Why we ditched the shot list on the latest Kristina Maria video.

Beating the hard shadows by having Kristina look up towards the lens.

Beating the hard shadows by having Kristina look up towards the lens.

Pablo Picasso quoted, “Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist”. For our latest video, these were words Director, Daniel AM Rosenberg and I took to our latest collaboration with pop singer-songwriter, Kristina Maria on her newest video, ‘Where the sun don’t shine’. We felt we needed to break from convention and do things differently because we worried the entire ‘circus’ and all the moving parts behind the scenes that come with a production like this could easily bog down some great performances. We had a camera car, crane, prowler vehicle, support vehicles, and it could easily have leached from what this video was trying to do. This is a fun summer time, road trip-disco, party video, and the belief that everyone is having a great time was of paramount importance. The truth is, everyone did have a good time! Bonus.

To make certain we accomplished our mission we had to make sure people got in their groove and stayed there without worry they’d be distracted by unnecessary camera resets and technical considerations. Daniel often would lean over to me and ask, “How would ‘Jimmy’ with his DSLR handle this sequence?” He was inferring that many people with a DSLR can do a great job of capturing the moment by ‘shooting from the hip’. I couldn’t agree more and that’s how we had to think.

So what did we do? We ditched the shot list. Instead of abiding to a rigid shot list that detailed everything, the director wrote a “one-liner” much like a drama “one-liner” that briefly encapsulated the action and ‘feeling’ of what was happening in each scene. On one level, just knowing what was going to happen in each scene was all we really needed to know and we just let the action rip. Often times Daniel inspired a few scenes on the fly and we could capture a very organic feel, that was almost documentary style. Kudos to the crew for being able to adapt and work in a more lose style. From a photographic perspective the only thing we planned ahead of time was what scenes would use which tool to move the camera, be it hand-held, camera car, crane, slider, or golf cart, etc., and also what frame rate we thought we should shoot at. Come shoot time we did a very basic blocking and picked our lens. I feel it was a simple strategy that paid off.

Tech specs: Shot on RED Epic. The lens package was a load out of 5 Cooke S4i primes, a 45-250 Fuji Alura zoom, and a Ziess lightweight 15.5-45 zoom. Here is the finished video.

Red Epic on 18' arm

Red Epic on 18′ Jib arm.

Golf cart

Key grip, Mark Skinner rigs the golf cart for a celeb while 1st AC Rafi Mishan takes a break between set-ups.

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