Dove in Miami – Dual Sony F3

in Miami … this is suggestive advertising

In July director E.J. McLeavey-Fisher  and producer Veronica Balta called me shoot the first leg of the Dove/MTV “Fresh Spin” campaign.  The series follows three female DJ’s from around the US and the first part of the shoot was in Miami, FL with DJ Jessica Who.

I would categorize this shoot as a  Documentary / Web + TV / Commercial.  I need to come up with a clever term that combines all of those things because this format/style of shooting is becoming very common.  While some of the situations allow for some basic lighting and setups, the majority of it is happening in real time and you need to be prepared to cover the scene with what you have.

It turns out that DJ’s in Miami basically start work at midnight and go to bed at 10AM … every day.  So for 5 days we were on some of the craziest hours I’ve kept since college.  Luckily the music was good and just being around hundreds of crazy Miami patrons helps you forget it’s 3AM.

our F3s in handheld mode

Jessica interview setup

Both E.J. and I have been shooting a lot with the Sony F3 and we decided that it would be a perfect camera for this Dove campaign. The built in ND filters, higher bit rate codec, ergonomics, HD-SDI out, SXS, long record times, etc. make it a really solid alternative to the Canon HDSLRs and even the RED/Alexa.

Above you can see our rigs for the handheld clean and handheld with a battery powered ringlight. I prefer the Litepanel mini LED ringlight over most standard on-camera lights. If you keep the light dimmed down, it reads as a subtle front fill/eyelight and it doesn’t infect the background. We used these rigs in a lot of dark/club scenarios and it worked well for grabbing b-roll and spontaneous interviews that needed a quick/mobile key light.

our F3s for the interview

EJ and the F3 + 135 Zeiss UP

For the sit down and slower paced portions of the shoot we dropped all of the handheld gear and went into tripod studio mode. The main interviews and a lot of longer lens b-roll was shot in this style.  The built in ND filters eliminated a whole bag that I’d normally have to carry around with me.  I generally left a rotating polarizer in the mattebox though.

By the end of the shoot we decided that for b-roll shoots without the talent we would just strip the camera down to it’s lightest form to save our backs and to make the camera’s less conspicuous.

F3 basic mode

I was very happy with the Sony F3′s performance and I got to really push the sensor/codec in some extreme bright/contrast and low light scenes. I actually just finished color timing the Miami footage on a DaVinci 2k and even when shooting 4:2:0 to the SXS cards there is a comfortable amount of room to adjust the highlights and blacks.

You can see the online DJ Jessica Who spot @ (watch in FULLSCREEN for HD) or watch it at my site. View Dove “Fresh Spin” – DJ Jessica Who @”