I am grateful of your offer to help Sandy and I shoot. Hearing that you are coming from New York, it is my inclination to have things as ready as possible so we can honor your time. Being able to send you this link via text seems like the best way to present the idea. I hope it can act as a worthy treatment.
We are ready but I would like to make sure everything is prepared, including me. A funny thing about our situation is that we are using all this technical equipment to capture the intricate painting process we are setting up, but just getting me and the house up to the level of video capture requires the help of Sandy and two other people. I love process and production because of what it accomplishes, the level it takes things to, and the caregiving and teamwork are meaningful, but it all requires extensive planning.
We have been using a Kessler jib to stabilize camera movements. It is like using a large field cannon, and we are not even to the poit where we can pull focus. We have recorded a series of paintings, and got the help of a second camera for one of those, another good fortune of a movie shooter, Mat Cerf, stopping by. So, we have a selection of footage to put together. The final piece on this round is what we could use your help with.
I figured out that if we hang a finished painting in its frame, from the ceiling directly above the apex of the jib, we can truck the camera back-and-forth around the painting at that center. In our tests, this camera movement shows the light refraction from the painting’s iridescent surface in a way that still photography cannot. It is also an interesting camera movement because of the parallax of the background elements, which we have been composing the past few days. I aim to put a couple of these shorts of the finished paintings on my webpage and possibly Instagram to show the painting’s surface. My hope is that, one of these jib arm shots of the painting in the frame, along with your handheld camera of me getting the shot, could also go into a final 30 second or one minute edit of the process end-to-end.
As with other technical camera tricks, I find people often don’t know what they are looking at. I am hoping that with your camera, you could reveal the set up, the dinosaur-like black jib arm in the black room, the painting floating from the ceiling at the center, the lighting and me reaching up, sometimes awkwardly, to rotate the jib while looking through the Shogun monitor to get the shot people just saw.
Your perspective would be the final part of a five or six shot edit. It is the painting in the frame that we need to finish it. What I am hoping to accomplish with this shot, is the most unconventional painting-in-a-frame finale we can muster. I think it is compelling when you look at a shot and you wonder, “What the hell is going on there?“ Here are a few still images from clips we have so far.
I will include my email at the end here and you can write back to me directly. Or, you can text through Sandy. I am wondering, what camera are you using? Do you have a wide angle lens, like 24mm or 35mm? Even wider could be cool because the room is relatively small and you wont be able to get too much distance from your subjects.
We are currently working to eliminate light spill from our large soft box. If we don’t get together with you for a few days, we will keep working on that. It is another one of our current projects, a custom made soft box grid. It follows this post. Here is a link. https://jessehigman.com/stylized-softbox-grid/
If we get together soon, we will just flag the light to keep it off the walls and ceiling. This this week, we tied up most of the loose cables and junky elements in the room so a moving, second camera could be free to explore.
I am into renting a lens if there is something you would like to try that you don’t currently own. I would love to try an anamorphic lens at some point here, to get some killer light flares. If we decide to rent something, I would need to make sure they have it for our date, put it on hold, and coordinate the pick-up and return.
Sandy and I work on Wednesdays at 6 PM and on Sundays at 3 PM. If one of those days would be good for you, I think it would be best for you to come over an hour after he and I start, just to make sure you don’t have to endure call of the little things we are always taking care of. There will still be some things to tend to but we will be much tighter after an hour. I am guessing we can accomplish a good set of shots in two hours.
Thank you again for offering and being willing to work with us.
I look forward to meeting you.