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


  1. Dude, you knocked that outta the park! That was so much fun. I loved it.

  2. Great video - a lot of fun, well-shot, and clearly the people at Shmaltz had a really cool vision in mind. And I love several of those bars.

  3. Hey Jesse! Sean McCann here. First off, I want to say I creepily stalk your blog whenever you post something new and I'm always impressed with your work and this video is no exception (great music choice). Secondly, in reference to your previous blog, I say stoked all the time.

  4. Awesomenessnessness.

  5. This is amazing. I am beyond impressed and inspired.