- Intro to Corey & DSLR Filmmaking Part 2
So that didn't go for two well and then this is day two of our entire project and standing next to me it happened early in the morning sitting in the car our representative from tokyo is sitting there and everyone's kind of excited about the rc hell a idea and he says, is this a good idea? I mean, this is like day one of our shoot today really shooting? And he says we only have three prototypes with us and we're in like, the most remote jungle and mexico are you sure this is cool? The helicopter and of course you have to be confident. Oh, yeah, absolutely. It's no problem and sure enough, you know, an hour later we crashed the first d for into the jungle, narrowly escaping the helicopter and the camera going into the water, which was my cag adorns amazing flying skills. And then I looked over as it crashed. I happened to be standing next to jason from tokyo and I think I saw jason's heart like palpitating through his shirt. I think he had a heart attack while he was standing up and tha...
nkfully, that camera was fine. The helicopter took a little bit of damage but might got it back up flying a day later once we're back in the united states, so but the reason I show that clip is it's about intentionally moving that camera in the drama of video is camera movement I mean it's the idea it's the moments unfolding in front of your camera but it's also keeping that camera moving and doing it intentionally and it turns out we're really lucky because it's, cheaper and easier than ever to keep cameras moving it's kind of like the cameras you no longer need a crane attached to a porsche in order to create beautiful content, it turns out we can do it with fair, relatively inexpensive equipment or even home made equipment. We're going to show you that later in the course, we brought all kinds of cool stuff to share, so the next stop was actually utah, but we'll go teo joshua tree, alex honnold unique set of challenges I'm hanging in a rope next to a guy that's, you know, sixty feet off the ground with no rope attached to him. So I'm constantly thinking about I can't swing into the guy because he'll fall off and of course that would be fatal, but every shoot has that unique set of consequences. And so again, I'm trying to think about where do I want toby to make the still image what's the safe still image and then when do I talk going to the video mode? This was probably the shoot that I was most concerned about this is a very hard rock climb that alex decided to climates called equal knox it's five twelve plus in joshua tree and it was very possible that alex could've walked to the base and said what? I'm just not feeling it and then we just we don't have our shot, we would have to go to plan b, so always having a plan b is pretty valuable or he might do it once and say what? I don't think I want to do that again and that was a huge fear because how do you fill two minutes of content when you do one? I'm going to be really born be like watching paint dry filming rock climbing is already like watching paint dry, but if you need to fill a few minutes of content that's that's a problem. So rebecca rush was the third athlete, and now one of the other philosophies that I always tried to adopt is stack the cards in your favor. You want to find locations where the background is advantageous, right? Joshua tree is beautiful vera cruz mexico is stunning. Moab utah area is stunning instantly you have a better chance of creating great content. You know, if we had shot this at the city park in los angeles, this would be a lot harder to shoot like I would not be making compelling content so it's, I'm always thinking about location like try to stack the odds in your favor pick locations pick people that are engaging in interesting pick backdrops that are interesting and of course you can see every photo of showing you its and beautiful light try to shoot when the light is fantastic I know these are basic statements but I mean these are the fundamentals this is you know, sort of when you talked about the foundation of great content but still in motion it starts with that good idea great background or location great light you like you're well on your way at that point you stack all of those things against yourself good luck trying to create great content wait here we are in the fields to taste of how we work so I show that clip because there's that reminder and it's the one observation I make with most photographers when we're on location I'll be standing next to a photographer in a workshop environment there's this great scene unfolding in front of us and I here click like one frame or maybe click click and I and I'm it catches me off guard because the reality is is much as photographers pros hate to admit this we don't shoot one or two frames to get that great moment we shoot thousands and like you hear that that's a sound that you should be hearing if you're coming from the motion world you need to lay on that motor like that's part of shooting sports that's part of capturing great moments you know, cartier bresson used to do it in a frame or two but he was shooting film we have digital cameras that allow us we have sandis cards that are giant capacity shoot it's free it's free like keep on working the situation because that's how you made great moments. So in addition to shooting the actual wife film we did how off why, which is the behind the scenes? Watch that film on the internet it's free it's on my web site corey rich dotcom there's an enormous amount of information watch it several times try to analyse the gear that we're using it's what we're going to talk about for the next couple of days on creative life it's how do you make the most on a low budget? How do you do the most with a small footprint