My most recent project, for UW Medicine, explains palliative care through the eyes of Mark and Alice Beaty, who faced a life-and-death decision when their son Adam was in a terrible accident.
Working on this video, I was reminded why story is king. Palliative care is a pretty dry topic to talk about, but listening to Mark and Alice tell their story is arresting. And by breaking up their story into several parts, we were able to get the client’s required background into the piece (who their largest donors are, etc.) without it becoming overwhelmingly boring.
This piece was shot over three and a half days of interviews, with b-roll comprised of stock footage, family photos and drone footage shot with my Phantom 2.
If there’s one thing I learned on this project, it’s that a 2-person crew just doesn’t cut it for projects of this kind. My assistant Ryan Schwalm and I were physically overextended by having to push a huge cart of equipment around to the many locations. And a two-camera shoot really needs an operator for each camera – it’s not possible for me as director to do a great job interviewing AND maintaining focus.
I just finished another shoot for a different client in which I had a 5-person crew, including myself (gaffer/dp, grip, camera assistant, and sound recordist). That was a revelation to me: everything ran smooth, nobody was stressed out, the client was thrilled, and I actually enjoyed myself. Wow.
I will be planning for more crew on just about everything I do from here on out.