Ecosystem Justice Matters

This was a fun little talking head film I made for the International Development team at the University of East Anglia. The guys at the UEA had opted for a style they wanted to use so it was really just a case of lighting and framing accordingly to achieve the desired results.

One interesting challenge was that I didn’t want the backdrop framing to be changing between shots so we had to set the camera fairly high and then use a stack of magazines to raise the subjects to the desired height, which was fun! In the end I opted to crop into some of the shots anyway and the background changes were not overly noticeable but it’s better to air on the side of caution sometimes.

The subjects were lit with a single Rifa softbox on the left and a reflector to throw some of that same light back onto the right side of their faces just to bring up some detail. I also used my Litepanels 1×1 to throw some light against the white backdrop. I wanted to achieve a very shallow depth of field so I used the Canon 50mm f1.2 throughout at an aperture of f1.4.

One of the nice things about the modular design of the C300 is that you can remove the audio controls and LCD unit from the body of the camera. I set these up on a light stand so that I could adjust the audio levels etc without any risk of causing unwanted camera movement.

  

I actually shot with two cameras, the Canon C300 with the 50mm f/1.2 locked off and my 5D on the Kesller Stealth slider. I’d planned to show some shots with the camera tracking towards the subjects face as they talked but in comparison to the images from the C300 the 5D material looked mushy. The 5D produces great results but it does stand out as being soft when compared to the C300, I’ve decided to pre-order an EOS C100 to use as a B cam in the future.

You can just see in the image above that I monitored both cameras with SmallHD monitors, the DP6 on the C300 and the DP4 attached underneath the Stealth with a Noga arm.

The audio was all recorded from an overhead Rode NTG-3 and I haven’t messed around with the EQ at all on that. I’m really impressed with the results from that mic.

Comments welcomed.

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  1. Whilst the emphasis of your post is on how you went about filming this and the equipment you used, what comes across is the relaxed delivery of the participants.

    The way you approached this placed all the attention on the what was being said.

    I liked the Martin Luther King Quote ‘ you can live together as brothers or perish as fools’

    • Good point Mark, I must remember to talk about that aspect of the projects as well. It’s interesting because making interviewee’s relax is a big skill in itself but it’s one that’s hard to describe or teach as it relies on the attitude and personalities of those on the production team.

      With this project the speakers were all very experienced in their field and many had done a lot of public speaking so they were very easy to work with. We planned for an hour setup and four hours to shoot the ten participants. In the end we were done in three hours including the setup.

      That Martin Luther King guy had a few Gems didn’t he!

  2. Is that a door around 1min15? Those pesky door opening type folk! I need to print some laminates off for when we doing interviews saying “INTERVIEWS IN PROGRESS, DO NOT ENTER!”

    Impressive setup, I’m suprised that the 5D looks mushy in comparison with the C300! Most be an amazing camera!!

    • Unfortunately not, I could have controlled people using the door. We had some noise problems on the exterior of the building that were out of our control and although we did a few retakes that one slipped through the net and typically was chosen as the best quote.

      I’ve shot a lot of interviews with the 5D and have always been more than happy with the results. When you use the C300 though it’s resolution and the detail it captures really outshines the DSLR. I’m sure the two could be cut together and I’ve done so myself in the past but in this case it just felt like a compromise I didn’t have to make.

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