production so turns out everything in a career is a stepping stone I do the nikon before shoot it gets huge attention on the web in a million people watch it almost instantly and I'm sitting in my office again and the telephone rings I pick up the telephone and now it's an ad agency in texas and they say, hey corey, you know we really loved what you did that that y film for nikon but even more than the actual wife film, what we enjoyed was watching how of why you guys have a lot of fun when you're out shooting and I thought that was a compliment I pulled the phone where yeah, I like to wear flip flops toe work I mean that's the key that you want it you wantto lifestyle so they said, you know, we like the way you guys work. We liked the final product, we actually just were awarded the new mexico account we want would you consider shooting two tv spots for the state of new mexico? And I said absolutely no, that sounds fantastic and so I pitched them on and they liked the idea of shooting on dia sell ours, so at this moment in time the defore wasn't out we've done the launch video, but you have to wait a few months to get the cameras and they took the prototypes as soon as our shoot was over, and so I've managed to get my hands on to d eight hundreds or three d eight hundreds I think this was also dane henry rex solent mike haggard on same crew, my wife marina rich we now we ship off to new mexico and it's a tiny crew that's like a five person crew by the way, when there were five of us that were really creating the content and we're going to go and shoot the national tv spots for the state of new mexico. This is game changing. I mean, this is five years earlier, there might have been a crew of fifty people on location with big film cameras to shoot those same spots. Now we have nikon d eight hundreds, three of them and the same methodology, the same lightweight equipment, the same fun crew guys willing to work hard long days, but enjoying the process, and we're going to shoot their spot, so we ended up shooting two spots. One is a family on a road trip, and the other is a couple on a road trip through new mexico, and I think we shot four days in the end, if I'm not mistaken to put together these two thirty second montages, and now, as you watch these spots, think about because that's what we're going to do, think about how the camera's moving and think about the advantage to using its small dslr versus a large camera, because the smaller the camera that smaller the related associated equipment the faster you can move, the more you can shoot, the more production value you get for less and that's that's a big benefit, so here we go, here's the first spot, this is a couple travelling through new mexico and keep in mind we shot this in march it's freezing outside and we're trying to make it look like summer because these air summer tv spots way true or false that there are only two things you have to agree on way to go way where to stop oh god, new mexico! True! So I like to always say that the way I like to shoot in the way my crew operates is it's really organic grassroots will get dirty and get it done and that's I like that. I like it. I don't like there's, not a bunch of union people leaning on c stand smoking cigarettes and it's not their department, so they won't touch that cord it's we're all going to work and we're all gonna have fun and if you need to operate the camera now, you operate it because I'm going to run over here and hold the light if that's what it takes that's, how we do it. One of the most amazing things on this shoot, it was the first shoot that I've been hired to do, where I was just the director I wasn't shooting still photos, it was this real paradigm shift here on my guy that's been shooting still photos for twenty years, my whole career has been still photography. I pick up a d ninety, and then all of a sudden I'm in the video world, a noun directing a tv spot a year later, two years later, and so the ad agency also hired a still photographer to do the print campaign amazing, talented photographer. But there was this moment where we're doing a pre production meeting, and we're in a hotel. So the photographer and his assistant, you know, the ad agency folks, some folks from the state of new mexico and my crew were all sitting around this table in albuquerque, and we have these brand new, I don't think they were actually released the d a hundreds, I think we had, like, early test versions, and we set these d eight hundreds on the table, and we're prepping him, and the photographer leans hymns. Oh, man, these air, you know, it was the buzz in the industry of thirty six megapixel camera that also shoots full hd video. And then, of course, one of the guys on my crew says, hey, what are you shooting with? And he says, all, I'm using the hospital id medium format, and he tries to give us the cell on why that still kulina medium format, big file, I scratched my head, and I thought, wait that's pretty similar to this d eight hundred and and it was this reality check of and don't get me wrong there's an advantage to a square format camera but but it's just getting closer right the technology is converging that medium format camera the advantage usedto have compared to the d a hundred today it's really similar piece of technology that's a hard sell why you're gonna bring this piece of equipment when this piece of equipment shoots the tv spot and can shoot the still photos and so I just sat there and thought boy, the writing is on the wall the future is the playing field just continues to get leveller it's no longer about can you afford the equipment that we can all afford the equipment you goto at aram and buy it it's all there and it's actually on the low end of the price points it's not the most expensive