Empire of Light

October 3, 2012

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My friend Greg wrote a book called Empire of Light.  You might remember him as I shot his wedding to Stefania last year.   He’s a filmmaker and went to AFI.  I created a website for his short Sax’s Final Orbit.  So when he asked to borrow my camera to shoot a trailer for his book I said yes on one condition.  I had to be involved.

I wanted to learn from someone who’s done it.  Greg knows about lighting and light (hence the title of his book) so I wanted some of that knowledge for myself.   I love new experiences and am willing to work on any creative endeavor as long as I’m learning something new.  That’s my pay.

So this past weekend was the shoot.   Greg had a specific lighting scheme in mind and ordered up some par cans to get this bright back lit effect.   They mounted the lights to the ceiling of the room we were in.   My IKAN 500 led light filled in a back wall and under a table of bottles in another room.   Other smaller lights were fills in front.   The set looked great.

At first we shot with my 5D Mkii using the Canon 16-35 2.8 lens.  It’s a wide angle so the whole scene was in frame.  We also used my Canon 24-70 2.8 to get closeups.  I wish I had a 70-200 or even my 85 1.2 on me we probably could have used it.

We also used a cool focus puller which I had never used.  It was great and made focusing a breeze – especially when pulling focus from something in the foreground to the background.  You could mark the focus points and make the move very easily.

I think the only thing I would change for the next time is to bring my laptop and hook up the camera to it for a monitor.   It’s hard to focus and really see the shot on the small screen on the back of the camera.

The actors were really great and professional.  So was the crew.  Everyone was just happy to be there and no task was too small.  I think I could do that every day.  I wish I could do it more.   I think I need to figure out a project and make a little movie out of it.

Even though I want to sell my 5DMkii I’m glad I had an extra camera so I could take pictures of the day to document what happened.   Here’s a few.

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