This project was an absolute blast to work on - from concept all the way through post.
It’s always a fun challenge when a client (Salt Conference) wants to create something aimed at creatives. In some ways it makes the concept easier to approach, but in other ways it takes a bit more soul-searching.
It came at a bit of a moment of feeling burned out creatively. I was exhausted and overwhelmed… And when thinking through what to do for this video, I kept hitting a wall. That moment led me to the idea that I probably wasn’t the only creative feeling this way currently. And that perhaps this wasn’t a new feeling at all. I remembered the story of the Ezekiel and the Valley of Dry Bones - and the “script” started taking shape shortly after.
Below is the finished piece as well as a quick peek into the making of…
Behind the Scenes
Photos by Jason Jahnke and Jacqueline Day
We shot on Arri Alexa Mini with Master Anamorphics.
The camera was operated by Sam Willey - by far the best Movi operator I’ve ever worked with. And a beast of a jib op as well.
Lighting in the large room (where Parker was laying lifeless) was a M40 punching through outside window, Skypanel bouncing off the white ceiling), Skypanel filling from shadow side, and a Astera tube bouncing off wall for a bit of fill. Someone also brought some sort of off-brand Chinese lazer which we had some fun with as well ;)
The blackout backdrop scenes were lit with a single Astera tube right above talent. We created a small black corner in the room using black 12x12’ solids.
The projection scenes was a combo of 2 projectors 90 degree angle from each other. One was 10k lumens and 20k lumens.
Low ground fog was lit by 2 Astera tubes on the ground hidden in the “clouds.”
You can see a bit more of all the production action and context in this BTS video shot by Cory Reynolds:
In the edit, I wanted things to feel visually rich and full of textures.
I utilized my 16mm Film Grain assets quite a bit which added some really nice grit and took off the digital edge. I also used Details Vol 1 and TXT Animator throughout the piece.
The thing that really sold this piece for me was the process of processing the edit through analogue gear and circuit benders. (You can learn more about the gear I used for this film in my Masterclass for Tour Visuals + Textures HERE!) But this is something I’m so excited to play with in more edits in the future.
I’ll also note that sound design also played a huge role in this piece. This was a project where I knew deep down that the edit was good, but nothing was feeling right AT ALL until I started adding layered SFX. I found some usable stuff after some digging for a bit on audiojungle.net. But the process definitely inspired me to start collaborating with some amazing audio guys on a new SFX pack (coming soon). I’m excited about what this will do for my projects and hopefully other filmmakers in the future.
Ridiculously grateful for an amazing crew and a lot of volunteers who came out to make this project such a fun experience. See the full crew list below!
Commissioned by Salt Conference - saltcommunity.com
Director / DP / Editor - Ezra Cohen
Executive Producer - Luke McElroy
Production Company / Location - Gear 7
Producer / Gaffer - Kirk Slawek
Key Grip - John Spencer
Steadicam / Jib - Sam Willey
AC - Diego Cacho
Grips - Montez Mickles, Colby Crosby, Jason Jahnke, Jonathan Swinney
Additional Projection Visuals - Jonathan Swinney
BTS Photography - Jacqueline Day, Jason Jahnke
BTS Video - Cory Reynolds
Featuring Parker Forbes
Music - "Firelight/Shadow Camp" by Matt Fax via Musicbed.com
Thanks to all who have watched or liked or shared! Please let me know if you have any questions I can help answer at all!