I was contacted by DB Levin after working together on a short film (produced by Kimberley Browning and Hollywood Shorts) that I shot (as Director of Photography) at the end of 2015. He liked the way I worked, and me him. We talked about working together in the future, and made sure to keep in touch.
A month or so later, we reconnected for Nadia Tuner's upcoming release "I Gotta Believe" (Soon to be on iTunes). We were going to have to complete the video for very little money, but we both wanted great production value and lots of energy. He and I briefly spoke about the broad influences of the video (Lennie Kravitz' "Are You Gonna Go My Way", The Fugees "Ready Or Not"). With the studio location already set, I was immediately thinking of the magic hour shot on the 4th street bridge as a great way to get production value, without a big crew or huge lighting setups.
For the Shoot, we would use my Sony A7S II and Nikor Lenses (mostly the 28-70mm 2.8 ED and the 80-200mm 2.8 AF-D). The A7S II shoots in 4K (XAVC) and though highly compressed, it has amazing low-light sensitivity. One of the notes DB gave me in the first conversations was the use of a ring-light (round light source, directly around the lens). After some hunting around, I decided to make one myself. I enlisted the help of a good friend who works as an electrician and could keep me from killing myself or anyone near the light. After a few hours of running through the valley finding the perfect bulbs, we used a basic metal structure from a hardware store and setup the six-light array. We could have used LED's, but the old tungsten bulbs are simpler and more reliable for color temperature. In the end, it would be the equivalent of a 200 watt source with a simple hand dimmer to keep it at a perfect level.
We shot for a couple of hours at a recording studio downtown and went on location for two more shots that all added tremendously to the overall look of the piece. Magic hour on the 4th street bridge ended our day. All-in-all, the 6 hour day was well planned by Kimberly Browning and Hollywood Shorts and we couldn't have been happier.
Post was handled by Life Garland and Color Correction by Scott Klein and Ara Thomassasian.
Director: DB Levin, Producer: Kimberly Browning (Hollywood Shorts), Director of Photography: Nathaniel Miller Gaffer: Dessie Coale, Camera Assistant: Lauren Wolfe