I made this video for Seattle chef Tiberio Simone, who needed a short web video to help find a publisher for his book, La Figa: Visions of Food and Form. He and photographer Matt Freedman have been working on this incredible project for nearly 5 years, and the results are amazing. But what’s most amazing about this video, of course, is Tiberio himself. Who else could walk into Pike Place Market and within a half an hour, literally have tourists eating out of his hand? I like filming Tiberio so much that I’m planning a documentary film that will give me an opportunity to put him in front of my camera a lot.
The technical stuff:
Audio: I taped a Sennheiser EW wireless lav onto Tiberio’s chest before we arrived at the Market, and as you can probably notice, I forgot to turn it on in the first scene, so I had to fall back to the reference audio recorded on my Canon T2i. But I remembered for all the other scenes, which have vastly better audio that was recorded onto my Zoom H4N and synced in post with the latest version of the indispensable Pluraleyes.
Camera: I put my Canon T2i with kit zoom lens on my Merlin Steadicam, and had to carefully pre-focus every scene before I started rolling, since it’s impossible to refocus with that rig when you’re rolling. I love the cheapo Canon kit lens when I use the Merlin, because it’s very lightweight, has a decent zoom range of 18-55mm, has some added built-in image stabilization that’s quiet. And the fact that it doesn’t open wider than f 3.5 is fine, because I never want to shoot wide open with the Steadicam because of the aforementioned focus issue.
For shooting in the Market, I set the ISO of the camera to 800, with the aperture around f 5.6. Because there was so much mixing of daylight with tungsten and fluorescent lights, I set the camera’s white balance to automatic and I was very happy with the results. I’ve found that getting the white balance right is very important for these cameras – the file simply won’t hold up to too much color correction, so you gotta get it close to begin with if you want to see the great results the camera is capable of.
For the last shot in the video, I carefully raised the Merlin up over my head as Tiberio walked away. Then the key part – I applied my favorite Lock and Load X filter to the footage in post, which drained the remaining wobblies away like magic. The results are pretty indistinguishable from a crane shot, don’t you think?