track off the camera. The cutaways were shot at 1080 50p to convey the experience of the Sherwood, tell the story of its character, the staff and the vibe.
This was shot almost entirely hand-held to help give it an organic look and feel. I used a monopod to record Nadia, I wouldn’t of been able to keep a steady hand for three minutes and when shooting in a busy restaurant moving a tripod around wouldn’t be practical. This method also ensured a bit of movement to this shot to balance with the rest of the cutaways.
My lens choice was the Sigma Art Series 24-35mm 2.0 and a 50mm 1.4. The 50mm was used to pick up some B-Roll shots of Nadia on additional songs but as it happened none of these shots made the final cut. I utilised the Sony Clear Zoom function when using both lenses, I find this an incredible function to give you extra lens length and general stick to a maximum of 1.5x and can see no loss of quality.
It was incredibly refreshing to shoot with such light kit, hand held with a couple of lenses and letting the story tell itself. No Ronins, tripods, jibs, lens bags, monitors or second cameras, just my camera and two lenses. When shooting in an intimate environment it’s always a benefit to have a small kit like this; people feel more relaxed and do react to the camera as much as something larger like the Fs7.
Obviously shooting on such a small kit can’t always be the case and depends entirely on what you are shooting. With a recce of the venue before hand and an understanding of what Sam wanted to achieve with the video we were able to make this decision early on.
As with all my projects I edited this in FCP X. It may have it’s detractors but it has come a long, long way since it’s early days and is for me, the fastest, most efficient and comprehensive way of editing content. I find the plug-ins terrific and un-matchable. I wanted to give this a warm and cinematic look. To achieve this I used the colour board and moved the global colour slightly into the blue and then added the Gorilla Grain plug-in. From there it was simply a case of cutting the edit and making the audio slightly warmer. It was exported in Pro Res for upload to Vimeo and Youtube and an H.264 for Facebook and Instagram.
For a look at more of my work click the Commercials, Documentary or Branded Content links on my website and for my showreel click here.