Working in Shanghai has been a great experience. This will be the first TV spot for The Foundation For A Better Life in China, and it is all about recreating the already favorite “Concert” spot that we did in America 2 years ago.
We shot the original on 35mm film but this time we decided to shoot on both the RED ONE MX and the Canon 7D DSLR. The RED ONE MX being our main camera, with the Canon 7D taking on the shots that didn’t require us removing the RED ONE MX from the complicated underslung Ronford 7 / 3 Axis head with wireless remote focus, which would require some time each time we needed a shot that was off that rig, and since we had the international star pianist Lang Lang for only a short time we needed to move fast. Luckily Grant is a director who knows what he likes right away, so we didn’t need to do many takes. The cameras worked well together and it was great to have a smaller camera to get into tight places, set up quick shots, while leaving the RED ONE MX on the jib arm rig.
The spot will air on China’s television network, as well as an English version to air on CNN International, so we ended up deciding on shooting 25fps for both versions of the spot. Bringing American gaffer Dennis Peterson also helped us to work faster as he was also a part of the original production, and Dennis and I have worked together for several years and he is one of the best out there. This really helped as we had fairly large set-ups lighting the interior of the Shanghai Concert Hall with our own lights, as we decided this would give us more control than trying to use the concert hall’s dimmer board and lights. Michael McDermott of Gung Ho Films was instrumental in pulling this project together.