Soft Lighting, Sharp Focus, Reflective Questions
November 01, 2021
The final day of the Craft In America video shoot was filled with surprises.
Throughout the entire time, I marveled at all the activity, the professionalism of the specialists, and the amazingly sophisticated equipment. I often felt challenged mentally and in a hyper-alert state trying to absorb what they were doing. What would I need to do to perform, how would I meet their expectations, and anticipate what they would need me to do next? There was no practice -- everything was "Take 1" and done.
Day two with the Craft In America video crew started early.
While the Director of Photography was working on B roll* with me, the rest of the crew worked in my living room to rearrange furniture and set up lighting for the personal interview.
Below you can see how they created the soft lighting.
Behind a large scrim that they assembled in my living room was a very powerful light. (You can see this light in the studio shots in previous posts.)
Note the cloth on the floor that they placed to capture better sound.
The sound guy is on the left side of the photo (above.)
I actually had both a body mic and the boom microphone for the interview.
(The sound guy decided which microphone to use.)
The crew made all the decisions for where I sat or stood, and how my body should be positioned. I was interviewed by director Coby Atlas (that's her back at the center of this photo). This formal interview lasted an hour and a half. Later in the afternoon, we talked about the work on display in my living room. I think it will be interesting to see how they use the interview in the final video edit. I've noticed on previous Craft in America segments that the interview content was integrated into the whole segment seamlessly. They rarely use only the interview, oftentimes mixing it up with studio shots as an auditory compliment to the visual artistry. Talking heads don't tend to hold the audience's interest for long.
So much work went into this production. The crew of six people was at my house for six hours on the first day, and seven hours on the second day. That's seventy-eight hours of shooting, plus all the travel time, pre-production and post-production, for only 10-15 min of final footage! I know we think of crafting as a labor-intensive endeavor, but film is equally labor-intensive. It's not sweating over a hot forge or sawing at a piece of metal, but instead, it is a highly coordinated effort of camera, audio, lights, gaffers/grips, director, producers, editors, and talent.
Honestly, this experience was dazzling, especially considering that due to COVID, not one person had entered my living room during the previous 15 months. Now all the furniture was moved and there was a flurry of people, none of whom I was supposed to pay any attention to. Coby informed me that she was going to ask me questions, and I was supposed to focus only on her. That was very difficult. It was kind of like a "60 Minutes" interview but with only one camera, and no hairstylist or make-up. I suspect that one must really "hit the big time" first to get hair and make-up support during a video shoot.
There was no advance preparation for the questions. The entire two days were spontaneous, and my answers were purely extemporaneous. I never had a second chance. No Take 2's. I have no idea how well I did! There was no time to think or plan. It was a whirlwind of experiences and I am so grateful to everyone who made it happen. The interviews will be streaming soon!
Below is the one-minute preview. There will be more video segments to share soon.
*Definition of B roll from Wikipedia: In film and television production, B-roll, B roll, B-reel or B reel is supplemental or alternative footage intercut with the main shot. The term A-roll, referring to main footage, has fallen out of use.
Previous Posts in the "Craft In America" in my studio series.
"Craft In America" Day 1 - Fabrication in Video Time vs Real Craft
A Gigantic Wish Come True...."Craft In America" Visits My Studio
Perspiration in Preparation & Planning for "Craft In America"
An Optivisor for a Crown - Two Vans Arrive with the "Craft In America" video team