Cover of the month

#shareyourstory

You are our biggest inspiration! 
Every day we see beautiful stories that come to life with the help of our lighting. 
 
We will select our favorite each month and put it as our homepage cover. 

share here and get recognized:
                          

HALL OF FAME

Odoo • Image and Text

Erik Messerschmidt  may

 

"Mank" has won two Oscars at the 93rd Academy Awards! We want to congratulate DP Erik Messerschmidt for receiving an Oscar award for Best cinematography. Good job, many more to come. :)

"Mank" is lit with DS9's, we are so proud! 
 

Odoo • Image and Text

Jennica Mae march

A short interview with Jennica: 

What's the story behind this video shoot?    

The inspiration behind this shoot was very much a joint effort. I work with an amazing team for my dear friend, client, and incredible musician MOONZz, which consists of the two of us as well as Lani Roseault who is a truly talented stylist and most often one of the masterminds behind the concepts for shoots. This shoot was just one of the promotional shoots I do with MOONZz for her releases and concepts throughout the year. We have a  group chat we’re in prior to shoots where we throw out ideas so we can all get inspired and chime in with our thoughts as a group. This was actually my very last shoot I did before the pandemic and lockdown began, so it’s very special to me because of that. The lighting was my main contribution to this part of the shoot, and it’s actually somewhat of a departure from my normal pink/blue/purple color scheme as requested by MOONZz, so I feel really lucky to be constantly pushed out of my comfort zone because I’m really happy with how it turned out.
 

The set-up

We were shooting photos as well as video for this shoot, so it made perfect sense to use the DS Voyagers so that we could seamlessly switch between photo and video without having to change the setups. My main light was a 4ft Voyager set to red, with another set to yellow from above, and a little pop of pink with a 2ft Voyager a bit lower down.

Why DS? 
Aside from the ease of being able to shoot photo and video just about simultaneously and never miss a moment, I love that the Voyagers are waterproof, wireless, and able to be controlled with my phone or computer (or multiple phones and computers when I use an assistant). Additionally, their size makes them ideal for tight spaces which happens a lot for me. Lastly I love that they are both sources of light as well as props all in one! I guess it’s a bit hard to choose my favorite thing about them because I love them so much.

How did you become a photographer?

I’ve been a photographer since I was 15 after getting some unexpectedly good feedback from my teacher in my first black and white film class in high school, and it’s been my sole source of income since I was 18 after working at a cafe briefly which was so bad that it made me realize there’s no need to waste my time in jobs that don’t make me happy, because I knew my end goal was to always be a photographer. Since then I’ve worked in just about every area of photography, from more traditional families and babies back in the day, to architectural, real estate, to events, live music, editorial, fashion, album art, and more.
I moved to Los Angeles from St Louis, MO in 2014 after realizing it was the epicenter of the fashion and music industries I was dying to be part of as a photographer, and I started as a music and event photographer which naturally transitioned to where I am now which is mostly artistic colorful portraits, tour photography/videography, directing, album art, editorials, and content for social media. I have more recently joined the NFT space and am preparing for my very first drop.


Who inspires you? 
While I admire many photographers and videographers, I often find a lot of inspiration through @artgrab.co which has a mix of many mediums and styles, but a few inspiring accounts I could name are: @circlecirclemath, @cyberpunk_cities, @iamwinter, @kavanthekid, & @dall_vika

Odoo • Image and Text

ZAC CLARK january

A short interview with zac: 

What's the story behind this video shoot?    

This is a still from a music video called "Grind" for artist Jordan Hamilton from Kalamazoo, MI in the United States. He wanted to do a fun, albeit strange, video about the struggle to get up every day and do what you've got-to-do to get by.

Full video here

The set-up

Our set-up for this particular scene was actually on a green-screen in my apartment. I had two 4ft Digital Sputnik Voyagers providing key on frame right, and a single 2ft Voyager providing a kick from frame left.

What made the Voyagers crucial for this shoot was limited shooting space, limited power availability, and limited man-power.
I had a pair of bi-color Cinemills Cinesoft LED panels lighting up the green screen behind Jordan, but due to our small space, I needed something flexible enough, small enough, and with great control to light up Jordan without light spilling all over the background.
The Voyagers were easy to control from behind the camera on my iPad to get the exposure I wanted, with no cables to trip over, and I could keep them off the background with a simple strip of gaff or by trimming a few pixels off a tube.

Why DS? 
I own a set of six Voyager tubes -- three two-foots and three four-foots -- which I think is just under the number before a router is necessary to control them all at once.
It is huge for me, as a gaffer, cinematographer, and photographer, to keep the equipment footprint needed to operate my lights small. If your Voyagers are charged, they are ready to go, right away. I put them all in a rifle-case and I can zoom off.

