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#1 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 01:55 AM

About three weeks ago I shot and co-directed a music video for my mother whom is a Jazz vocalist. It was my first music video in almost 2 years. I stepped away from doing music video in a bitter way. I got my start directing an shooting my own videos for local artist and had a few bad experiences with recording artist not being 'artists' at all. Right after that I got my first feature and found my real passion in narrative projects. However, this is my mother! I had to do a great video for her. Unfortunately this was one of the toughest shoots i've done.

I found this wonderful photo studio to shoot the video in. It was identical to the description i had in my treatment. We planned a night shoot from 8pm to 6am sunday, taking advantage of the twinkling lights from the harbor and North Vancouver in the background.

The video was intended to shoot right after a short film I was scheduled to shoot with some friends during the week. I was going to roll over the left over film stock, camera, lenses, grip & elx, crew, and free post to accomplish the video with little cost to my father and mother. However, the short canceled days before we went to camera due to issues with the actors union, leaving me with none of the resources that were promised. Luckily my 1st AC volunteered to help out and got my mentors modified Arri IIC + Zeiss Super Speeds to shoot the video on. Getting Grip and Elx gear was easy too because of my relationship with William F. Whites here in Vancouver... the problem was Grips and Elx crew... all my usual collaborators were either out of town or on another gig and couldn't work the hours on a sunday.

Through the co-director I got a few inexperienced, but extremely hard working guys, but they weren't available the whole shoot; so I decided that to save time I should pre-rig the studio. I spent two days rigging with my two best friends (whom were the production designer and art director combo) and came in early the shoot day to lay in all the lighting and grip for the first shot, which was a complicated steadicam shot.

The shoot commenced and we had some difficulties of the bat. My mothers make up was behind by about 45min and we were waiting... as soon as that was done we got the 2 steadicam shots in the can... and then poop hit the fan. The 2nd AC, and 2 of 3 grip/elx swings left. Then the key members of the band were ready to leave. I scrambled to accommodate them and then the next thing im hearing is that our gorgeous model has to leave, then the dancers... it was 1am and everyone was ready to go even tho everyone knew the hours before hand. Haha... needless to say, with only 1 grip/elx swing, the steadicam op (whom covered for the 2nd loading mags and pretty much key gripped), and the 1st AC... I seriously got my ass kicked! I ended up getting very sick for 2 weeks after. In hindsight I should have made it a 2 day shoot...

I shot the steadicam stuff with a test roll of 5219 and the rest of the video on 5217 that I purchased from the short that canceled. I transfered the video to HDCAM SR and then Apple Pro Rez to disk.

I lit most of the video with a row of 5 very narrow parcan's back lighting the scene. I was going for a very organic feeling video. Classy, elegant, golden tones, a softness to the contrast in the image, with a bit of mystery. During the night I continually focused a 1 of the 5 parcan's down the lens to soften the image as well as give me 3 dimensions of motion; the background with the lights moving back and forth with the my handheld movement, the dancers in the middle ground, and the flares in the foreground.

I'm happy with the results however I wish I had a do over on this one... I think there are quite a few things that I would have prepared better for, mainly scheduling an crew. The cancelation of the short film really hit me harder then I thought it would. Because of that disappointment I let the video suffer. I learned a valuable lesson in that even if a passion project falls through, I still have the best job in the world; and no matter what the project, it should never be considered a burden.

Here are some stills from the shoot:
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#2 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 02:29 AM

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#3 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 12:29 AM

Looks good Chayse. Job well done. What size Parcans did you use? Any particular gels on the Pars? Really love the bokeh of the harbor lights out the window. Very cool.
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#4 Freya Black

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 03:54 AM

I found this wonderful photo studio to shoot the video in. It was identical to the description i had in my treatment. We planned a night shoot from 8pm to 6am sunday, taking advantage of the twinkling lights from the harbor and North Vancouver in the background.

The shoot commenced and we had some difficulties of the bat. My mothers make up was behind by about 45min and we were waiting... as soon as that was done we got the 2 steadicam shots in the can... and then poop hit the fan. The 2nd AC, and 2 of 3 grip/elx swings left. Then the key members of the band were ready to leave. I scrambled to accommodate them and then the next thing im hearing is that our gorgeous model has to leave, then the dancers... it was 1am and everyone was ready to go even tho everyone knew the hours before hand. Haha... needless to say, with only 1 grip/elx swing, the steadicam op (whom covered for the 2nd loading mags and pretty much key gripped), and the 1st AC... I seriously got my ass kicked! I ended up getting very sick for 2 weeks after. In hindsight I should have made it a 2 day shoot...

I'm happy with the results however I wish I had a do over on this one... I think there are quite a few things that I would have prepared better for, mainly scheduling an crew. The cancelation of the short film really hit me harder then I thought it would. Because of that disappointment I let the video suffer. I learned a valuable lesson in that even if a passion project falls through, I still have the best job in the world; and no matter what the project, it should never be considered a burden.


I wonder about the leaving syndrome. It's funny how everyone had to leave at the same time. Firstly I'm wondering if they really understood what was required of them when they said the would do a shoot till 6am. Perhaps they thought they could deal with it but then when they tried to do it they became really exhausted about 1am. Perhaps they figured it wouldn't really go on till 6am and you would finish much earlier. Perhaps they didn't realise that making a film involves so much standing around but I also wonder if it wasn't a factor that once one person had left they felt it gave them permission to leave too, like why am I standing around here at 1 am when they get to go off or something. It's hard to say but it does seem like a bit of a co-incidence and I think that there was a whole bunch of group politics going on there.

