Highlights from a recent project:
"Home" - Atlas Premier Realty
by Omeed Nabavi
First off, welcome to the blog! This idea has been stewing around for a while, so when building the latest version of our site we decided to finally implement it. Expect to see posts here semi-regularly from each member of Stereoscope on topics ranging from our experiences working on projects both on and off set to our opinions on the trends we see in the local and global film industries. We're very new to this stuff (like, all of it), so our views are just that- OURS. Feel free to comment/join the discussion should you have something to add! With that said, let's roll:
2018 has been a year of reinvention for our little production company. Since its inception three years ago, we've had a hell of a time figuring out the direction we wanted to grow in. Should we focus on the so-called "easy money" and create simple videos for local organizations/businesses (ie, talking heads) with little-to-no passion? Should we stick with our roots and continue to make silly low budget films for ourselves and perhaps a small YouTube following (Lingering Echoes, anyone?)? Is there a third option here?!
That last question is what we've been attempting to answer for some time, and finally one came to us: let's just film the projects we want to be paid for. It's basically a spin on "dress for the job you want," which sounds simple enough. That is until you're in the thick of running a side business while maintaining a full-time job and some semblance of a social life. The short of it was this: we needed to start making work that pushed ourselves creatively, fed our passion to create compelling work, looked great to our intended audience, and was engaging to watch. Only then could we start marketing ourselves to the types of clients, and more importantly the types of projects, we wanted to be hired to create. So we did just that, and produced a few proof-of-concept pieces that were designed to have that cinematic feel we've been missing.
that cinematic feel
It was around this time that we were approached to create a commercial by Atlas Premier Realty, which was the perfect opportunity for us to put our newfound theory into practice. Their team was itching for a video that was dramatically different from your average real estate video. They wanted something genuine that spoke to their clients on a personal level. They were also looking for something cinematic (often referring to Under Armour commercials in our pre-production meetings). Needless to say, we were pumped to get to work!
The result is truly one of my favorite projects Stereoscope has had the pleasure of producing to date:
Atlas Premier Realty | "HOME"
On the technical end, this project called for a new approach to filmmaking that we had only just begun to explore. Things such as the intentional use of light and motivated camera movement were priorities in my mind and a few new pieces of gear were acquired to help us achieve the image quality we were looking for. Enter our brand new lights (Aperture Lightstorm 300D), Easyrig, (which gave us freedom and mobility to frame shots up the way we liked quickly while adding a slight natural movement), and the Atomos Ninja Inferno (paired well with the Panasonic GH4 + GH5). Adding these to our toolbox allowed us to move quickly and efficiently, without sacrificing quality (except when it did).
The new approach proved to be extremely fruitful, but we learned a lot along the way- namely that the GH4 will not output 4K at 60fps, nor will your files be as robust for color grading if you don't set the Atomos to ProResHQ (for that sweet sweet 10-bit image). These lessons, along with a few other choice production-related issues we ran into for this project, have already greatly improved our current production process which I'm super excited for everyone to witness in the coming months!
All in all, this project is the first one that shows what Stereoscope has the potential to do professionally. It's powerful, emotional, and beautiful- and Atlas could not be more pleased with it. Just this past weekend they invited us to the grand opening celebration of their brand new office in Westminster. Over and over they introduced us to everyone as the team who made "HOME". It helped that the video was playing on loop on literally every monitor they had, but we couldn't help but smile and be proud of the work and the recognition we received. We're just getting started.
we're just getting started