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Spotlight: The Garage | Norwich

Norwich arts venue, The Garage, tasked us to create a series of short, stylised performance films. These films were to promote the range of courses that The Garage has to offer. 

Our aim was to create a series of aspirational narratives; demonstrating how practice and passion can result in success.

The setup was a single spotlight, picking out the performer in a sea of darkness thereby representing the theatrical and performance world of the live arts.

Lighting 

To create our spotlight we used a Source Four Zoom 15º-30º. The Zoom enabled us to tailor the size and width of the beam for the subject in frame. We then used haze to accentuate the conical light beam. Additionally, the haze allowed us to recover contrast that would otherwise be lost in the shadows.

We used a light diffusion frame when moving from our wide shots to our close ups and details. This acted to soften the harshness of the shadows and give more of a flattering falloff.

To create such a bold and dramatic image, we created a custom black and white LUT. As a result, we could focus on the contrast levels, enabling us to get clean, and bright, highlights whilst maintaining the deepest blacks. 

We ended up exposing skin tones to roughly 750ire, a touch higher than usual. However, this enabled us to expand the contrast ratio to give us as much depth as possible.

From the example above you get a sense of how we were able to exploit the contrast between the subject and the background. Keeping the brightest parts of our images around 750ire ensured that our subject was always at the forefront of the video.

Movement

To compliment the fluidity and movement of the performers we wanted the camera to be constantly moving too. This gave an additional sense of grandeur to the action being performed, as well as making the camera feel as though it is a part of the routine not merely a spectator.

The movement was achieved with a dolly, to give us precise and considered motion, similar to that of our performers. The system had the ability to fully surround our talent. Therefore, the camera had the freedom to move with the performer, creating more immersive visually interesting shots.

The Project

It was great work on a project so close to home in Norwich, and help promote a genuinely important opportunity for young and marginalised people. The finished series of films were shown in a variety of locations around Norwich City. Ultimately they have helped The Garage to increase its uptake in their artistic courses.

 

The Garage: Turn Your Dreams Into Reality


 

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