Monday, March 29, 2010

Neda + Sati's Love Story

A few months ago, Robby Bagot and I were commissioned to shoot the ultimate wedding. I mean...the ULTIMATE wedding. Neda and Sati are having a week long event in Southern California where they are flying in a bunch of family from all over the world. The first piece of Neda and Sati's wedding saga was to make a Love Story Film to show at their first wedding reception (they're having two weddings). Here is that love story, we're very proud of it.

Neda and Sati are an amazing couple. I'm actually blogging this from a hotel room in San Diego where I am staying to shoot the rest of their wedding week. They really are as beautiful, happy, and friendly as this film makes them out to be. Even more so. As we continue to work on their wedding film, I will continue to share my experience.

For the Love Story there were three shooters. Myself, Robby Bagot, and Vitalie Ungureanu. We met Neda and Sati in Marin at around 7AM and shot until about 1pm. The weather was absolutely spectacular... perfect for the look that Robby and I were going for. He and I had met a few times prior to the shoot to figure out how we were going to tell their story, and we also did a location scout for all of our locations.

For the camera fanatics who follow my blog, we used a huge assortment of equipment:
2 EOS 5DmkII's (Pre-Firmware)
1 EOS 7D
Canon: 50mm f/1.4 (and 1.8), 85mm f/1.2, 20mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8
Sigma: 10-20mm f/4-5.6, 105mm f/2.8 macro
Glidetrack, Zacuto Z-Finder, Zacuto Quickdraw, Steadycam Merlin, 501 heads, and my favorite piece of equipment...the Manfratto 561BHDV Monopod.

I'm so excited to be a part of such a wonderful wedding. Above are some shots of our video playing on the screen for an audience of over 400 at the Beverly Hills Wilshire.

-Jesse Tarnoff

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Shmaltz Night Out

A few nights ago I rolled around San Francisco and shot a video for Shmaltz Brewing Company. Read more about it here. As promised: let the wild rumpus start!

I first got to see Heather Holliday and Donny Vomit in action when we started off the night at Cafe Royale. It was a small crowd, but a very receptive one. We then went over to Church Key, a very small but cozy bar in North Beach. It was a harder space to work in, because of the tight quarters but the people there were very warm and were happy to be a part of the night.

Our third stop was at The Monk's Kettle. This place absolutely loved the performance. What made it even better was that because it was so packed, there was no place for Heather and Donny to perform. So they stood up on a stool behind the bar, drawing everybody's eyes. They even had people standing on the street watching the show through a window.

The last location was a very cool bar called Bender's Bar. This place is awesome. They have pool tables, music, and plenty of seating. The interior was very stylish and edgy, perfect for the video.

Because all of the shooting was done at night in dimly lit bars, it was very hard to get a proper exposure without getting grain. I was excited to see how the 5DmkII and 7D performed in low light, but some of these bars, were sooooooo dim.

Equipment Used:
Canon EOS 5DmkII
Canon EOS 7D
Canon 50mm f/1.8, 20mm f/2.8, 85mm f/1.2
Glidetrack Shooter
Zacuto Z-Finder
Zacuto Rapid Fire

Lessons Learned
1. Monopod FTW - Both Rob Bagot and I were shooting hand held the entire time. It worked for this style of video, but for anything with the "crazy factor" dialed back, better stabilization should be used. Monopods make perfect sense.

2. Need Faster Lenses - For any run and gun night shooting, fast lenses are essential. The f/2.8 wasn't cutting it, especially on the 7d. I had to add a little diffusion to cover up the grain. At some points I cranked that ISO up to 6400. Ouch.

3. Shmaltz Shmaltz Shmaltz - The whole Shmaltz crew is great. A bunch of chill folks who know how to have a good time. Sword Swallower is a fantastic beer. Can't wait to try Human Blockhead.

-Jesse Tarnoff

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Prelude to the Madness

Last night was wild! I was shooting a promotional video for Shmaltz Brewing Company, the makers of the famous Jewish style beer lineup, He'Brew. They also have a line of beers called the Coney Island Craft Lagers AKA "The Freak Beers." Each beer is named after a performer in the Coney Island Circus Sideshow. So to promote the beer, Schmaltz wanted to go around to different bars in SF with two of the performers and put on a short show for the crowds. Heather Holliday rocked the sword swallowing and Donny Vomit busted out the Human Blockhead. Here are a few snaps I took from the night.

Many thanks to Rob Bagot for coming out and shooting with me on short notice. I'm excited to cut together a teaser for the video. Like I said, last night was wild!

-Jesse Tarnoff

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Soaked and Stoked...

Does anyone even use the word "stoked" anymore? Not that I ever really used it. But it rhymed and fit the feeling. Drenched and excited.

I'm starting to adjust my sleep cycle for my new job. Today is Day 1. And it just happened to coincide with a 7AM Location Scout / B-Roll shoot for a Love Story I am shooting this upcoming weekend. I got together with Robby Bagot, cameraman and advertising extraordinaire, and we headed out to the Marin Headlands to check the lay of the land.

It was pouring rain. Whatever, we didn't mind. We walked all over the place checking out viewpoints, trees, beaches, and old WWII bunkers (my favorite). As we scouted different locations and came up with possible shots, we also broke down the Love Story into three acts. This should be a really fun shoot and a fantastic piece. We have some very cool stuff planned.

Now, back to my sleep cycle. I have a shoot from 7PM to 11:30 tonight. Two shoots on the same day at opposite sides of the clock. Yowzah.

-Jesse Tarnoff