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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

••◊ Waz up grrrrrrl?

Last Saturday I spent the day interviewing a group of bgirls in Hollywood. No, you haven't experienced Internet induced time travel back to 1982. Break dancing, you ask?... Well these girls would be quick to correct you that the dance style is actually called "b-boying" and is very much alive.

Photo Credit: Clarence Legaspi

Lead instigator in this group is Amy "Catfox" Campion, who runs a dance troupe called Antics Performance in L.A. She brought in "Peppa the Host Steppa", "Asia-1", "Chronic", and "L-boogie." for the shoot. Clarence assisted and did b-cam work with his K-7, which we quickly found out has major jello-cam issues (i.e. rolling shutter). Clarence was shooting at 300mm and this was his first shoot, so he didn't know to lock the tripod head down during the interview. We were sitting in a local tea shop the next day reviewing the footage and all we could both do is shake our heads and laugh. Clarence...lock down that wobbling camera! - as we both laugh on. Oh boy. I was manning my own camera and didn't have time to review the footage on set...however we did get a few seconds of usable footage from the K-7 that will go into the edit.

This shoot gave me a chance to check out the new manual audio controls and 24p firmware for the 5Dm2. I gotta say that the audio control is a blessing. This is the first time I've captured 5D audio and found the results desirable. The downside is that the audio meters aren't available in record mode (major mis-oversight on Canon's part). My audio interface box will be a topic for an upcoming post. 24p is still up for discussion. I found that it really didn't make much difference for this production. 30p would probably have worked just as well.

This also allowed me to use my newly procured Marshall field monitor, which I quickly learned not to trust alone for exposure. I really need to combine that with a 18% gray card. The Marshall has a "false color" filter that acts like a colored IRE meter to quickly set exposure. Unfortunately I trusted the documentation...which got me semi- close, but tended to over exposure the image a little. Nothing I can't fix in post. However it's going to take a little more work to establish a better way to set exposure.

We used the Mole-Richardson FAY lights bare, mostly because we didn't have the budget for good powerful HMI lights. The FAY's aren't really daylight balanced, but much, much better than tungsten. Probably in the 4500-5000K range. So the view out the balcony windows is a little more blue than it should be. Not completely bad, but not completely good either. The lighting was also a bit flat since we didn't have the power to use light shapers like a soft box or reflector card. That's my biggest concern going into post.

Photos from the shoot can be found on Clarence's flickr page (aka Lumpyfree1001).

My next two weeks... transcribing footage, writing the storyline, editing, mastering... augh. The idea is that this will be a 3-5 minute extra on Amy's instructional DVD titled "How to Bgirl." Three hours of footage for a 3 minute video. Yep, seems about right.

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