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?
Lovely piece Dan, really nice. I also enjoy and appreciate the production notes.
Thanks Len. Last time we talked you were on your way to get an HVX200 – how’s it working out? I wish I had one of those sometimes.
It’s working out well, thanks. You are welcome to it if/when you have the need. Let’s hook up for a flick some time soon. Have you seen the http://www.youtube.com/lifeinaday global video project for tomorrow? I’m going to submit some content. cool.
Let’s definitely get together and do that soon. And yeah, I did see that YouTube thing. Kevin MacDonald is an awesome director. I’m attending a family reunion tomorrow for Lara’s family, and there will be some members of her dad’s side of the family who have never met before, so I’m going to shoot that for my contribution to the project. Can you imagine the editing nightmare those guys are going to have trying to make sense of the footage after they get it? Jesus Chris, makes Shine look like kids play.
Dan: I just discovered you and your work and I have to say, congratulations and major kudos!
Your transition for the still world is inspiring, and the work you show here is wonderful, just drop dead gorgeous. An inspiration to all us older still guys (and when I say “older,” I mean a lot older than you!) who are trying to do the same.
Wonderful eye, wonderful sensibility, and thanks for sharing the tech stuff too.
Wishing you the best for continued success, Bob Krist
Thank you Bob, it’s a real honor to have you drop by. Glad you enjoyed the work. When you get to be over 40, as I am, it’s humbling to start fresh at just about anything. But I’m a big believer in constantly reinventing oneself. The trick for me has been to give myself 10 years – and to know that the gap between my taste and what I’m able to produce will steadily narrow as they years go by. Gives me something to look forward to besides having to go to yoga twice as often to feel half as good!
Dan: I’m gonna try the yoga (at nearly 60, though, I might have to do it,um, hourly?)…and I’ll check in often to see what you’re up to! Thanks again, Bob