Guest Post from Director/Cinematographer Graham Streeter
When I shot the music video “This Guy is in Love with You” last March, I never expected that I would be receiving an award for it a year later. But I am thrilled to be the recipient of this year’s ‘Shoot it. Share it’ grand prize for this passion project.
I began my career as a director and traditionally relied on a cinematographer or cameraman to handle the photography. But around 2005, while watching professional cinematographers do their magic, I started contemplating operating a camera myself and having responsibility for the whole show.
The first camera I purchased was a Panasonic AG-HPX170 P2 HD handheld, but I’d watched seasoned cinematographers use the original VariCam to shoot one of my feature films, Cages, in Singapore several years ago and we produced a stunning visual–and received terrific support from the company. Years later I was exploring different options for my own shooting, and I realized I needed the visual component of different lenses. I did some research and tested the AG-AF100 HD camcorder at EVS in Los Angeles.I immediately loved it, and purchased the camera right then and there. As owner of Imperative Pictures, I consider every piece of equipment an investment in my career.
Only seven days later I broke out the AF100 to shoot “This Guy is in Love with You” for Grammy-nominated jazz saxophonist Dave Koz. Dave’s album, ‘Hello Tomorrow,’ was soon to be released and we carefully went through each track to select the right one for the music video. We chose “This Guy’s” because it was the most unusual–with a saxophonist doing both instrumentals and vocals. The song was also reminiscent of my own childhood and in the face of universal marriage rights it seemed like a gentle, nostalgic way of redefining love on a big level. The video went soft-viral and we received a lot of positive feedback.
The staging of the video was very organic. I did a walkthrough of the location with Dave in Ventura, California. I then posted a video requesting volunteers to come down to the location on the day of shooting to participate. The only thing we asked them to do was wear bright colors, which the AF100 captured quite nicely.
We were shocked at how many people showed up. At 7:15 AM we had about 15 people present and by the conclusion of the shoot at 11 AM we had a few hundred people gathered round. It was amazing to see all these people come together to promote marriage equality in a sweet and loving way.
It was definitely an Internet driven flash mob- or more of a love mob in this case.
We shot in rain, shine and all in slow motion. As the cinematographer, director and sound guy all in one, the AF100 let me make quick decisions and adapt to each environment. I love that I can control every aspect of it; I can challenge the depth of the field and exposure and it allowed me to tell the story in a different way through focus.
I relied on the camera to bring the spirit of music and message on the screen and I think it did the job beautifully.
A friend of mine had posted about the ‘Shoot it. Share it’ contest and I entered the video on a whim. I’m delighted that winning this contest has brought attention back to this video and to the larger cause. It’s also wonderful to be recognized on a technical and visual level, as this was my first project shot with the AF100: it will certainly not be my last!
Up next I will be using the AF100 to shoot a feature film, Unpeaceable, starring Grace Zabriskie from Big Love and Tim Bagley from Will and Grace. This psycho thriller is dark and gritty, taking the AF100 on a different adventure. This feature film will be shot for under $1000, so the reliability and quality of my equipment I use is essential. I’ll even be documenting the making of this film on 1kmovie.com.
I will continue to shoot projects that speak to me on an emotional level and use the AF100 to do so.
Graham’s Grand Prize consisted of a Panasonic 42” TH-42BT300U Pro Plasma reference Monitor and Vocas Micro Four Thirds to Prime Lens adapter, together valued at more than $5,000.
For more information on contest winner Graham Streeter’s work, visit: http://www.imperativepictures.com/