Thursday, August 15, 2013

Prenatal Yoga DVD

About a month ago, my Jiu Jitsu instructor asked me if I was interested in shooting a yoga DVD for his wife who's an excellent yoga instructor. I didn't hesitate and started preparing immediately. We could have shot much earlier but I had some issues with my lighting, particularly my new halogen soft box light kit malfunctioned (had to replace the switch).

The shoot lasted just under 3 hours which was a delight. I thought it would be at least 4 and not including the voice overs. I'll discuss my lighting and camera setup and other interesting notes if anyone else plans to shoot something similar. I should have snapped a photo with my phone to better explain but I forgot.

My lighting setup included a 750 watt halogen with an octagon soft box, a common 250 watt halogen work light, a clamp light with a cheap CFL bulb and those popular Neewer LED 160 lights(would not use as fill or main, only a rim light!)

screen grab from the DVD -black background caused gf2 to overexpose a bit and had to adjust in post. Maybe understand spot metering a bit more in my part. 

The soft box(main light) was camera right in this shot. It was about 12 feet away from the talent and stood about 8 feet from the ground and tilted down at the talent. Camera left was my work light(fill light). It was about 10 feet from the talent and with 1 sheet of parchment paper on a c-47(wooden clothes pin) to act as diffusion to soften the light. The clamp light(background light) was camera right, behind the talent just off camera, directed at the little Buddha statues. Further behind the talent camera right was my LED to act as a kicker. It stood on a make shift light stand made of PVC similar to this person's set up.

In retrospect, the only thing I would modify is to move the work light a couple feet close to the subject. For a future shoot, I might use a 500 watt work light as a fill than a 250 watt under similar conditions. If I shot in a smaller room, I'd change my light set up to run much cooler with a shit ton of CFL's instead since the halogens run super hot. 

My Panasonic GF2 with the SLR Magic 35mm T1.4 was directly in front of the subject. I kept the aperture around T2.8. It's difficult to dial in the focus on that lens with the GF2. It will be much easier when I get the Lumix G6 with focus peaking while magnified. My "B" camera was camera right of the GF2 but to the left of the soft box. The GF2 was in a fixed position using those baby tripods that sat on top of a box. The awesome "B" camera was the Sony Handycam HDR SR-11 on my cheap yet effective Targus fluid head tripod. 

Since I was doing multi cam and used an external audio source for certain scenes, I had to clap while all cameras and my Zoom H1 were recording to make sure I can sync all the files together in post. 

I shot this one man band style but for shoots like this or larger, I'd need to have a grip on hand to make life easier. 

Things to note before the first day of shooting: Right down lists of what you need to bring. A list for lighting gear like light stands, modifiers, the light itself, etc. Same for camera gear, audio gear, and misc. I'm glad I brought enough stingers(ext. cords) or I would have been fucked ha. 

Other things worth mentioning: Make sure the room noise is very quiet while recording audio. Even with a music track behind the audio, at times, you may hear cars passing by which is hard to eliminate or reduce in post, for me for that matter. Also make to recharge or have extra batteries on hand as well as extra bulbs in case any blow out. 

All in all, I had fun shooting the DVD. The editing portion was a bit more difficult since color correction is not my forte but I'm getting better. I don't have any crazy DVD software so I used a simple one that's included in my file converter called AVS Video Converter 8. The interface is simple and gets the job done. 

I have a camera slider coming in next week so I hope to shoot more videos! If anyone has any questions just leave a comment, thanks!!

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