My friend and business liaison with UK Health Jackie Hamilton sent me this link about the Celebrate Kentucky Installation. UK student’s wanted to know, “Who does change all of those images in the Celebrate Kentucky Installation at the UK Albert B. Chandler hospital?” This great Youtube video produced by University of Kentucky News gives an idea of the enormity of this undertaking – and the size of the monster created that Jackie now has to maintain for years to come. With the first day of Spring approaching this week it seems Jackie will once again be spending a couple of days in the atrium switching out the art!
For the past five-years of my life I have been working on a freelance job as Creative Director for the Celebrate Kentucky Installation as part of the Uniquely Kentucky art project at the new Albert Chandler Hospital on the campus of the University of Kentucky in downtown Lexington. The project, which consists of a wall of video monitors and backlit frames more than 90 feet long and nine feet tall, has been installed for 15 months now. The images, which represent more than 50 visual artists work from across the Commonwealth and beyond, are seasonal and change every three months before the year rotations starts all over. We have made it thru one complete rotation and are several months in to the second rotation of this set of images. If you find yourself in Lexington, be sure to stop in and visit the hospital. The atrium is nothing short of a museum with all of its art and music on display. The organization that paid for all of this, the UK Arts in Heath Care, wanted to provide patients of this hospital a way to get to understand the various art installations in the building and hired a firm to produce mini-docs about the project. These stories are available on the in-house TV circuit in every room in the hospital. The first video below is an overview of the project and the second one is specifically on Celebrate Kentucky.
What did I learn on this project – holy cow, what did I NOT learn. Installations are tricky animals but I had more fun working on this than almost any other project I have found myself in. I have to give two huge shout-outs to those who made this possible. I was merely the captain of the ship – everyone else really worked their butts off. First I want to recognize my colleague and partner in this project, Jonathan Noffke of Solid Light, Inc. He, and his company made this thing work. Secondly, the photographers of this state. Without you and knowing your talents I would never had taken on this project.
At the end of the six-week long arts camp in Interlochen, Mich., the high school music students and the dance program combine for a concert in the Interlochen Bowl to say their final farewell to camp by performing Les Préludes, but as the composition implies, this really is just the beginning of the rest of their life as artists. The concert is comprised of two performances. My job was to combine all of the emotion and the meaning of the concert into one succinct four-minute story. I made use of 9 cameras (some remotes) and 5 other videographers to collect the material needed from the live concert, performed in front of over 2,500 people. The summer is now complete …. or is it just beginning? Hmmmm.
How does that phrase go? Good things come to those who wait? As I woke pre-dawn on my last day in Michigan I looked out the cabin door to see the perfect sunrise – the one I have been trying to get all summer long! Sometimes I just have rotten luck. With all the gear packed there was no chance to get a time-lapse of this one but ahhh, the trusty iphone is nearby. So long Interlochen – until we meet again.
At the end of the day there is you – and the character you decided to build your story around. My job was to tell a story about what it is like to be a member of the World Youth Symphony Orchestra – or as Interlochens call it, “WYSO”. I noticed Angelique on my first Sunday way back in June when I covered the first WYSO concert in Kresge Hall. She was enjoying every minute of her performance – I decided to follow her for the next few weeks and see what would develop. I truly want to thank Angelique for allowing me in on her life and for the graciousness of WYSO conductor and AMAZING educator Jung-Ho Pak for giving me all of the access I asked for. And to the WYSO orchestra members – you folks are amazing. Enjoy my latest production!
I have learned that a video production about an event or a production about a person is a simple formula. Introduce the character, present a conflict and show a resolve. But making a marketing video about a performance and the rehearsal time that lead up to it is a different story. The journalist part of me says, this is easy, pick one student and show their story. The marketing bosses say, hey – lets show the entire process – everyone involved. This project might be a happy medium. I shot the story for 17 days, not every day but I hit the highlights in and out thru my other 6 projects this summer. I hope I found interesting characters (Thanks Sacha – who always steers me in the right direction) and I hope I made an interesting edit. Please enjoy my latest version from Interlochen – Where Art Lives. And by the way, I have to give a shout out to dance instructor Nicola Conraths-Lange, composer Steve Larson and the 7 dancers who went out of their way to allow me to get in their way for three weeks. Thanks for all of your kind assistance.
