I’m a sucker for a good travelogue. Anthony Bourdain is one of my favorite shows. As a result, show me some awesome footage of a “land far away” and I will most likely watch it.
While doing my “due diligence” on vimeo.com today, I came across such a film. Short but sweet, and very beautiful.
Filmmaker Ed Burnett has submitted a write up on the shoot, and “what’s in his bag.” Enjoy.
Thanks for the opportunity to talk about this video. India is simply an image-rich environment, which by it’s very nature, forces you to become involved with it’s people from the moment you step off the plane. In India, there is no such thing as privacy, or personal space. This can quickly become extremely stressful and overwhelming for westerners. The wonderful part about this is, as a videographer or photographer, you don’t have go searching for opportunities to capture interesting people. They come to you.
I travel ultra-light, with only a small backpack, so my gear was minimal. For a one-month adventure in India, I had a change of clothes, a pair of sandals, an iPhone, a 5d Mark II, two lenses, and a handful of CF cards. I feel a lightweight approach allows me to focus on being creative and immersing myself in the local culture, without the burdens, comforts, and petty concerns of western society dragging me down. Besides, I’d rather be out capturing images right away, then sitting in the Delhi airport for 4 hours, waiting for my checked luggage to appear.
As a self-admitted gear freak, when traveling this light, you have to make some tough decisions on what lenses to bring. I picked the 24-105mm 4.0L — while not my favorite lens, it’s versatility in the most commonly-used focal lengths is great for traveling. The image stabilizer is also a must when you’re doing 90% of your shooting without the benefit of a tripod. With the sort of work I do, I simply require the ability to jump into a rickety old boat, climb a mountain, or walk into a jungle at any moment without carrying a bunch of gear that needs to be deployed before use. I would have never captured that fleeting moment of the girl reaching out and touching the cow in the surf if I was thinking about the most ideal lens, or setting up a tripod. The 50mm 1.4 also comes along because, well, it’s the 50mm. Last but not least, is the adjustable Fader ND filter, by Light Craft Workshop. Singh-Ray also makes one of these. The ability to reduce the amount of light entering your lens on the fly is absolutely essential to achieving creative exposures when shooting in brightly-lit environments.
Post production is nothing too fancy. My workflow consists of first converting all of the 5d’s H.264 rushes to Apple ProRes 422 for all editing and intermediate work. Most of the shots in this video were then conformed down from 30fps to 24fps in Cinema Tools, which provides that slightly overcranked, dreamy effect. I personally don’t enjoy video that looks unnaturally colour-graded, so all of what you’re seeing is exactly how it was shot, with the exception of some curve adjustments in two or three shots. The simple end title was thrown together in After Effects, all editing accomplished in Final Cut Pro, and then compressed back into H.264 for Vimeo consumption.
All in all, I came home with about 200 gigabytes of digital footage. As time allows, I may put together a few more videos based on other parts of India, so keep an eye on my Vimeo profile if you’re interested in seeing more. And of course, I’m always looking for the next opportunity to work with film and video, and experience something new.
Ed Burnett on Vimeo – Phoric on Vimeo
Ed Burnett’s Website – Phoric