Friday, February 25, 2011

Women Behind Bars

I shot this video series for Seattle Met called Women Behind Bars and meeting all the bartenders at the most trendy bars around town.

I wish I was a more confident shooter. I love shooting and I love watching my footage come together in the edit room but I think I could save a lot of time and avoid a lot of pain if I would just slow down and pace out my shots. Yes, there is a lot to look at but if you try to capture it all, you'll probably miss it all too.

For technical issues, I would discourage anybody from using the 5D for documentary style shoots. The image sensor is too big. Yes, everybody likes to see less depth of field but at the end of the day, you want a clean crisp image and you don't want to be scrambling around wasting time trying to get your subject in focus. Go for the 7D or 6DD. And slap on a fast lens.

In the video above, I asked Chelsea to make the same cocktail twice. If I was smart, I would have used the Zeiss 50mm prime lens (normal on a 5D) I had in my bag or a 80mm prime lens for the first time through where she gives a little narrative with the cocktail and I'd focus on her face. Second time through, I'd pull out a 90mm or longer for the closeups on the hands and the booze.

Editing this piece I learned something about editing interviews. Normally, you should avoid cutting audio of an interview with an image of a person that is not in sync with the audio. That is, if you see lips moving that fail to connect with the voice, it looks weird. Also, if the lips aren't moving, it still looks weird. But if you post an image where your eye is distracted by other movement in the frame, your brain doesn't seem to mind the disconnect. Do you see what I mean?

Personality profiles are great opportunities for video. You get so much more understanding about a person from a video that you can't get from a written article. Also, personality profiles are relatively timeless. If the bartender writes a blog, she can post a link or embed this video into her bio.