Today is both a monumental and nerve-wracking day. It’s the first day that I will shoot a video in the new studio.
Wednesday, September 14th, 2016
I’m filming the first of my “fake-torture” videos, so we’ll see how it turns out. By “fake-torture,” I’m setting up situations that only suggest torture, and that use fun and feature unconventional materials. I’m excited and, of course, nervous as I want this first video to go well. I had considered buying new video cameras, but decided against that. I already purchased four Canon G 12s (my favorite) and they film beautifully, so I should keep them and use them. I also promised myself that I wouldn’t lug unwieldy things on the subway, but here I go again…. This time it’s a large piece of white paperboard and a couple of tripods. We’ll see how white the board is, once I get it to the studio.
Just for a moment, I need to sing the praises of B&H Photo and video. Again, although I swore never to lug objects uptown, I have to make an exception for B&H. It is, without doubt, the best camera, video and computer store in the country, and I haven’t yet heard of a similar place in other parts of the world, but that may be due to ignorance. The staff is helpful AND knowledgeable and they have many to most items in stock. For instance, I used to purchase tripods from Radio Shack. That store is yet another casualty of the upheavals in the retail space, so this leaves B&H in New York to be one of THE places to actually look at and discuss the gear I might want to purchase. I can’t sing their praises highly enough. I’m taking the train up from B&H as I type.
So everything went quite smoothly for my first video shoot, except for the black lights that I bought, which were supposed to highlight some invisible ink on my back. But let’s backtrack a second. I did a good bit of preparatory work to make this first piece. I think I’ll call it personal branding. The main gist of the piece is that there is a naked Black Male back to the camera, somewhat slouched over on a white background. A white hand with what looks like a wooden brand presses an apparent stamp to the back and withdraws. After the back is left alone, for a while, the lighting scheme switches to a bluish light that is supposed to frame the figure and show the brand that has been applied to the back: a brand that is invisible in the light.
I used TaskRabbit to find a tasker and was assigned Joseph, a Chris Hemsworth-style man with brown hair. The shoot went well with the exception that the invisible ink stamp didn’t show up under the black light. So, as they say, I’m going to have to “fix it in post.” It’s fine, as I was planning on doing some digital enhancements on the piece, in any case.