Archive for April, 2009
Off to Borneo to shoot for The North Face, Timex and Mens Journal. Meeting up with the crew - Conrad Anker, Mark Synnott, Kevin Thaw, Renan Ozturk and young gun, Alex Hannold - in Kota Kinabalu for some big wall entertainment.
Normally, I like it when it is blowing hard and dumping snow outside. It’s obviously great for skiing - not so good for shooting. I just spent the last two days up on Cody Peak in a good ol’ Teton snow storm shooting in what looked like the inside of a ping pong ball. Why? Because I only had two days to get a North Face shoot done before leaving the country. So, raging snow storm or not, I was headed out.
Basically, I got a last minute call a few days ago from my good friend Scott Wilson, photo editor at the North Face, to fill in some gaps in the their visual assets for Fall 2009. So, despite being in full pre-expedition panic packing mode (I’m heading to Borneo for a month-long shoot tomorrow), I agreed to go out and shoot a few days with super badass mom and fellow North Face athlete, Kit DesLauriers. I figured she was only six months pregnant, so she would be ready to climb, ski and tear it up. (From my previous experience hanging out with her during her first pregnancy, she was still shredding into her eighth month.) I was supposed to shoot a couple specific products for TNF, get Kit in action using the stuff in both stills and video, and pick off a couple interviews, how to’s etc…
Interestingly, the instructions from Scott were to focus on getting a series of video sequences, approximately weighing out 50/50 for stills and video. This is certainly not the first “photo” shoot I’ve done recently where I was asked to direct, shoot video and also knock off stills. In fact, I’ve had a couple jobs now where I have been asked to direct and shoot video exclusively. (Check out the Timex Video Campaign in the Projects section of my website.) Nothing significantly new, as there are a lot of photography blogs constantly chattering about this shift in what clients are looking for on “photo” shoots these days. So, yeah, kind of old news that everyone is looking for online video content for their websites and photographers with filming experience are being asked to produce these assets along with the stills. In my experience, the pay is reflecting the additional work, so I don’t mind. And, in many ways, it is keeping things interesting working with multiple mediums. So, as I was mentioning, on this shoot, I was asked to bring back the “assets” and not just “photos.”
No doubt, shooting video on a photo shoot adds a whole additional checklist to an already long list of boxes to check, not to mention more equipment, time and creative energy. While some of the framing is similar, the thinking and execution is very different. To get into what it is to shoot video is another entire post (or several years of film school) - think establishing shots, POV’s, not crossing the line, sequences, cut aways, pans, tracking shots, whip pans, rack focusing, the narrative arc…..and on and on and on….Did I mention dealing with audio? Yeah, you get the idea. Fortunately we were not shooting a feature doc or even a film festival short. We were just shooting some short pieces for web and in-store vids. In that case, I think we got it. And, really, in the end, the storm footie made for some good video and pics.