An important lesson I’m sure many film and videomakers have come to learn is that no matter how simple a shoot seems… It’s never really simple. I’d like to share my recent experience on a seemingly “simple” sketch comedy video I did for Ariana Seigel and Emma Tattenbaum-Fine, which is available to watch on Comediva. It seems simple because it’s one camera setup throughout, but in actuality, I was tasked with creating 9 different visual styles that told the story!
The sketch, Juicefast pokes fun at the increasingly popular juice fasting diets, which are said to cause a whole slew of negative feelings as your body is supposedly cleansed of its toxins. Ari and Emma take these side effects to the extreme with strange bodily growths and hallucinations.
The sketch was written as a video log, as if we’re following the daily progress of Ari’s juice fast through her computer’s webcam. Thus, going into the project, one of the first things we thought about is how to mimic the look of a webcam. I didn’t want to resort to cheap gimmicks, like changing colors or putting effects on the footage. Instead, I used things like camera angle and lens choice to help create the illusion.
I mounted my Nikon D800 on top a sandbag, propped on Ari’s dining table to achieve a low angle, similar to what you would get from a laptop camera. I didn’t want it to look perfect, so I used the sandbag to create a very slight imbalance, as if the camera was sort of thrown in place. I chose a 35mm lens to keep my focus from becoming too shallow, yet maintain a close up on Ari. To create the illusion of light from a computer screen, I used my Litepanel 1×1 Daylight Flood.
The final touch was adding a keyboard in frame. That really sold it and allowed her to interact with the editing since she could essentially click, “cut”…
Read the rest of From The Lens: 9 Visual Styles In One Shot, originally found on Scriptmag.