HALL OF FAME
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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