Bill Viola

I had the great pleasure of shooting an Interview with Bill Viola at the Blain Southern gallery in London earlier in the year and found him to be a very inspiring artist. I found his series titled “The Dreamers” to be particularly interesting as he made great use of slow motion (high speed) shooting of subjects underwater which produced images that almost made the subjects look as though they had drowned, yet there was still a small element of life remaining.

I very much liked the use of Plasma Screens in a portrait orientation to present the works too, and with the piped underwater sounds it was a very inspiring, maybe I’ll have to look at doing some portrait work of my own.

The shoot itself proved quite a challenge as the bright plasma screens were placed in almost totally dark rooms and having any additional lighting present would have effected the way the artist wanted to present the works. Fast lenses like the Canon 24mm 1.4 and 50 1.2 were a big help and then relatively clean image at higher ISO ranges on the C300 and C100 came in very useful!

The video was also shot in Canon Log to give as much dynamic range as possible but for some reason the producers decided not to grade it at all during the edit so it still looks very flat.

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  1. Very interesting and well executed piece in a difficult environment.

    But to not grade Canon Log footage is a bit like walking round with cling film wrapped over your glasses. The interviewees would have really stood out. Maybe they just liked that flat muted look.

    Filming in CanonLog, which I do all the time as I edit and grade my own material, also reduces contrast and sharpness until graded.

    Good to see you back blogging again.

    • Robert Shaw
    • October 29th, 2013 11:04am

    Nice work Paul, really enjoyed both of the Blain Southern Gallery films, hope you do more on the arts.

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