One of the great things about getting above the Mason-Dixon line – and I mean significantly above – is that you can see stars again, especially during the summer months. Enjoy as the Milky Way passes overhead right outside my cabin. I am not sure where this may go in any production this summer but at least I have it. I shot the star trace with a 5D at 800 ISO, 30 second exposure per shot at 2.8 with a 24 mm lens. I composited the 450 images using After Effects – the images were all shot in RAW and color corrected in adobe raw.
Remember all of those lazy Saturday afternoons when you would happen to catch part of Prairie Home Companion on your NPR station. Remember how laid back the show feels and how easy it all seems to happen? Last week I had the chance to document two performers on the stage of Prairie Home as it was recorded live …. and it should come as no surprise that the easiness the show purveys happens due to the HOURS of practice before they go live. How great it would be to “go behind the scenes” and spend a few weeks with this group. It really would come off as a very special story – but I got just a little over 24 hours to put this piece together. A special thanks to Theo and Sage – consumate professionals! And to the FOH folks with PHC. Thanks for sharing the sound pit with me. And Justin Philalack – without you on third camera my side-shots would have really sucked!
This image shows how I set my two-cameras up for the live performance/ I used a 7D with a 70-200 on the left and then a Mark IV with a 400 2.8 and a 1.4 extender to get the tight shots. I operated both cameras at the same time – which made it tough but it worked. I am perched on a wooden platform so my biggest enemy was camera shake every time I tried to change any position.
At one time, long-long ago, we thought we were going to get to shoot video with a camera, just like an old film camera – ya know, like a FM2. We could be mobile! Nimble enough to fit in the tiniest of spaces. Unobtrusive enough to not even disturb the “fly on the wall” – well, underneath this pile of stuff is that dream – my sweet little 5D, where are you my love? My current “rig” in action this morning on the rehearsal stage with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra. I apologized to the conductor, Jung-Ho Pak, in advance just in-case I knock over a music stand sneaking around with my “stealthy rig”. He promised if I do, it will be the highlight of his day – or at least the funniest moment of his day. Glad to say, I made it through with no incident.
I am using the Zacuto eye piece, a Sennheiser ME64 shotgun connected to a Mix-PreD sound mixer. The conductor is wearing a Lectrosonic wireless lavalier and my receiver is connected to the Mix-PreD as well. Lav on the right channel and shotgun on the left.
So, last week I was given the assignment to cover the “Collage” concert here at Interlochen. “Collage” is a live performance of 19 different music, dance and art performances all crammed into a 60-minute window of time. My job, showcase everything that happens in this performance, including the activity around the auditorium (called “Pre-Collage”) in a nice tight 5-minute package. Well, I did in about 8 minutes but hey, the extra three are worth the watch. I made use of 6 Hero cameras on stage, one 18-foot Kessler Crane shot by my colleague Greg Johnson and then my other colleague Justin Philalack and I shot in various backstage locations during dress rehearsal and FOH (front-of-house) locations during the concert. Roughly that translates into 6 different camera positions including my static FOH Mark IV with a 400 2.8 and a 1.4 teleconverter. Audio was captured on all cameras as a scratch track and Interlochen Public Radio provided me with a raw feed and I created the final audio master in FCP. I recorded the entire clearcom (stage crew chatter) during the concert and used that audio narrative to help drive transitions between performances. In “Pre-Collage” I used a Merlin Stedicam, Justin shot on sticks and the Kessler was also out there in the mall.
So, you might wonder, how much material did we have when all was said and done? When I apple-I the folder (after transcode to prores422 LT) is says 592.44 GB. I say, “Too much!” But in the end I am happy with what we did here. I think it provides a glimpse of a lot of effort by all of the students involved and reveals a little bit of the magic curtain of all of the behind the scenes activity to put on such a show.
I hope you enjoy.