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“We stripped back any set build and unnecessary budget and put all our effort into showcasing the light, making that the star of the show”
JOE RANSOM IS a director and cinematographer at Large Format Films who spent many years on the other side of the camera. Having been to drama school, he worked as a professional actor for several years, before deciding he should direct the action instead. “I always wanted to direct, but I thought it might be quite hard to convince anybody to pay me to do that with no real experience, so I learnt how to shoot instead,” he says. “I’ve been fortunate over the last few years to pick up more directing gigs, and feel now as though my experience to get me to this point has been integral to my journey.” Now a highly successful director and cinematographer, Ransom makes eye- catching promo films for some of the industry’s biggest players. WORKING IN SPACE Following the success of the Litepanels Gemini 1x1 Hard launch film, which he directed, Ransom was asked to pitch an idea for the new Gemini 2x1 Hard. The plan was to approach the film differently to the last one, as the product was meant to appeal more to the professional film world, as opposed to the consumer directly. After winning the pitch, Ransom, co- director Arthur Lewin (Ecstasy of Gold) and the team went to Cardington Studios, an old airship hanger measuring 180ft
floor to ceiling. “We wanted a big space to showcase the personality of the light,” he says. “But in an area so vast, everything comes at a cost, and nothing is quick.” The team chose the Sony Venice with Cooke S7/is, because “the low-light sensitivity of the Venice was key” to making the commercial. “It was the right way to go,” Ransom adds. “The full-frame look is something that I really like and have gotten used to over the last few years, while shooting on our Mini LF. I was always going to shoot large format, so if not the Mini LF, then the Venice was the obvious choice.” Ransom said he had to dig deep for this project. After all, how do you make something that looks like a movie without a movie budget? “We wanted to play like the big players do, but to make it achievable for us – and our budget – we had to box clever,” Ransom says. “We stripped back any set build or unnecessary budget spends and put all our effort into showcasing the light, choosing to make that the star of the show.” That sounds a lot easier than it is, because, as Ransom says, “high-end filmmaking and big budgets usually come hand in hand”. Ransom and his team decided to side- step the traditional use of an LED panel on a big film set, because “it’s all been done”. They wanted to think outside the box
SILKY SKILLS The film features aerial silk artists performing while suspended in enormous beams of hard light. The studio in which the shoot took place measures a gut-wrenching 180ft from floor to ceiling
69. DECEMBER 2022
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