The same goes with the DS1 -- super easy to use, fun to play with, and able to become a hand-held light in the blink of an eye with V-Mount batteries.

I work in a lot of low-budget, low-power, low-man-power scenarios, so having lights that I can operate myself, or put in the hands of someone else while I remotely control color and output, is a massive boon to my productions. Be it a music video, documentary, short film, or photoshoot, these seven lights are constantly in my kit.

How did you become a filmmaker?

My background comes from photojournalism and documentary film, but I've been a freelance film worker -- director, cinematographer, producer, gaffer, key grip, etc. -- for a little over half a decade. It pays the bills and I get to keep taking pictures and sharing stories. My photojournalistic work has been shared by Buzzfeed, The Guardian, NPR, Darkroom Detroit, The Detroit Free Press, and even been featured once at The Detroit Institute of the Arts.


Who inspires you? 
Polish filmmaker, Zbigniew Rybczyński is a big inspiration. He is a great experimenter with film from the pre-digital era.
Michel Gondry's colorful cardboard creativity reminds me that not everything needs to look slick to be convincing or captivating.
Werner Herzog is a constant inspiration for radical self-reliance.
Galo Olivares (@galoolivares) is an unsung hero of Mexican filmmaking, a stupendous cinematographer from Mexico.
And I would be remiss if I didn't mention Toño Trillo (@jatrillo), an amazing photographer, filmmaker, friend, and collaborator.

 

Odoo • Image and Text

DREW PLUTA December 

A short interview with drew: 

What's the story behind this video shoot?    
This shoot was with model @alexandhammy and is part of my “Pleasuredome” project. It’s a concept built around semi-conscious humans on a colony ship traveling to a new star system. The travelers are fed AI-generated stimulant media in order to prevent neural atrophy on the long journey. Unintended side effects occur...

The set-up
I typically use 2 DS1’s and a strobe as my starting point. I constantly move the lights, the camera, and the subject to keep the physicality upfront as the images are created.


Why DS? 
The quick and flexible nature of the DS1 system is a perfect match for the way I like to work. Ideally, I shoot as a fluid progression from one point to the next with a very little break in the flow in and out of moods. I build towards a converging point of elements and then move on toward the next scene, almost constantly making small changes. I make an effort not to get too attached in the moment to a particular setup.

The favorite feature is the ease of getting not just the right color but the right type of light. They have a very different light quality from gels and are very quick and easy to control. I’m often working on a color wheel split setup imagined in real-time so the color control and battery operation was a paradigm shift for me. This project was literally built around the DS1’s!

How did you become a photographer?

I have a background in music and corporate media/tech.
My first professional shoot appeared on Project Runway and helped give me a defining push as a photographer. Before that, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with my photographic interests.
From there I’ve spread out all over from fashion and celebrity work with publications and brands, to a more “Provoke movement” style event documentary feel. Last year I spent 4 months in the mountain ranges outside of LA shooting harnessed from a helicopter.


Who inspires you? 
Aurora Crowley, Paolo Roversi, Peter Beard, Nobuyoshi Araki, Elizaveta Porodina, are all endless sources of inspiration for me in photography. David Lynch, Panos Cosmatos (Beyond the Black Rainbow,) Branden Cronenberg (Possessor,) and Park Chan-wook (Oldboy) are some directors I’m really into.
In general, all of these creators seem to be working with something psychological beyond the constraints of their particular medium.

 

Odoo • Image and Text

Whiskey Shotz Photography  november 


A short interview with Whiskey Shotz: 

What's the story behind this video shoot?    
The inspiration for this shoot was the movie Corpse Bride. I have always been a fan of Tim Burton’s films so when @itsactuallymars asked me to shoot this cosplay with her and @lunarjackal I was thrilled.

The set-up

I used two 4 foot voyagers and two 2 foot voyagers. I put the two 4 foot voyagers in the front sides on stands and used the 2 footers in the back as a hair light and light up the foliage behind them. For the hair light I used a tall stand with a boom arm and weighed it down with a heavy tree branch I found since I couldn’t carry sandbags on the hike. The second small backlight I propped up on a tree branch behind them, working with what I could in the environment around me.


Why Voyagers? 
I chose to shoot with Voyagers in particular because of their portability and ability to easily change to whatever color I want. Since we shot on location in the woods I had no power outlets to plug in traditional lighting, so having good battery-powered lights was crucial. Also, we had to hike to get to the shooting location so it was nice that the Voyagers are lightweight enough to carry in a bag.

