Earlier in the day, as written about in my earlier PGS DVD Production: Day One (Part 1) post, we shot the driving content for the Innovatronix commercial spot. Now, we were finishing up shooting Dalia in front of the... whatever it was.
I never did figure out if that silver metallic hulk was the scrapped fuselage of some sort of experimental aircraft or if it was the aerodynamically-shaped remains of a land-based, high-speed vehicle: An early racing machine that adventurous adrenaline junkies drove while attempting to break various land-speed records at places like Bonneville and El Mirage. I
The photo-shoot content demonstrated various lighting techniques as well as the not-always-predictable soft-science of model-wrangling.
For this portion of the program, we started out using available light, i.e., with reflectors and scrims helping out, then moved on to a one-light, trump-the-ambient, set-up, and ended by adding a ring light into the mix. The image of Dalia on the left is one Rick snapped with the soft-box-modified main light, an on-axis ring light adding fill, and the Tronix ExplorerXT delivering the juice. Rick was shooting with his Canon 40D and a Tamron 28-75 AF zoom, ISO 100, f/16 @ 160th. I post-processed Rick's image for this update.
Nice shot, Rick!
Needing some time out of the sun, we also shot a lively, revealing, and often humorous interview with Dalia under the protective shade of the canopy. (Note: Although the canopy did an awesome job of blocking the dread, UV rays, it was still well over a hundred in the shade.)
The snap on the right shows an over-heated and already wearied me, interviewing Dalia, with a still-fresh-looking Lewis holding a fill reflector and Patrick, in the BG, grabbing some hand-held BTS content.
Lewis, besides being my good friend and my partner in the DVD, will be heading up marketing and sales for the PGS DVD. Lewis is a former VP of Marketing and Promotions for LFP/Hustler and currently works as the National Sales Manager for a video distribution company. If Lewis can't market and sell this product, I don't know who can.
At this point, it was getting late in the afternoon and it was time to go back out onto the dry lake bed to finish shooting content for the Innovatronix ExplorerXT spot as well as some other stuff. We left Lewis at our base camp--he volunteered to begin packing things up--as the rest of us headed out in two vehicles.
It was still hotter than hell. And now the wind was really picking up. I picked a spot out on the middle of the dry lake and started shooting short clips for a montage that would show how easy it is to set up studio-like lighting in a remote location when you have a product like the ExplorerXT providing power for the strobes.
Unfortunately, the wind wasn't being helpful. It was now gusting to 30 or 40 knots and it felt like it was shooting out of a blast furnace! It became nearly impossible to keep a stand, light, and softbox upright without someone holding onto it. And having someone holding onto the grip and lighting didn't work for the commercial spot. I mean, it wouldn't make sense that an assistant magically appeared in the middle of nowhere? So, I had to find camera angles where either Dalia or Rick (playing the on-camera photographer) somehow blocked the arm of Patrick who was stretching and reaching, trying his best to keep out of my frame, while holding onto the gear, keeping it from blowing over.
Eventually, I got the shots I needed for the commercial spot, including the packing-away-of-the-gear montage clips, as well as the driving-off-into-the-sunset shots. It wasn't quite sunset yet but maybe I can work some effects-magic in post... or not.
We now decided to shoot some pretty girl stuff with Dalia who, by this time, had decided to deal with the heat by stripping down to nothing. Gotta love models like Dalia! (She was clothed, of course, for all the commercial spot footage.)
There was no way we were going to attempt shooting with lighting gear. If anything, the wind was getting stronger. So, natural light it would be... not that there's anything wrong with natural light as long as it's good natural light which, by this time of day, it was.
Rick wanted to shoot some pics with a big piece of blue chiffon that Dalia, in her birthday suit, could hold and let fly in the breeze. Potentially cool stuff. Certainly, the wind was helping out for making shots like these. I decided to sit in the shade of my 4Runner, watch Rick and Dalia work, and chillax a bit. It was then that I noticed, in the distance, the gleam and dust-cloud of another vehicle quickly approaching...
TO BE CONTINUED
(Soon, I promise.)