Client - F&W Media
Project Proposal -
Jared Maher of F&W Media contacted me about creating a series a lot like the one I was already creating with Just Basl Productions called, The Artist Series. F&W Media was very intrigued by how these short docu-style pieces could really tell a story in such a short consumable format.
F&W Media wanted to start with a series of three videos spread out across a 6 month release period. So we knew once filmed these would have to be turned around pretty quickly. The first step was to locate the artists and deliver a write up of who they are and what their approach was to their medium. We were fortunate with our first two artists being local in Denver so planning made it a lot easier... or so we thought. Our first artists' studio was located in the attic of his home and the day we planned on filming, they were tearing off the roof of his house! Luckily the majority of the shoot did not require on-site audio capture. We simply had to wait until the roofing crew too a break before we were able to do the on-camera interview. The approach was to do the majority of each shoot using natural light, this almost presented us with a lot of problems because the roofing crew was not taking a break with then said they would. Luckily we were able to ask them to stop for at least twenty minutes so that we could conduct the interview!
For the first two productions I decided to go with the Sony FS7 with Xeen Primes. This camera has great dynamic range and I knew we were be switching locations very quickly with changing light. So the on-board ND filters and good audio pre-amps made this workflow a lot easier.
It was necessary for us to travel to Seattle for the third video in the series to capture Carrie Schmidtt. With all the pre-production behind this specific video I knew we needed to take it to another level with the imagery. So I opted to use the Red Scarlet which has amazing dynamic range and very vivid colors! I knew this could present some challenges seeing that we had to go to a total of four locations in one day but with the .r3d codec provided in the Red Scarlet I knew I could stretch the image much further than with the FS7.
#ArtLife Series // Carrie Schmidtt
Carrie began painting in 2009 after being diagnosed with a life threatening allergy to heat while living in my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. Bedridden and unable to go outside for months, one day a voice popped in my head and said, “Now that your life is over, you might as well do what you want and paint. ”Thankfully, she listened. Painting became a therapeutic practice and act of tenderness amidst the darkness. With time, there was healing. And the birth of my life as an artist.
#ArtLife Series // Rob Gratiot
Rob's acrylic paintings have two strongly differing subject orientations, with quite a few aesthetic and conceptual overlaps between the two. In most of the city scenes he is interested in seeing the illusion of several different planes of space overlapping each other and standing side by side. This gives the viewer the impression of seeing objects near the surface of the picture plane, deep inside the picture plane, and behind the viewer himself.
#ArtLife Series // Tony Ortega
Tony Ortega’s lifelong goal is to contribute to a better understanding of cultural diversity by addressing the culture, history and experiences of Chicanos/Latinos through his art. His work can be found in Denver Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum and the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center. He has exhibited extensively in United States, Latin America and other parts of the world.
F&W Media also hired me as an editor. As the cinematographer I had already visualized how the edit would go. This is a definite advantage I feel for the client as well. Jared Maher and I worked very efficient in knowing what we needed to capture and how much of each scenario was required for the final product. It is always an honor to be able to edit my own footage as well. It gives me a chance to truly take advantage of all the dynamic footage I was able to capture. For this particular series we used a service called Frame.io which allows for real-time notes on the edits. My first step was to upload the entire interview so that Jared may pick out selects that he felt would help mold each story. It was then my task of taking the selects and weeding them down even further so that I could sculpt the entire piece with dialog. The music selection was a collaborative effort. Jared would find selects and or I would locate tracks in which we felt helped carry the story the entire way. I feel music is one of the most important elements in an edit and I could spend hours locating the right track. Once the edit was far enough along, Jared would submit it to a larger pool in the company to get additional feedback before the final edit was completed.
Once the final edit was agreed upon, the final export would be submitted so that F&W Media could carry on with their marketing strategy for releasing.
Behind the scenes
Producer Jared Maher - The #ArtLife series was a pretty high-profile project for F+W Media and it was clear we needed to find the right DP and cinematographer to pull it off. I reached out to Just Basl Productions and Jarrod because I knew he could assemble the right equipment and operate within a tight timeline. Most importantly he had the right aesthetic and creative style we were looking for to capture artists in a manner that was both active and intimate. In post-production we worked closely to craft a narrative and pacing that would create an emotional connection with viewers. In the end, the series was super successful and the sponsor was very happy. Couldn’t ask for anything more!
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