This year has brought some new friends – after stalking a stranger on the tram in June!
One of them is the multi-talented drummer / singer and songwriter Thomas Hofstad.
Working with Thomas finally made me make the plunge into filming video with my Canon 5D Mk II and creating video with Adobe Premiere Elements.
We are sort of really working on a project with still images and a story to accompany one of his own songs. But a few weeks ago Thomas came and told me he had recorded “O Holy Night”, and would I like to listen?
So I did. And said; lets put Project 1 on hold for a few weeks. I’ll ask around a bit on how it is done, and let’s try to make a simple video to go with this song, in time for Christmas. We can pair it up with some of my winter images.
When I started filming, I realised – of course – that being a film photographer is not the same as being a stills photographer. And then the deadline – could we make something we were happy to publish within the time available? Or was it better to wait until next year and then hopefully have turned into a totally professional singer / performer and movie photographer?
On the first attempt I filmed from far away, coming home to realise that you can hardly see Thomas on a YouTube format. So we went back. I filmed closer.
We couldn’t decide whether he should look at the camera or not. How long sequences should we film? We decided to film the whole song each time for a new angle as that would give us more freedom when piecing it all together.
Then the fact that Thomas is taller than me so if I was filming from the same level he would constantly look down at me. So we brought a step ladder. The Oslo Opera House is a building with many levels so we also found a place where I could stand a bit higher.
Then I realised the lens I had brought didn’t allow me to be closer than one metre, so that became a limitation we had to live with. Time was running out.
As I had started the camera I looked away and started wantering around a bit not to disturb him while singing. Which actually was not a very good idea, as he was clueless about how he was doing. I was thinking – being no music expert – I’d better stay out of it. After a while I figured we had material enough to use and then I relaxed a bit. I still did not dare to look at him while he was singing – but I looked at the screen. And without knowing – at some point I had given Thomas a thumbs-up which he in turn felt was very encouraging.
As a photographer – if this was not a time to be present in the moment – then when? I have not much experience in working with a model – as ‘capturing moments’ I find much easier. So we decided he should look into the camera, but look away when he was concentrating, just as he would do if he was singing for or talking to just one person.
Then a late evening followed with our technical advisor Trond Nilsen, and it was a wrap.
We are so pleased with the result! So we have published it on YouTube.
Last night I went to a pre-christmas dinner with some photography friends. I asked them to tell me – not what they liked – but what I could improve. So I got a lot of tips on using different camera angles, in which order to film from where, building up the story through the complementing images, and how. And a third project may be in the pipeline from that discussion, we’ll see.
We have also worked on further ideas with our creative director ;-)
If we had not published I wouldn’t have had anything to show them, which again leads me to daring to show ones work, be pleased with it on the level where one is. Don’t wait until everything is perfect. You are probably dead before that day comes. Learn as you go along. Learn and share!
It is the 24th today, which is the day we celebrate Christmas in Norway. So off tho the party!
I wish you all a Merry Christmas.