This is a short that was used to open an international fashion show benefiting the Denver Children’s Advocacy Center. This blog post goes into detail of how we shot it, what we used to shoot it, and other fun stuff, enjoy!
First off, what did we use??
We used two cameras, the Canon C100 as the A Cam and a little old Canon T4I for some handheld pickups. But mostly this was a one camera shoot. As far as equipment we used a Satchler FSB4 and the Speed Lock legs. For the end running shot we used a Blackbird Stabilizer with a Wieldy double arm vest. I had to shoot this very quickly, total was about 6 hours so I didn’t use any rails or follow focus but I did have a MiniHD 4” monitor that was essential. The focus assist on the Small HD is a life saver, when you’re shooting outdoors with the C100 you really need some extra help in the focus department. I also used the Canon C-log so having a monitor that was adjusted closer to REC709 color space gives me a better idea of lighting and any issues. Without that it’s very very difficult to see what your final picture will look like. I would have also liked to have a Mattbebox with some Promist but there was no budget for rentals. This was for a non profit after all :)
We didn’t have a lot of time once the go ahead was given but I did manage to get out a storyboard and shot list. I personally like to have both, but at least a shot list before start shooting. I have a tendency to lose myself in the work and I forget things like pickup shots and reverse’s etc. So a storyboard on my ipad mini that I can check back to now and then really helps me and keeps me moving quickly. I draw my storyboards pretty much all in Paper now, it’s quick and easy and exports out as a PDF. If anyone is interested seeing the storyboard you can PM me and I’ll send a copy.
We did about three days of location scouting all along the Continental Divide in Colorado. The main location was a secluded aspen field that was, of course, a hike down a rocky path. So we had two set up two base camps, one up top by the parking area, and one in the bottom of the valley. The Makeup and Hair stayed up top and sent me down models when I was ready. It was interesting. But sometimes you just have to go with the best location, even if it’s not ideal. This was hands down one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen in Colorado, and now it’s my little secret :)
At 9am me, the AD, a PA, and the boy actor went and grabbed the opening scenes at a property near the main location. We grabbed those shots in about an hour and met everyone else with my Production Manager and Art Director making sure everyone was getting dressed and whatnot. You think actors are hard to wrangle? Try models.
We we’re shooting by noon, not as soon as I wanted, but everything luckily went smoothly and we called the Martini shot at 6pm. I wanted to be there later for the actual magic hour but it started raining. You can’t tell but it was cloudy almost the entire day.
All the shots we’re pretty basic, except for some composite plates for the Fairy entrances and the ending. We originally had a much more dramatic location for the end shot, but it was privately owned and we couldn’t get permission. I would have done it anyway but the rain pretty much ruined my chances. So the ending wasn’t quite a dramatic as was planned, win some lose some.
The editing, coloring, graphics, and titles were all done by my very talented wife Alicia Beeson whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude. She not only did all the work, she also put up with me over her shoulder ‘directing’ half the time, lol.
For editing we use Adobe Premiere and After Effects. For color we use a combination of Magic Bullet, Colorista, and built in After Effects tweaks. For Audio I used Premiere and Audition. Most of the Foley didn’t turn out so I used free clips from various websites. All of the audio you hear was fake, none of it was recorded live at the shoot. Not ideal but again, win some lose some.
The final product was shown on a large projection screen over catwalk, I did a different version for the show that ending more abrupt with an large drum sound to open the show. the video was also shown on all the flat screens through the venue and projected on smaller walls throughout. It all looked great except the venue was only had the capability to play it off of DVD not Bluray, so there went my pretty HD edit.
We didn’t know it at the time of filming but our story became the main theme for the entire show. The characters we’re reused and the little boy was brought on the catwalk and became the star of the show!
Lastly, I use my iphone and ipad quite a bit through out the whole process. For scouting I use Artemis Director’s Viewfinder, Sunseeker, Golden Light, and the compass. For Preproduction I use Celtx for my scripts, Google Earth, Teleprompt+ when I need it, The Clapboard, and Kesslers App for timelapse. For production I have my shot list and Storyboard loaded and ready for viewing as I shoot. And I use Easy Release to gather all my signatures.
Hope you all liked it, and feel free to add any questions or comments.