It’s been a busy period for both BuzzFeed branded video content and myself. During the first week of November, I shot three different videos for the flourishing production company!
On November 4th, we convened at BuzzFeed’s studio space on De Longpre (formerly home to Big Lots!) to shoot Time Hacks.
Of the two shoots, this had the most challenges: 6 different hacks (plus the coda for Unroll.me) on 5 unique sets! Production Designer, Jack Reed and his crew, diligently constructed great sets within a very limited time frame.
Our brisk schedule allowed very little time on each set/hack. After a satisfactory take on one section, my Gaffer, Austin Michaels, and I left Justin in charge so we could light the upcoming set.
The biggest challenge came with BuzzFeed’s signature overhead shot (that “BuzzFeed shot” I keep writing about in these blogs). For continuity, Jane wanted to roll both angles at the same. Unfortunately, lighting those two axes simultaneously and satisfactorily proved quite difficult.
I love the fast pace of the piece and learned some handy time saving tricks in the process. Coincidentally, I recently vented to a friend that I’ve been bombarded by unwanted holiday emails and he suggested that I use Unroll.me! The service works great and is particularly useful for my “junk email addresses.”
For Subway, we employed 3 units simultaneously: Andrew and I operated C300’s on Cineped Sliders on the primary (living room) set, Chia-Yu Chen oversaw two FS7’s for the sandwich build station, and BuzzFeed Fellow, Elvis Kunesh, worked the confessional/holding room with a monopodded 5D mark iii.
Both days utilized identical G&E packages supplied by Euphoric Lighting and BuzzFeed (I always request their Joker 800). A couple of 1.2K HMIs and Kino Flo 4Banks (2′ & 4′) worked the hardest. I’m also growing accustomed to the convenience and quality of light produced by Austin’s Joker 200 / JEM Ball Lantern rig. When thrown on a menace arm, it is particularly effective.
To stay on schedule, two sandwich stations worked in real time when our subjects ordered the sandwiches with the mobile app. Chia-yu’s station’s focused on capturing the step-by-step build of the sub as the sandwich artist added each ingredient. A second chef curated the picture perfect sandwich–in the privacy of a kitchen–that our folks ate on camera.
A second 5D Mark iii remained on the sidelines ready to fly over the shoulder of our contestant as they ordered for their partner. While this insert on the mobile app ran, Andrew snagged a frontal close up of the action.
Since the cameras remained relatively stationary and we only had to light the sets once all day, the Subway shoot felt much less hectic even though there were lots of moving parts.
My years of working in the industry perfectly prepared me for this shoot. I can’t count how many times different productions have provided Subway products for lunch! I’ve perfected my personal Subway order, have you? Share your recipe in the comments below. After a few of you do, then I’ll share mine! Hint: the Veggie Patty is a game changer for vegetarians…