by Tim Fok | 11th October 2016
Have you ever wondered: what does a Grip do? In truly timeless 90’s Docu fashion, Mark Vargo, ASC takes us on a journey explaining the role of the grip department, with insight to popular camera and light modifying tools they use day to day. With filmmaking becoming as accessible and self-sufficient due to today’s technology, many people are coming into the industry with a do-it-all-yourself attitude and have never, and maybe will never, come into contact with a traditionally structured professional film outfit. That means that when you check out the Behind the Scenes of your favourite Hollywood movies, you have no idea what that Craghopper clad, burley guy holding a piece of metal is doing. Believe it or not, you shouldn’t really have to keep an eye on your reflector leant up against a camera bag and light stand as you delicately try to poise the camera on a slider & double stacked tripod head. In a professional production, there is a whole department that deals with that for you. Mark Vargo’s video above does a good job highlighting the key roles of a grip, whilst going into a little detail regarding popular used tools, such as grades of gobos (light modifiers that “go between” the lights and the talent). Outside of Hollywood movies, Grips are widely used in the commercial industry, as well as high profile corporate, narrative and music videos. The smaller the jobs are, the more blurred set roles can become. Basically speaking, the Grip Department is responsible for camera and lighting support. The key word here is support, where they never usually touch a light fixture or piece of camera kit, just the supporting elements. Mark Vargo describes them as skilled technicians drawing experience from highly technical vocations. I couldn’t have put it better myself.Read more
by Tim Fok | 19th February 2016
OK Go has released a BTS showing great insight into how they achieved their ambitious single shot, zero gravity music video for Upside Down, & Inside Out. First thing’s first, if you haven’t already you must check out the video: To say there were a couple of challenges filming this would clearly be an understatement. It’s not quite as simple as choreographing some fun and games and enduring a zero gravity flight, if only if it were that simple. Check out the below behind-the-scenes for a fantastic insight in how they filmed the single shot music video; overcoming the restrictions of only 27 second zero gravity stints, all the planning involved, not to mention the nausea. In a nutshell, their 21 flights only enabled them with 27 second stints of zero gravity. it then took 4-5 minutes to gain enough momentum to generate another stint. The song was divided into 8 27-second segments which were performed in zero gravity, the 4-5 minute sections were then cut out and using morph blending were merged together. Unfortunately the song doesn’t quite divide into 27 second segments so easily, each verse and chorus is more accurately 21 seconds. To combat this, everything was shot and performed 28.5% slower, so that when sped back up in post it would match the 27 seconds they had per zero gravity stint. This also aid Directors Trish & Damian vision in creating movement that didn’t simply replicate the looked of slow motion. The slightly sped up tempo as well as fast actions gave the zero gravity a more unique feel. The below alternative BTS video surfaced around the same time as the official video release, it plays out all 8 takes of the grand finale, a scene production nicknamed Thunderdome OK Go can no doubt be considered pioneers of the conceptual music videos, from zero gravity music video to treadmill mounted dance routines to Busby Berkeley-esque choreographed wizardry, each video is guaranteed to pluck on the harp strings of unique-ness.Read more
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