Monday, January 17, 2011

Behind The Scenes - Artist Brian Neher

We are in the final weeks of editing on a project shot last fall for portrait artist Brian Neher. Since we needed absolute quiet for 8-10 hours at a time, we set up in a recording studio that was available at a very low rate--and used every inch of the place as you can see. It was a full week of shooting that yielded 6 DVD training videos for aspiring painters.

There were three Sony EX-1 cameras on set. Camera A was a wide shot of Brian and the painting he was working on. It was on a portable dolly so the opening shot could have a little movement. Camera B was close on the painting. And camera C was an overhead shot of the palette. Even though there were no exterior windows to balance to, Brian asked for daylight-colored lights to help with his accuracy in mixing colors. We lit to 5600k using a combination of Kino-flos, an HMI with a large diffuser in front and a couple of Lowell Rifa lights with daylight gels over the softboxes. The biggest challenges were that there was just enough room above the wall of the set to mount a couple of backlights so that the wall would be self-flagging, and the fill light needed to be in the exact place the Kessler crane was located. After some difficulty, we finally found a spot that worked without casting unwanted shadows or being too close to the subject.

We built the set, a small two-wall backdrop, the day before the shoot. Our original plan was to use wallpaper on the upper half of the set, but we could not get it to adhere to the plywood well enough at the seams. We ended up just painting it instead. Here are a few more photos. Click on them to see them at a larger size.