FAST ASHLEY'S STUDIO, STUDIO B
PDN: Industrial Color’s motion division launched in March 2009. Your mission is to make high-end video easily accessible for the professional photographer. About how many pro photographer-produced motion pieces are you working on each month?
SK: We are on about 20 motion projects a month and see this growing. It’s incredible when you consider that motion projects were non-existent in 2008. With motion, there are many parts to the process, some projects are shooting only and others involve color grading, editing, After Effects work, Flash programming, mastering, etc. The demand is coming from the increased demand for video content driven by the consumer shift to Web, mobile and digital advertising. Shortened turn-around times and budget cuts are also driving the growth and opportunity for the photo industry to provide high-level motion work at a lower cost than traditional video suppliers.
PDN: How often are photographers capturing motion with you, but then taking on the editing themselves?
SK: A good analogy of how editing relates is the photographer-retoucher relationship. Most photographers have a few people or boutique companies they trust to handle their post, but some shoots just get delivered to the clients, who handle the post themselves. Further to the point, about 25 percent of the editing work we do comes from supplied video that we did not capture. We have a very talented editing team and editing facility that we built early on. To us, editing is a major factor in providing real support to high-end photographers and clients. Motion is not just about capturing footage – it’s about creating amazing final pieces. Everything that we do in pre-pro and on the shoot is geared toward capturing great material that leads to delivering final edited work. Our editors are on set 50 percent of the time, as it is important that the whole team gets the vision and translates it from capture to edit. Similar to how our camera operators and techs click with photographers, the same is true with an editor.
PDN: What is your advice for photographers who are interested in creating high-end video pieces and how can Industrial Color help?
1. Start now. There is no doubt that video is here to stay and it’s growing fast.
2. Connect and work with talented resources. Video requires a bigger team, more equipment, different lighting and a wider range of experts, and there is much more post to think about and manage on the editing side vs. still. Clients will expect that as a photographer/director you can seamlessly direct and deliver great video work.
3. Build a great reel. It is important to test, experiment and create a reel to develop your skills, build a team and define your style.
PDN: Are there any misconceptions about creating video pieces?
SK: Most photographers initially feel obligated to hold and operate the camera. Which is also one of the reasons that they may initially feel that the RED is too cumbersome. Although running the camera is perfectly fine for the photographer to do, this is really where we come in to help. Photographers should think of themselves as directors and focus on the creative, giving direction and leading the team.
Many clients think (and hope) that one camera will do everything (great video and great still shots at the same time). With today’s technology we are getting close to technically being able to do so but trying to both at the same time usually means that something suffers. For example, it is hard to get an advertising- level beauty image with a 12MP sensor from a video camera to look like a 65MP medium-format still camera shot with strobe. Also the art of still capture and the relationship with the model is different from directing video movement that tells a story through action. We look at this revolution not as the opportunity to get stills from a motion camera as much as providing a means to create meaningful, high-quality video content during still shoots. This is what has been missing and what’s in high demand.