equipment so anyhow game changing moment for may here's the family spot we're all travelers way seek experiences that are true and good and rio the question is where do we go wear with people? The landscape and culture touch our hearts? Where is the place that will speak to us in a voice that is familiar and kind where new mexico true, you know the best part about that family shot that opening crane shot off the petro glitch it was, you know, sunrise in new mexico in march, I think there's about ten degrees outside, and we have kids and shorts and t shirts. And so, you know, we have them, like, bundled up in these, like packing blankets and every jacket we can. And then we go three, two, one and they would drop all of their jackets and run across the rocks. It was like piercing wind. I mean, if you saw us operating the cameras, we had, like, layers of fleas down jackets, hats, gloves and was still difficult to manipulate the equipment. And then the kids would, like, run across the rocks, run back, put on the jackets. But that's the reality. This is our world, that's about creating the illusion of what you want to create sometimes it's real moment symptoms. It's, you create the moments on the fly. But as long as you convince your audience it's, really, you've done your job. So I think the other highlight moment on this new mexico shoot was we were, you know, it's, a tiny crew, tiny towns throughout new max. Guess who we would all just go to? Whatever restaurant was available at night. Middle of march so no one's there just locals and with this little it's a you know, one restaurant town you were in this mexican restaurant and you know there's only three tables and the whole joint like ten percent tables and so I just coincidentally end up sitting down next to one of the tourism folks from new mexico you know we're all having conversations were planning for the next day you know a couple of my guys are at the table couple ad agency guys and we're talking and I see her phone ring and she picks up her iphone and she sort of like leans away from the table but it's such a small place I can't help but over here her conversation she's talking and it's pretty serious conversation and and she says no no you know that they catch up on some stuff that didn't make any sense to me and then she says the shoot's going really well it's really I mean we're having a great time the kids are wonderful you know the photographer the filmmaker they're all great you wouldn't believe that we're shooting the tv spots on a camera that you can buy it costco and it caught my ear I just realized did she just say that that's where I got the line you know she's she's describing you can buy the point is not that you bite a costco it's universally accessible like anyone can buy this camera and I'm listening and I'm trying to not be too intrusive but I'm really engaged in what she's saying and finally she says ok, ok ok mr governor, I'll keep you posted and it's this moment where I realized talk about times are changing she's telling the governor of new mexico who then speaks to the taxpayer that we're shooting your tv commercial with a widely available camera you know looks like anything that you would buy at your local retailer or at a rama and and the reality is he's then saying to his taxpayer we're doing it in a cutting edge way we're saving you money and delivering mohr for your dollar which is really true it's really true there's fewer people standing around out there everyone has a real job everyone smart everyone's engaged in the project and that was another one of these moments where I thought times are changing and like we all live in this time I mean it's amazing that we're shooting a tv spot for the state of new mexico on d eight hundreds so then the telephone rings again I'm back in my office and this time it's, an ad agency from detroit and they say, hey, you know corey, we we uh we do automotive work like we have we're a high end shop, we do the biggest campaigns in the world, but we have this thing for a fabric company and we need a guy vic and like hang off ropes again I pull the phone away and I think yeah that's like my skill set that's my wheelhouse I can hang off ropes I like to be cold I don't mind being dirty and then they said and we need you to shoot still in motion now we're totally in my wheelhouse and then I can I can do those things so they described this project and they said we want to go to the most remote place on the planet you know, his middle of the summer and we need to shoot winter sports and and then the other thing that we want we want you to use the most sophisticated technology possible the highest resolution possible doesn't matter we want the best quality and I said, well, hold on these are kind of contradictory things you're saying we want to go to the most remote place on the planet but you also want the biggest clunky ist most difficult in here that we could possibly take with us yeah said I well let me just try to sell you on and I started the d a hundred pitch the small the you know that the dslr pitch and they were really skeptical at the beginning and then eventually I convinced them that we could actually shoot the entire campaign stills in motion on bsl ours on the one hundred and so in the end we went to patagonia, argentina was for polartec fabric manufacturer out of the east coast that any fleece that you wear, they created that fleece, no matter whether it's eddie bauer, l l bean or ari I think they're there supplier of that fabric and they were launching a new fabric called alfa. And so now this is again this is it the highest level of advertising? A big print campaign video spot for the web you're going to see how we shot video and stills from the same camera d eight hundred thes air gigantic files thes