Sunday till the early hours is probably a difficult time to get people to work as so many people have work on Monday morning too!

I think you probably learned a ton of things on that shoot but you just havn't realised it yet. You learned that your grip, steadicam op and 1st A.C. are all people you can really rely on, as they not only did what they said they would but mucked in with loads extra to save the day (at 1am too) You need to give those guys a BIG thankyou.

I understand what you mean about letting a bad thing ruin everything else. That can be a very hard thing to fight especially if one thing is tied up with another, but you did do a really good job of turning things around by getting hold of the camera and filmstock from the shoot and still making it happen. I think a part of what is upsetting you is that you are now looking at this incredibly beautiful footage and realising that you actually had this incredible opportunity to make a film and not an obligation at all and you feel your bad humour may have affected your ability to make the most of it all. Thats a good thing to realise as it can help you loads in the future but also I think you should be thankful that you did make the magic happen anyway in spite of everything and you do have this beautiful footage.

So anyway, the big question is, how did you talk George Clooney into playing in the band?

love

Freya
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#5 Jim Exton

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 12:17 AM

Beautiful images, great work man!!

That first shot of the woman is my favorite.
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#6 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 10:43 PM

Looks good Chayse. Job well done. What size Parcans did you use? Any particular gels on the Pars? Really love the bokeh of the harbor lights out the window. Very cool.


I used Par 64 Very Narrow Spot blubs. I gelled all the lights with half color temp straw for the golden tone. I had planned on using Lee's "Wheat" gel in combo with CTS, but budget didn't work out. I was lucky to get the CTS from the gel lady at White's. She happened to find a half roll and just give it to me when I was loading the truck.

I wonder about the leaving syndrome. It's funny how everyone had to leave at the same time. Firstly I'm wondering if they really understood what was required of them when they said the would do a shoot till 6am. Perhaps they thought they could deal with it but then when they tried to do it they became really exhausted about 1am. Perhaps they figured it wouldn't really go on till 6am and you would finish much earlier. Perhaps they didn't realise that making a film involves so much standing around but I also wonder if it wasn't a factor that once one person had left they felt it gave them permission to leave too, like why am I standing around here at 1 am when they get to go off or something. It's hard to say but it does seem like a bit of a co-incidence and I think that there was a whole bunch of group politics going on there.

Sunday till the early hours is probably a difficult time to get people to work as so many people have work on Monday morning too!

I think you probably learned a ton of things on that shoot but you just havn't realised it yet. You learned that your grip, steadicam op and 1st A.C. are all people you can really rely on, as they not only did what they said they would but mucked in with loads extra to save the day (at 1am too) You need to give those guys a BIG thankyou.

I understand what you mean about letting a bad thing ruin everything else. That can be a very hard thing to fight especially if one thing is tied up with another, but you did do a really good job of turning things around by getting hold of the camera and filmstock from the shoot and still making it happen. I think a part of what is upsetting you is that you are now looking at this incredibly beautiful footage and realising that you actually had this incredible opportunity to make a film and not an obligation at all and you feel your bad humour may have affected your ability to make the most of it all. Thats a good thing to realise as it can help you loads in the future but also I think you should be thankful that you did make the magic happen anyway in spite of everything and you do have this beautiful footage.

So anyway, the big question is, how did you talk George Clooney into playing in the band?

love

Freya



Thats a fair assessment. Everyone who stayed late got a tip as well as a bottle of wine. Love those girls and guys. Haha; George Clooney... thats Ross Taggard! Very well known and amazing Saxophone player.


Beautiful images, great work man!!

That first shot of the woman is my favorite.


Thanks Jim. I think thats my favorite shot too.
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#7 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 22 August 2008 - 12:41 AM

call me next time; with some heads up, i'd come to canada! Looks good. I hope you got enough footage... Let me know when it's done, I want to check it out.
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#8 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 22 August 2008 - 03:17 AM

Hell ya buddy! Get ya up here on a trip. I'll let you know when its all done!
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#9 Steve McBride

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 11:02 AM

Wow, great job on such a crazy schedule. I love the warm tobacco feeling to the screens you posted. The first shot kinda reminds me of Isla Fischer in the movie "The Lookout" :) .
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#10 Norm Li

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 12:34 PM

Again, this looks great Chayse. Did you do any post coloring to enhance the golden'ish chocolate feel from the gelled lights or is this pretty much how it looked out of the can?

Norm


Wow, great job on such a crazy schedule. I love the warm tobacco feeling to the screens you posted. The first shot kinda reminds me of Isla Fischer in the movie "The Lookout" :) .


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#11 Robert Tagliaferri

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 02:58 PM

Holy poop, I love the way that looks.

When it's ready could you post it online? I'd also love to see more of your work, is your reel online?
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#12 Norm Li

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 11:29 PM

Chayse's reel is online at http://www.chayseirvin.com.

Edited by Norm Li, 26 August 2008 - 11:29 PM.

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#13 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 03:10 AM

Again, this looks great Chayse. Did you do any post coloring to enhance the golden'ish chocolate feel from the gelled lights or is this pretty much how it looked out of the can?

Norm


I had half color temp straw on all the lighting, which is pretty much half way to what I wanted. I typically want to do a little desaturating in post so I find myself often taking my colors part of the way there on set, and completing the look in post. But if I can take it all the way I will... its just sometimes i look for really rich tones and it kills the exposure I want from the light.

Holy poop, I love the way that looks.

When it's ready could you post it online? I'd also love to see more of your work, is your reel online?


I'll for sure post it when its done.
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