Steff & Jypsy + HoliNYC, Director
Who: Steff Reed is a Grammy Nominated Musician. Jypsy Jeyfree the polymath storyteller, represents the harmony between a renaissance woman , bohemian spirit , freedom fighter and walking ART. Steff & Jypsy’s audience connect with empowerment and spreading cultural awareness.
What: We want to highlight where Steff and Jypsy’s music themes and holifest themes intersect: Power of Love, Hope, Activism, community
How: A short film that is:
• Introducing the artists, their inspiration and purpose.
• Highlighting shared values of the musicians songs and holifestival
• A fly on the wall, sizzle reel capturing key moments of the main songs.
• TECHNICAL: Inspired by the stylistic action scenes in gladiator, I shot this high energy performance with a 90 degree shutter angle. This reduced the amount of motion blur which made the action look edgier and picked up fine details like the specks of holi powder dust. I used a wide angle pancake lens with an anamorphic adapter to give it a super wide cinematic view. Shot in 2k to allow re-cropping and stabilization real estate in post.
• This event was captured on very different cameras. A cinema camera, DSLR’s and Drone. In post, I faked the dynamic color range of the dslr’s to match the cinema camera using Davinci Resolves color scope features. I unsharpened the overly sharp drone footage to match camera footage. I used Davinci Resolves powerful auto color and white balance feature as a starting point to color correct the footage as my portable color checker would not be practical during the constantly changing lighting during sunset.
FUNFACT: I made a custom transparent protective cover for my camera by heatsealing two freezer ziploc bags together. While I was covered head to toe in holi powder, the camera remained clean.
Before the musicians got on stage, my producer organized a window of time to capture each musician. I directed the musicians to air play their instruments to visually connect what they do. This resulted in a fun visual intro plus additional video and imagery for each band member to share on their own channels.
FUN FACT: The introduction of each band member is audio repurposed from the end of the actual performance. I worked with my sound guy and the sound board technician of the concert to capture concert audio onto an external mini sound recorder.
I want to be a light
SPECIAL EFFECTS: I wanted to subtly magnify each musicians performance when appropriate for dramatic effect. In this scene there was a part in the song where there were no lyrics spoken. I saw this as an opportunity to speed ramp the bass guitarists performance, resulting in a dynamic visual.
Power of love
FINALE: To capture Steff Reeds crowd interaction I shot matched different angles from all the cameras to emphasize the moment when the audience runs towards him. Inspired by asian action movies, each cut slightly overlaps to give emphasis and allow time for the moment to sink in for the viewer.
CREATIVE DIRECTION: I wanted to capture the concert from the musicians point of view. I shot it with a fly on the wall approach and danced around with the camera as the action unfolded. I directed the second camera operators to capture content the same way and gave them a key shot list to maximize footage angles and avoid duplicative shots.
• FORMAT: The outline for each highlight was to capture an important line of the song with synced footage and then populate the rest with detail shots and cutaways to make it dynamic.
Wordspit the illest
WordSpit is a rapper. His performance involves a lot of crowd interaction and participation. I wanted to convey this by showing his point of view during the performance, close up of the crowd, and then a birds eye view drone shot (0:54) of the crowd in slow motion to tell the story.
Logistics: Safety is my number one concern when using a drone. I flew the drone from behind the stage, so it did not fly over anyones heads. I used a mavic pro because it shoots 4k, fits in a backpack and has a solid fly duration with emergency landing features built in.
Results: Steff and Jypsy are delighted with the highlight reel. They are currently having conversations with a brand to release it as exclusive content.
A group shot of the production team. From Left to right, Mike (sound supervisor), me (Director, camera man, editor), Kay (Producer, Second camera), Steff (Musician), Zenzali (Second camera) Vilma (Second camera) Jypsy (Musician).