Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Post Haste

Quite a week last week.  It started on Sunday with The Chaps album cover shoot, and continued with a commercial shoot for New Zealand Post.  Most of that consisted of interviewing and shooting folks in the street, in locations from Mosgiel to Christchurch.  Kind of fun - I really enjoy interacting with people on this kind of job, but the brief called for natural lighting.  The weather (ie light) at the time was dismal, and the deadline tight.

Glassons Pickup

The second part of the job was to illustrate the relationship between NZ Post and one of their clients, Glassons, by covering a pickup from Glassons' distribution centre. Now this part I really enjoyed. Deb the driver was more than a little reluctant to be the company poster girl but I promised her it'd all be over before she knew it (boy, I haven't said that to a woman since my teens). I threw myself into documentary storyteller mode, getting the players to run through the sequence with a little direction and plenty of wisecracks from me to keep the mood light. Good to find out my twenty years in television weren't wasted.

Glassons Pickup

It seemed to work, as I got plenty of smiles out of everyone. The client only requested one shot to depict the relationship, but if I have time, I like to shoot a whole action sequence and look for the one shot that'll tell the whole story along the way. I like the first two here the most, definitely relationship shots - Deb through the forklift frame, the other driver reflected in the mirror - just the little touches I wanted. I felt I had my shot at this point, but like to see the sequence through, you never know what you'll discover when you keep shooting - so I got in the delivery truck to find another angle.

Glassons Pickup

Then I capped it off with the hero-drives-into-the-sunset shot, and some signage in case the client wanted it. Of course I put some time into thinking all this through beforehand, but the actual shooting time took maybe 10 or 15 minutes.

Glassons Pickup

Natural light? I cheated. Just to fill the shadows in the faces, I used a little on-camera flash, dialed way down so you wouldn't notice, but believe me you would have if I hadn't. Actually, I'd love to have gone all strobist, off camera light sculpting faces, gleaming off machines etc, but it wasn't that kind of job. You've got to adjust your technique to the job every time. A shoot like this, with a tight deadline?

Run and gun, lots of fun.

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