On Set- Emily Cain #2

Working again with the talented guys at Gum Spirits Productions (aka Chi/Donahoe + Cole/Duffey) on a shoot in Bangor, ME yesterday.  Pulling up to the first location, got a cool surprise.  We were filming across the street from this house. Props to anyone who can guess the author that lives here (hint: look closely at the gate). [answer below]

Stephen King's house in Bangor, Maine

Stephen King's house in Bangor, Maine

He was the first author that got me to read on my own for pleasure as a kid, and his Dark Tower series is my favorite of his works.  Except for book 7- I still don't get what happened at the end there, or when the characters in his book meet and talk with Stephen King, in the book.  Weird moment.  

The shoot was another political spot for Dem candidate for US Congress, Emily Cain.  It was a busy, long day with 4 locations and multiple groupings of people and a many scripts, but also included a stop at a cabin on a lake and strawberry rhubarb pie.  Can't beat that end to a work day.  

Setup for first location of the day, awaiting the interviewee.

Setup for first location of the day, awaiting the interviewee.

Two camera setup for the first location interview (I covered profile).  It was early morning, so the sun was moving fast across the windows in the background.  Took a little work to keep the white blinds from blowing out and bringing in enough subject lighting (with bounce board and LED light to the right with umbrella).  Thankfully the sun was moving in our favor and by the time we rolled it was mostly off the background windows.  Final shot looked nice though.

Dem Emily Cain candidate for US Congress in Maine's 2nd district.

Dem Emily Cain candidate for US Congress in Maine's 2nd district.

On Set- Road Trip

Just got back from an 11 day road trip with Gum Spirits Productions, another stellar group of talented, creative guys based in Portland, Maine.  We went to 7 cities in the 11 day trip, which became a routine of wake up early, hop on a plane, fly to a new city, pack the largest rental truck available, drive to the location, film for a few hours, drive to another location, more filming, then check into our new hotel, sleep for a few hours, then repeat.  We went to Philly, Pittsburg, Orlando, Jacksonville, Columbus, Ann Arbor, back to Columbus, St. Louis and then home.  

The shooting was all interviews with people with some fascinating personal stories about being transgender and/or an ally.  What struck me most about these people's stories was the amount of courage and conviction they all had and the simple need for them to be their authentic selves.  I had never spoken with a transgender person before at any length and didn't know anyone personally, so to hear these stories was quite eye-opening for me.  If I learned anything from what I heard, it's that no one ever chooses to be transgender.  I can't image anyone just deciding on a whim to go through what these people have.  

Some other highlights include staying at Sawgrass in Jacksonville, FL, where they host the Players Championship.  They also have a great pool, which we got to spend a little time at during our only morning off.  

Sawgrass Marriott lobby

Sawgrass Marriott lobby

Our first interview setup of the trip

Our first interview setup of the trip

Day 2 of the trip.  We were all so young and fresh-faced back then...

Day 2 of the trip.  We were all so young and fresh-faced back then...

The crew waiting for our interviewees to arrive in Columbus

The crew waiting for our interviewees to arrive in Columbus

Camera setup and Patrick hiding behind the bounce

Camera setup and Patrick hiding behind the bounce

Schmidt's in German Town in Columbus for dinner one night.  Great sausage and beer 

Schmidt's in German Town in Columbus for dinner one night.  Great sausage and beer 

Driving from Columbus to Ann Arbor looked mostly like this

Driving from Columbus to Ann Arbor looked mostly like this

Cool stone house with some neglected landscaping

Cool stone house with some neglected landscaping

One of many setups in St. Louis. A church meeting room standing in for upper-middle class living room.

One of many setups in St. Louis. A church meeting room standing in for upper-middle class living room.

Screengrab (unprocessed) from another interview with a very cool pastor in his church

Screengrab (unprocessed) from another interview with a very cool pastor in his church

On Set- Emily Cain Campaign Video

Two days working on a few campaign videos for Emily Cain up in the Bangor area.  The spots were produced/directed by Gum Spirits Productions, a group of really talented, passionate filmmakers.  They also happen to be really great people to boot, which is always a huge plus.   

Emily Cain campaign video set-up

Emily Cain campaign video set-up

A lot of driving time as the her district is up in Bangor, but I always appreciate the chance to explore more of Maine.  

My Epic was the b-cam and it worked great (despite breaking my shotgun mic cold shoe earlier in the week, hence the camera tape mount in the picture above).  Shot mostly 4k at 10:1 compression, using both my Canon 50mm 1.2 and Tokina 11-16 2.8.  Used the 50mm for the interviews to punch in for a nice medium/close-up, and the 11-16 for some wide-angle b-roll clips.  Cropped in at 4k, the 50 is closer to 62mm and the 11-16 becomes a 14-20, which is also nice because it loses any vignetting or distortion you might get on 5k at 11mm wide open.  Really impressed with the quality of the Tokina, and am understanding why so many red users love this lens.