New work: Cultures Connecting promo video

I made this video for a fantastic Seattle-based organization called Cultures Connecting. Their vision is to create a world based on principles of equity and justice for all. What’s not to love about that? Ilsa and Caprice, the two co-founders, were a lot of fun to work with, and I learned a lot during the project.

I shot the interviews with my JVC HM-100, using two tungsten lights: a single overhead softbox with baffles to focus the light, and a background light shaped to resemble a bridge, iconic of the work they do and part of the organization’s logo.

I shot the workshop on my Canon T2i dslr, and I was worried that the footage wouldn’t intercut with the JVC stuff. But I think it cuts fine, in part because the interviews are lit so well and is an altogether different looking situation from the workshop.

One thing I discovered in shooting this project is NOT to use the superflat Canon picture styles that are touted by some. The results, even after a significant amount of tweaking in post, are, well, super flat. Especially the skin tones, which I’m not happy with at all. I’ve since getting much better results following the advice of people like Shane Hurlbut, who advocates a simple recipe.

This is the first video I’ve cut in which I also produced the music myself. I recently finished reading Sound Editing in Final Cut Studio, by Jeff Sobel, which has an entire chapter devoted to teaching you how to compose custom music using the thousands of Apple loops included with the application. It’s actually quite miraculous how simple it is to compose simple music using Soundtrack Pro. The loops are designed to automatically match whatever tempo you’ve set, and it’s easy to line up the beats for seamless composing… even if you aren’t a musician.

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