How did you become a photographer?

My start as a photographer began primarily shooting my friend’s bands and shows. Since I come from a music background myself, many of my friends are musicians of course. I soon began shooting nightlife and event photography which led to a lot of networking and building a clientele of modeling and clothing brands, etc. I’m always looking to stretch my artistic abilities and feel lucky to be able to work with so many amazing and creative people.


Who inspires you? 
Some artists that I love are @mmcustomart , @blaqk.rabbit , @jxpaz , and @little.ghouls . Also one of my favorite photographers is @anabeldflux who has been a great mentor and inspiration to me and many other photographers.

 

Odoo • Image and Text

Happy Shiver Films ⁣ october 


A short interview with Shana Vassilieva: 

What's the story behind this video shoot?    
The main inspiration behind this production was to really explore the limitations and challenges of underwater cinematography for the Voyagers with the and Black Magic 6K. However, in the edit, the series ended up becoming somewhat of a symbolic interpretation in the end. COVID hit just during the time when we were editing the experimental videos and therefore the title came from the foreboding feels created by COVID.

The set-up   
The Voyagers were held underwater inside the pool and toward the subject. We also had a Rayzer 7 300D backlight coming from the back edge of the pool so that light is pointing down into the water and illuminating the model to create more depth. 

Why Voyagers? 
We chose Voyagers to light this set because they are perfectly suited for the underwater environment since they are waterproof.  We had the Voyager light set to orange in order to offset and compliment the natural blue tone of the water.

Tips for shooting actors underwater?

Working underwater is tricky. You’ll want to ask about the extent of the models' experience underwater. You’ll also want to ask if they are ok opening their eyes underwater. Basically, anticipate anything that could cause the model discomfort so that you can get the best performance out of them. If filming in a pool it’s good to find out if you are filming in saltwater, chlorine, etc. Pro tip: models prefer to open their eyes underwater most in geothermal pools.

Who inspires you? 
On social media I am really enjoying Instagram’s #darktablemood food photography actually. I’ve really been attracted to moodier imagery lately and am very inspired by the mood in these types of settings for cinema. I am also really enjoying work from the photographer, Garrett King. I’d say that I am also still blown away by the cinematography for The HandMaid’s Tale series. The compositions, camera movements and color coordination is precise and extremely beautiful.

Full video on our Instagram here

Odoo • Image and Text

Tim banks September 


A short interview with Tim: 

What's the story behind this music video shoot?    
The story of the shoot was presented by the artist(Skytye) and was further developed by the Director(Ricky Morgan). It’s pretty direct with the lyrics of the song. He is wanting to stay in for the night and his girl is getting ready to go out and party. So we came up with a few scenarios of her getting ready while he’s kind of bugging her to stay in. Then we juxtaposed the real version of what was happening with his “imagination” of her. So for the imagination scenes, we went real colorful and stylized with kinetic energy in the lighting. 

The set-up   
For the silhouette shot, it was simply a corner of the house we were shooting in and I placed a 4-foot voyager vertical on either side of the frame to wash the background. Ricky wanted there to be some slight movement in the lighting so we had them trace in opposite directions in the background. It was usually a quick shot in the edit and wasn’t super noticeable, but it gave a little bit of extra life to the frame. We then had full-color control and could match it to everything else we did. For the shot with the curtain in the background, I had 2, 4-foot voyagers, on the back of the curtain outside and had him keyed on the inside with some smaller 2 footers that traced from side to side and brought him in and out of the silhouette. 

Why Voyagers? 
The voyagers were an obvious choice for me because not only are they battery-powered, which made them easy for me to grab and use wherever without having to run power, but they are all remote controllable. These are things that were super important working on such a small set where I was having to wear multiple hats. The other aspect that really made them useful was that I could do pretty complex and customized lighting effects directly within the app. I don’t have to worry about DMX or any additional hardware - Just my iPad and the lights. 

Who inspires you? 
I really love the work of Natasha Braier and really resonate with the way she uses lighting and tone. “Neon Demon” was beautiful and then the way she shot “Honey Boy” is such a loose style while still making it feel intentional was really inspiring for me. Another cinematographer I really admire is James Whitaker. I became aware of his work watching the show “Patriot” on Amazon prime, and I think it’s one of the most beautifully shot TV shows I can think of. I feel like I mentally reference that show constantly. Also, David Mullen is super inspiring and I love how he so openly shares his process and works with others. I feel lucky to be able to have access to such amazing artists and technicians thanks to social media and the internet. 

Link to the full music video: click here

Odoo • Image and Text

Mark Edelmann August 

    @ordmntl