Thursday, November 12, 2009

Video vs Still Photography

I took up an assignment shooting the interiors of a corporation. Was rather worried about the time I will need to carry out the assignment as there are lots of rooms and facilities (plus talents) to take photographs of.

My contact then informed me that we are to take stills at the same time as the video crew. I agreed, without any hesitation. I only thought of not having to use studio lights and that if the client can save money on talents, why not.

Why not indeed. What a nightmare.

My assistant and I were given worse than third class treatment. Come to think about it, the reason why they can be so loud is the number of people they have in their team. Let me recall. They have:

1 Director
2 Creative Directors
1 Director of Photography
1 Director of business something
1 Camera man
1 Camera man's assistance (wire puller)
1 cue card writer / displayer
1 heavy equipment carrier
1 clamshell carrier (the remote screen)
3 assistants (2 ladies and 1 guy)

The photograph shown (intentionally blurred) is of half their team!

Thank goodness my client came to my defence after I protested that I cannot get any good shots if they continue with their bullying. My assistant got lots of flaks although we are always making sure we are not in their way. I was contemplating packing up and let them have their fun. Oh, and guess what. They shot using available lightings. That is not the worse thing. Some shots of theirs took forever. What we could have done in 6 hours, we had to finish in more than 20 hours - most of the time waiting..waiting... Cannot wait to see their video.

Interestingly, I was reading a book on photography today, and the author who shoots lots of wedding photographs, encountered the same problem with some video crews.

The reason I post this - if any of you have an assignment where you have to work with a video crew, make absolutely certain that your client will be firm with the video guys in that they do not ride roughshod over everyone, including the client. Otherwise, you may want to decline taking up the job.

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