© 2015 ellathompson


We shot the promo video on Monday.

I’m glad that I pushed for the 9am start, because we really did need that time to figure everything out and even to shoot it all.

I still don’t understand how it’ll all be put together to become one cohesive, relatively sensical promo video, but my trust is in the editor and director! Carl seems to have a vision for the final video, and Michael is confident that he’ll be able to weave everything together.


Things that worked well:

  • Gabby was ace, as usual.
  • The costume worked brilliantly. Carl brought along his Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas t-shirt, which Gabs wore underneath her Hawaiian shirt. I gave Gabs my mum’s safari-esque bucket hat that looks a lot like the one that Johnny Depp wears in Fear and Loathing, as well as my big, round, clear-framed sunglasses which were huge on her face. Her own glasses would have worked well too, because we would have been able to see more of her eyes, but it didn’t really matter which one we chose (both gave the same Fear and Loathing look/feel anyway). Gabby looked hilarious, it was great!
  • Fisheye lens looked fantastic – especially up close in Gabby’s face. <– All of us originally had a lot of trouble tracking down a fisheye lens. We forgot about it when we were listing equipment, and then scrambled to try to locate one when we remembered on the weekend. Carl and I tried to track one down from everyone we individually knew. Most of the people that I asked didn’t have one, and the only person who did was using it for a shoot. What I didn’t expect was for Carl to go and hire the lens! (I felt so bad that he’d gone and paid money so that we could use a fisheye! But I was also super grateful.)
  • Building 9 corridor location was great – the crazy, colourful lighting that the dark corridor already has worked a treat (especially when we added another couple of red-gelled Dedolights to mix it up even more with the location’s green lights).
  • Some of the camerawork (eventually) looked cool. It wasn’t done very well – focus, lighting, quality of movement – but we achieved the trippy effect that we were going for!

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 5.40.08 pmScreen Shot 2015-09-15 at 5.38.20 pm



  • It seemed like the 5D was automatically bumping the ISO right up whenever I hit record (only when recording), and none of us could figure out how to stop it from doing this. It was really frustrating and bizarre. So, a lot of the Gabby/corridor shots are unfortunately quite noisy.
  • Personally, I’ve got little experience/understanding/skilz with lighting, so I struggled with where to put lights. It was challenging to find a lighting situation that would both light the subject and set in the desired way, and allow me to shoot that subject/set from the desired angle while not obstructing the light.
  • Simultaneously focus pulling and diagonally tilting/rotating the camera for the corridor wide shot was really challenging and I didn’t manage to do a very good job of it. What probably made it harder: dark corridor = open up aperture wider = harder to keep subject sharp in a shallower depth of field (especially when Gabby is moving around so much in frame, and especially when she comes closer to the camera).
  • Camerawork wasn’t that great – not very good quality of movement (nor did I manage focus or exposure well). But, hey, I’m just starting out.


Good hustle by our vid team though. Best of luck to Michael with the edit!

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