In March 2013, I got an excellent opportunity to shoot a behind-the-scenes video for Michael Cinquino's fashion editorial "Summer in SoHo" as a part of a submission to Tinsel Tokyo Magazine. The photoset and video got selected and published in the May 2013 issue.
The shooting day was a beautiful sunny day while spring was just around the corner. Shooting on the street in SoHo with an amazing team felt like living in a dream. That's it, a dream, that's what I wanted to capture in the video.
I decided to shoot with lens whacking. Real light leak and dreamy imagery from lens whacking are just the elements I would love have – a dazzling summer experience.
I used a Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 lens with an extension tube and a 52mm fader ND filter on the GH2. The Edelkrone Pocket Rig was a nice little tool for camera stabilization. Then it's all about control and coordinate my body and camera to create shots that I can only get from a detached lens.
I got lots of great shots in one afternoon and had to pick the best moments to tell a simple story. Well, there is no script, or challenge, or conflicts in this video, but I try to establish an opening and lead its way from indoor prep to outdoor shoot. Even for a simple behind-the-scenes video like this, I believe in a basic storyline which can make a lot of difference.
After having a rough cut I realized that I was not happy with the SoHo street views shot for the title and end credits. Then I actually went back to the same location with my camera a few days later and looked for additional shots. So next time keep in mind to get some useful B-roll on set.
Motion Titles & Color Correction
After the editing is done, motion titles and color correction come next. This stage makes things look nice and can take a long time. I wanted to have a film style look, something like a 8mm movie but with modern HD image quality.
An Opportunity for New Stuff
Shooting fashion behind the scenes is fun. Most of the time these projects allows me to play with new ideas, try a lens, a shooting technique, things I've never done before. Whatever I learned from a project will always benefit the next.
Director/DOP/Editor: Stanley Hsu
Photographer: Michael Cinquino
Model: Amy Row
Wardrobe Stylist: Angelina Scantlebury
MUA: Jennifer Kinford
Hair Stylist: Alyn Martin
Music: Lemongrass - "It's Easy (feat. Jane Maximova)"