The shoot

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At the Christmas day party of our neighbors, we met a house-sitting couple from North Carolina who happen to be professional videographers with decades of experience, who love stories. And we – particularly my wife, who got caught in the middle of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and who survived a perilous crossing of the Indian Ocean in monsoon season, detailed in her memoirs – have a few.

Charles and Linda came to visit and we set a date and time for a shoot for their One of a Million series. They arrived with what I thought was a lot of equipment, but they insist is just a fraction of it.

camera gear

They rearranged furniture, set up lights and background (I helped with background lighting, great fun!). Charles did most of the technical work, while Linda prepped Susan for their interaction, with her as off-screen and unheard interviewer.

in-home video session
Charles sets the camera’s white balance to 4100° Kelvin

What’s remarkable is that the end result feels as if it was one take, whereas the final 5-minute video is carefully edited from perhaps an hour of shooting (I lost track of time). They want it to feel like you’re chatting with someone over a cup of coffee.

in-home video session
Decades of experience, and it shows.

Then there was the acoustic environment. The neighbors’ music, playing since 8:30 AM, stopped. It was raining lightly, so there were no weed eaters or lawn mowers. There was almost no traffic on the street. The dogs didn’t bark once the entire time. And the completely obnoxious gas delivery truck with its piercing Führ Elise noise was nowhere to be heard.

As soon as the shooting stopped, the renters next door returned home from wherever. Shortly after, I heard the gas truck in the distance. 24 hours later – today – we would have had a very loud weed eater and lawn mower going next door. With the shotgun condenser mic, maybe background noise would not have mattered. But the lack of it was amazing and wonderful.

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