For the last few years, we have been told many times, by many within the photo industry, that offering video in addition to still images would create more appeal to a client than stills alone.
Admittedly, at first we found the suggestion a bit frustrating. It’s hard enough to keep a proper photography business going and continue to produce strong, effective images as stills without adding the daunting task of the moving image. Fortunately, my time in undergrad was spent studying film and video (as well as photography) while Tiffany concentrated on photography and digital imaging. I spent a lot of time in dark, hot, windowless rooms cutting 16mm film on Steenbeck editors, manipulating that film on optical printers and rotoscoping stands. I also did a good bit of editing video in 1/2″ (VHS) and 3/4″ tape formats where you would load 2 video cassettes, 1 source and 1 record, into decks with shuttle dials used to find in and out points to set up your cuts. This is what is known as non-linear editing and it was a very laborious process that took up large amounts of time and effort (not to mention caffeine). By the time Tiffany and I were out and working in the world, we were pursuing still photography as our career path and therefore left the moving image behind.
With the new pressure to add video to our list of talents/ services, I undertook the process of teaching myself about digital video and non-linear editing. Even with my (distant) background, the learning curve was steep and a bit overwhelming, but I quickly discovered how much I loved it and how so much of what I had learned through photography, digital imaging and even painting could inform this new endeavor for me and our business. I’ve started small, teaching myself Adobe Premier and After Effects. This is still very much an ongoing process, doing small motion tests, modest edits for personal projects, etc. We did manage to wrangle a small paying job or two as I fumbled around with this new medium, learning as I go.
Being in Brooklyn, and in particular the neighborhood that we’re in (East Williamsburg/ Bushwick…yeah, that one), there is no shortage of fellow creatives. So, a few years ago we were fortunate enough to meet a group of musicians from Michigan with a band called Not Blood Paint. Great musicians, great band and now, great friends. After a year or so of hanging out, having drinks, seeing them play live, and having them come by my painting studio, slowly talk developed of how we could work together creatively. Our eye(s), their ear(s). After much talk, the band came up with an idea to have Tiffany and I make a music video for one of their songs “Particles”. This was a big leap of faith on their part as they had only seen our photo work and my paintings, but very little video. We nervously took the project on. We all spent a weekend in a friend’s house in Hancock, NY and shot for 2 days with an additional day in Brooklyn to shoot the greenscreen that I could use later for compositing. This was an unusual project in a few ways, but in particular because they had a guest vocalist, Katie Buckett of the London based band Jingo. Unfortunately, she was unable to fly to New York for the video shoot, so we had Jingo’s videographer, Charles Barclay, shoot some footage of Katie lipsynching her vocal parts and I was able to composite that into the final edit of the video. The video link above is the final video cut that we released earlier this week (go to YouTube to see it in HD). Take a look. This was a great project for us. We learned so much and would like to thank Joe, George, Seth, and Mark from Not Blood Paint for their faith in us and their creative collaboration. There will be more projects with them and the completion of this project finds us about to start production for a new video for another Brooklyn based band. More to come… Stay tuned.