One of my goals for 2016 is to try and be better about writing/journaling. So I figured a good way to start might be blogging. We'll see.
I wanted to share some BTS and talk about some of the lighting behind the latest installment of Musicbed Sessions, a live music series that I've had the pleasure of shooting recently. This piece was directed by Christian Schultz, and produced by Ezra Cohen and Michael Leiato.
So whenever we have one of these coming up, the first thing we do is sit down with the team and listen to the track. Then, after a few listens, we discuss our initial thoughts and ask questions like:
How should we move the camera?
What style of lighting feels appropriate for this artist/song?
How can we make this as kick-ass as possible within our budget?
Should we shoot spherical or anamorphic?
How many operators do we need to make this work?
Christian and I both felt like this needed to feel warm and classy. We immediately agreed that the main performance should be a combination of dolly and sticks as opposed to handheld (although we did end up assigning one operator to roam around the crowd for some more run-and-gun shots). I also opted for the Cooke Anamorphics, which I had been wanting to try. They felt right because we wanted the anamorphic look while still keeping the image clean and somewhat sharp wide open. They also retained a lot of the same characteristics I love about the S4's. The focus mechanics are also incredibly smooth, which was great for our operators since we were all pulling our own focus.
For the set, we had this cool idea of integrating a few chandeliers. But that proved too hard to pull off within our means and time constraints. We ended up going with these standing edison bulb fixtures that belonged to a friend of Christian's. We integrated four of these fixtures into the set -- each containing several edison bulbs at different heights (see below.)
For the key light I went with three 2k spacelights, each skirted and pushing through an 8x8 frame of bleached muslin. This gave us a really soft quality and spread to key each of the performers and also had a really nice natural fall-off for the crowd.
From there I employed 2 Source-Four Lekos (pictured below.) The first was gelled with 1/2 CTS and flared our A-Camera. It also served as a backlight for Brooke and her keyboard. The second was gelled with 728 steel green, and provided a nice shaft of light behind the guitar player. We also hazed out the room for additional atmosphere and to augment the streaks from the lekos.
(4x) Red Epic Dragons [@500 ISO, 2/2.8 split] Cooke Anamorphic
That's all for now -- going to try to post more of these for future projects.