I wonder if this is a thing of the digital aera or if it has always existed: The one-man-production company. In the old days it was probably as expensive to set up a 16mm cutting table at home as it is today to set up a decently equipped workstation.

Doing all the jobs myself is something I do from time to time besides working with or for other people or hiring crew. For this commercial for KatLash I did it all. I was gaffer, DP editor and grader. Only makup and hair was not my in my realm of responsibilities and that certainly is a good thing. My client hired the team herself so I didn’t have to worry about it.

There was not much wiggle room because the budget wasn’t that high but we had a nice little studio to shoot in so we kept the concept simple.

Most importantly I had to light Katarina properly so her beauty and the amazing job they did with makeup and hair would be translated onto the screen properly. I used four cheap soft boxes that I equipped with Kinoflo bulbs. The light is very good and clean but as I found out they flicker when you shoot high speed. I was able to fix that problem in post by applying the BCC anti flicker filter which just came out a year ago and is very, very useful.

I shot mostly in 60fps to produce slower movements which makes it look more elegant and also gives me longer useable clips. When we started using the fan I went up to 240fps but then noticed the flicker so I went down to 120fps. As I said I fixed it in post but there was no guarantee that it would work.

I made sure I had plenty of material since in a commercial the attitude that is displayed by the talent sells the product. I used Adobe Prelude to sort out the best clips and it took me almost a whole day to do that. All in all we needed 10 hours to shoot 4 looks.

I then transcoded into ProRes since I was considering grading in DaVinci but in the end my client didn’t want a grade at all. She liked the look that came out of the Sony FS700 so much that I only did some luma adjustments and that was it. The black and white is a preset in Magic Bullet Looks. So all together it was a three day job for one guy. Not bad.

Jan Becker Fashion Video Shoot

A fun atmosphere on set is key for good footage.

Fashion model filming

My typical iPhone shot of my rig.

Postproduction with Jan Becker

Selecting the right clips in Adobe Prelude