air stitched together like six files you know these air giant like billboards, sides of buses and you can tell this is a remote location. This is not an easy location to get teo and so we shot this all on the eight hundred just outside of barrel okay, argentina and some showing you the three ads licks and then I want to show you just a few minutes of video captured again everything on the eight hundred shot simultaneously said it's the same methodology that I applied on el cap, then with the roadrunner shoot then with nikon why with new? Well with new mexico, I wasn't responsible for still photos, but now this one, you're going to see the continuity between the still images in the video so this is by the way this is the funniest photograph I think behind the scenes photo from argentina I put this up on the web that's dane in the background standing on the tower you can tell it's really warm just from the look of everyone's face there but it was so cold in fact that our long hdmi cable that went from the end of our fifteen foot jib arm back to the operator today it's snapped in the cold so usually you'd put your small hd monitor right at the operator she can see what you're doing but it broke so we only had like a six inch hd mic cable and we said well we might as well at least mounted on the end of the camera might help you know to see what we're doing and I posted the image and I think within like five minutes on face but bill frakes and other nikon ambassador chimes in and he says something to the effect of you know nice nice monitor position are using night calm binoculars to look at it and you know he called the doubt he got it but this is called improvising that's the reality like you make do with what you've got and let's have a look at what some of that footage looks like so all the remember wait so many I think you get the feel for one can one type of camera shooting an entire production so the next next phone call is you know, this is a big year, this kind of twelve month period telephone rings it's, nikon musa and they say, hey, corey, do you do a lot of underwater shooting and again remember this philosophy you always say yes, like the answers you always the answer's? Absolutely. So they wanted some help launching a new w p n to housing and so my the truth is I have dove a fair amount over the years, but I'm not jack cousteau or david do boy, and so in fact I say, yeah, of course I could do that so they actually assignment was to go to find the clearest water with the most color underwater and shoot a series of still images and a video clip that could then be used for the launch of this new housing the w p m to so and part of what I love is discovery doing research to get paid to go online and actually do research and try to find that greatest location for actually shooting an underwater clip that's pretty cool that's fun and so you're getting paid to do a little bit of homework and you get to call experts and ask naive questions that's cool! So I figured out that fiji was the place to get that time of year that the most color underwater but the issue was as a week out I saw the storm developing off the coast of samoa, so I call the dive guide that I'm hiring the assistant and I say I am like, should I be concerned about this storm developing off the coast? No, no, no it's going to be fine, you know, five days out, you sure it seems to be getting bigger and then three days, two days, one here? You sure? And he said, it's gonna be a problem, it's going to be a problem in my rationale was because I'm not jack cousteau, I thought if he could do it in three days, I'm just going to give myself five days. I'll give myself double or triple that the time if necessary, so I'm not rushed aiken is get underwater and shoot a lot of pictures, so the downside to the storm moving and was we're going to be under much more expedited time schedule had to move fast and so that was super stressful, but it was a ton of fun. I got underwater and I realized, wow, it's like being in a studio, you can control your life, you get deep enough and it's those two strobes off the side of your house and you absolutely control your environment so thankfully managed to capture a couple of nice still images you know, for the expert underwater photographer, you look at this and say I am and this is like novice work, but that's ok? Like the goal is make a couple of cool pictures, light it, control your environment and do something new. I'm challenging myself while I'm underwater, you know, it's also this this housing allows me to shoot video, so here it is, another assignment in one year where the client is saying deliver great stills and deliver video clips and look at this like I'm just floating with the camera and then it's like there's, no sliders or jim's, but I'm just swimming with my thins now with this water housing and again, this isn't like the most compelling content, but I'm showing you this because here's how it applies to the real world, this is how still in motion that scared the hell out of me. By the way, when that shark swam by, I think I almost I had that same heart attack in my wet suit that I described in mexico, that representative from non con so again floating around shooting hd video this on a nikon one system in that water housing so you kind of get the feel for this idea, but every project that I work on, I walk away from it, and I say what's next and so working on that underwater shoot, I mean, I had two lights and I could really I realized after two days I could control the light underwater, and I came back to lake tahoe and I said, tosh, everything I do is outdoors. I'm like, so dependent on mother nature, we might modify the light slightly with the light panels kicking in some light. I thought it would be a great