Re:Frame San Francisco: Workshop Session with Joe Simon - Shooting, Editing, and Color Grading
Our last speaker today was with Filmmaker Joe Simon. Joe's session covered the topic of shooting, editing, and color grading. For cinematographers this session hits closest to home as it's focused on the areas where the magic is created. Joe made it clear that creating a great wedding film is a collaboration between capturing great footage and creating a great edit - one without the other will just fall flat.
Joe founded his company, Joe Simon Wedding Films, back in 1999. Today, his productions often merge footage from high-definition cameras with film footage shot on super 8mm and 16mm film. Yes, the vintage film look is very much alive and well and is being considered by more and more brides as they go after a different look for their video. Joe's work has earned him 3 Telly Awards as well as a spot in top 25 on Event DV in 2008.
Joe took us through the most important aspects of planning, shooting, and editing an event. With pre-production, Joe provided insight on the steps he
takes to make sure his crew are on the same page with respect to the locations, angles, and type of shots he needs. The pre-planning stage also includes finding the right music that will fit the couples tastes as well as, and most importantly, the feel of the film. The right soundtrack is just as important as the right footage, which is why he doesn't leave this up to chance (or the couple).
For all of us gear lovers, Joe took us through the cameras, lenses, and other tools he uses to capture the look he wants for each of his films. Like all the speakers so far at Re:Frame, Joe was willing to share everything and anything about how he works. There are very few industries out there where speakers as well as attendees at a workshop of conference are willing to share how they do what they do. Most are just so afraid that if they give away their "secret" to success, they'll no longer be unique.
While covering gear, Joe got specific about the lenses he uses and when to use a specific focal length and/or aperture range. Like anything, he was quick to remind us that we should never overuse any one look, as the goal with film making is to capture and hold the attention of the audience. This is tough to do if things stay the same or the flow of the video is linear.
His session also included details on lighting, audio, pre-planning your timeline for same day edits, picking the right music, color grading your footage, and better yet - how to set your camera up to get the most dynamic range possible. HDSLR's capture very deep blacks and very bright whites, but adjusting the tonal range to smooth out the transition between the two makes it much easier to grade in post production. A great tip I had never heard before.
Joe wrapped up the sessions for day two and once again the speakers at Re:Frame continue to impress me. I have been to quite a few workshops and seminars and most are basically commercials for the speaker or brand they're representing. It's refreshing to have access to so much great talent who are willing to share anything you want to know. Can't wait for tomorrow.