Remember when you were a kid… when the circus came to town? Anytime I knew the circus was coming I’d be daydreaming about the clowns with the big shoes, the trapeze artists high in the air, the elephants and tigers and lions and bears, stomping and dancing and growling. Warm peanuts and cotton candy. The jugglers, acrobats, the ringmaster… and the guy who got shot out of the canon. Puts a smile on my face as I reminisce.
Well, we are all grown up now, and so is the circus. But, a number of weeks back, when I heard that we would be shooting with David Zaitz for a campaign that Cirque Du Soleil and L.A. Metro were collaborating on, I was immediately excited and brought back to that fondness for the circus, from my youth. I had never been to a Cirque Du Soleil show, so I was naturally captivated by what might be in store.
The shoot was a logistical challenge, as you might imagine, shooting on the train platforms at Union Station, Hollywood, and North Hollywood. We also did an interior train shot with numerous Cirque performers at the Gold Line yard. We had just four shots, two per day. We kept our gear as light as possible, as we were having to bring it in from street level, adhering to many of the safety and zoning laws enforced on the trains and in the stations. The lighting proved to be more challenging than we anticipated, so we basically just lit the talent and shot plates for the backgrounds. We had time restrictions to deal with also, and this posed further challenges with moving gear and talent from location to location.
The shoot was awesome, despite some of the obvious challenges. Having the Sprinter van was definitely advantageous for our tight schedule and busy load-in/out locations. Really, I think the hardest part was pulling power on the Hollywood and Highland station. We ran 100 ft. stingers from different ends of the platform, and we still managed to blow a circuit somewhere. On-set, I kinda felt like a kid running around backstage at the circus, amongst all the performers in their costumes. It was cool to chat with them. They were awesome in helping us get some great shots! If you haven’t seen any of the ads yet, they should start popping up real soon!
Enjoy the behind the scenes shots.
And, definitely, go see Iris. It’s spectacular! I hardly missed the lions and tigers and bears.
Rosco’s Model 1700 Fog Machine Standard features include volume control and on/off sequential timers DMX interface for operation from a lighting control board and can be “Daisy Chained” with up to four units and operated from a single remote. This model will hold either 2.5 or 4 liter container of any variety of water based Rosco fog fluid. Maximum fluid consumption is 3 liters per hour. It draws 12 amps and weighs 22.5 lbs. Rent this unit for $50/day or $150/wk.
Earlier this summer, Quinn and I had the pleasure of working with Harper Smith who was shooting Kelly Clarkson for Sony Music and Entertainment Weekly. It was a challenging shoot, using a good amount of lighting equipment, in an outdoor location. The shot list was very aggressive, for a one-day location shoot, and if I remember correctly, I think the art director even scrubbed one or two of the shots because of our schedule and some of the logistical limitations imposed by the location. We had multiple set-ups with numerous looks and wardrobe changes, so we were all moving around pretty fast, with much urgency.
We arrived at the shoot in SYNC’s Standard Sprinter Package, a number of Profoto 7B battery packs, and light heads. Our modifiers included two large Elinchrome Octabanks, beauty dishes, silks, v-flats, and reflectors like Scrim-Jims. Since we had such an aggressive production schedule, we needed to set up our first two shots out of the gate, and then attempt to stay one set-up ahead of the photographer. Michael Crook was on-site, producing and 1st assistant to Harper, while Quinn and I handled the lighting and attempted to stay ahead of the game by one of us breaking off from the current set and starting to rough-in the lighting for the next set-up. We kept it basic, using natural light for our fill, when we could, and exposing our key lights evenly with subtle variances for shape and texture.
All-in-all, things went very well and we were as prepared as we could be for anything that the client, or Harper, threw at us. Because SYNC works closely with the photographer, producer, and assistants, we had all the practical grip available on the Sprinter, and the lighting was the right solution for the task at hand.
~Tim Olsen, SYNC Crew
Check out our new 60 amp Edison “Snack Box” with 3 – 20 amp duplexes.
It enables you to plug directly into our custom 54 amp Honda Crystal-Sync 7000 generator with up to 300 ft. of Bates 60 amp distro cable, bringing the full 54 amp capacity of the generator directly to your set, with minimal power loss. It sets up in a few minutes, gives you more power to work with and keep your location shoot quiet and organized.
25 & 50 ft. 60 Amp Bates extension cable. Studio pin extensions are made with single conductor entertainment cable and banded every two feet with heavy duty sealant.
Pelican 1510 Rolling Case ($15/day or $45/week). Fit’s our APC BN 1250LCD Battery Back-Up and power conditioner ($35/day or $140/week).
Tenba Transport Shipping Cases – For the 27″ iMac – Fitted with an over sized handle and wheels on one side. ($50/day or $150/week) For the 23″ Apple Cinema HD Display – Fitted with an over sized handle. ($35/day or $105/week)
SYNC was more than happy to jump a few hurdles with Margaret Malandruccolo, who got some awesome shots for the IAAF games. Here’s what Margaret had to say about the shoot:
I had the incredible experience photographing professional athletes for Toyota’s new ads sponsoring the IAAF games. I was completely in awe of the athletes’ physical abilities – hurdling or high jumping over 300 times to get the shot! Special thanks to Sync for their beyond-the-call-of-duty assistance in my rushed pre-production. I know with Sync that I’m always covered for my equipment needs, and anything else – if I need something unexpected or unplanned, they will make it happen and have it there when I need it, no matter where my location is.
Thanks TJ and Kaleena!
Recently Melissa Mahoney photographed Steven Tyler of Aerosmith for a new Andrew Charles clothing line, inspired by rockers. Sync was excited to participate with our gear rental, and both Scott Byrne and Spencer Amon were there to provide lighting and assisting services.
You can read some of the first press releases over at aeroforceone.com as well as seeing some of the cool images from the shoot!