exercise to do what I did underwater, but just with pro photos and do it here locally. So I went to the local crossfit gym, just a personal project, and personal projects are really important went into the crossfit gym. Bligh was held, actually, no, you weren't there blood a couple of guys helping we did a two day shoot just local athletes, you know, when and cast them at the gym brought in for pro photo packs, a fog machine that I bought years ago from, like a halloween entrance to my house and a piece of cardboard, and we'd like flap around the cardboard so that it would disperse the smoke, oiled up the athletes and shot a couple of really cool crossfit images. I mean, that's, just the south lake tahoe crossfit gym, but when and they're applied. What I learned underwater and it was just slow it down use lights control the environment and every time you do these personal projects it leads to more tools in your in your toolbox so the next time you're out for a client you can then if I need the light something I have a much bigger edge in terms of lighting the next time because of this crossfit opportunity and when you're in a crossfit gym I couldn't help it like you see all these rings I decided I did thirty five pull ups as a kid I tried to like lower into an iron cross this is may and I held it surprising I was a gymnast and and I held it for about two seconds you know collapsed and then for about the next week I felt like I tour every muscle in my back but you still have to experiment you've still got to give it a shot the second day at the crossfit gym I already had these lights I brought in a climbing buddy of mine kevin jorgensen and just decided I want to shoot some cool portrait's like the ideas how do I maximize this light this opportunity shot this portrait shot this portrait thes they're kind of two of my favorites and oftentimes what happens with personal projects that things you care most about if they're really good and you really care about it you find a home for those pictures so I did this for fun, and sure enough, six months later, adidas picked up the image to use it in that in a print ad so it's, follow your heart, shoot the things that you care about, push yourself to the limit, be your toughest critic, because when you do that that's, when you create the greatest work and often times it finds a home. So I want to show you one final assignment before we go into q and a, because I'm just trying to really hit home this idea that the way the world has evolved, the production world, that the future is still in motion last fourth of july, this is all of this is kind of in sequence, and this kind of this will be the bookend to what we're discussing this morning. Get a phone call to do a shoot for mazda for their custom publication, but they also want a video spot, and what they want is a siri's of still images for the print publication, and they want a video spot for the web. They have zero budget so they can only afford to send three people so that's myself. Selene, serbo who's in aurora photos and nova select contributor he was acting as dp slash second shooter and my wife was acting is our producer slash p a slash assistant. I'm going to show you this is a two day shoot you're gonna see the magazine spreads and then the thirty second spot all nikon camera's really two guys shooting with one person helping us so it's you know we're getting smaller and smaller with production and that's the key that's the take away this is what you could do with a pretty small footprint so a couple of cool spreads this photograph by the way I never would have made this image if I was shooting on lee still photos but because we're shooting video I had a crane arm with me and we shot this cool video clip with the jib arm over the river and then I looked at the video clip I thought this is so cool why don't we just put a pocket wizard on the end of the cameron fire the cameras they paddle under and so sure enough it's one of the spreads in the magazine because it was just cool the video is aiding still photography and still photography is aiding video because we have these tools that you otherwise wouldn't have on location you know again you're going to see this corresponding video clip oftentimes I would roll for three seconds because I knew it was going to be pretty fast cut video and then switch modes I was on a d for and then like you know fire thirty for five for him's hoping that I get one um I think my wife was actually driving I can't remember who was driving the car we didn't you know this again? It's not hollywood. We didn't have a stunt driver. It was like someone on the crew and it was a borrowed car from mazda, so the rational was see if you can get it on two wheels that's actually like the way that and a pretty cool location there's the river the concept was car racing, the kayakers and then here again, there's no way I would have shot this photo if it were just this still assignment, I just wouldn't have had a boom arm that could go fifteen feet above the bridge, but because we're doing a video clip, we shot the video clip and then we got the same defore camera, switched it into still photography mode, put a pocket wizard on top and fired still frames from that same position and totally two of the spreads are because we're shooting video at the same time. So here's the quick thirty second clip in the world of white water, someone always needs to drive shuttle and by nature it's always a race it's man against machine, the question is who's having more fun? Maza defy convention super simple video at a little corny, the voice over, but the point is all shot on the sl ours really? A two person crew. And everybody wears multiple hats. And you get a pretty high end looking video product in the cool siri's of still images.