Definition March 2023 - Web


the crew can’t control. “Outside the main sit-down interview we would only ever use available light – which can make things quite awkward and unpredictable,” he says. “With two or more people moving around any space, it’s inevitable that at least one person will end up in either a dimly lit or very bright area. This would mean that, in addition to focus and framing, I’d also have to constantly adjust the iris or variable ND during these very long conversations.” The observational sequences were predominantly shot on prime lenses. As Stingemore describes: “These could be challenging, too, given the erratic nature of what we were filming. But I often prefer using primes to zooms, as in some ways it’s one less thing to think about.” He says that using a 35mm on the full- frame Sony FX9 worked best, as it allowed him to get close to the action and still get a nice two shot, but it wasn’t so wide that he couldn’t move in to get decent singles when necessary. “We would generally start recording and not cut for well over an hour, often until the card or battery needed changing,” Stingemore asserts. “This makes it all the more important that the balance and ergonomics of the camera are spot on, and you’re not carrying around anything unnecessary. Also, as we typically had no specialist camera assistant and sometimes little idea where the sequence would end up, it could be quite hard to find a balance between packing light and getting everything we needed.” BUYING THE KIT Once Stingemore decided on what kit he needed, he went back to where he’s been going for as long as he can remember. “I’ve been buying kit from Aaron George at CVP for years, and have always found his

STAR-STUDDED Six famous guests featured, including Katherine Ryan, all interviewed in typically candid style by Theroux

Lately, the fast-paced nature of the industry means opportunities come and go quickly, so Stingemore finds himself needing to get hold of specific items, both large and small, at very short notice. “CVP holds an enormous amount of stock – and the website is brilliantly maintained, saving my skin more than once,” he adds.

sales support team to be incredibly easy to deal with,” he says. “I really should stop buying so much kit!” Stingemore shot the Ryan episode on his Sony FX9 and Sigma FF Primes. He has a five-lens set (24/35/50/85/135mm), but spent the majority of time on the 35 and 50mm. “Having the variable ND function on the FX9 really came in handy, as it allows you to seamlessly add or take away five stops of ND with the turn of a dial. This was useful when following Louis from outside to inside, room to room, especially if we were unable to control the lighting on location.” Also among Stingemore’s arsenal was an Arri LMB matte box, often with a circular polariser, plus a Teradek Bolt 500 sending video wirelessly to the director’s SmallHD monitor. In stark contrast to the elaborate master-interview set-ups with five cameras and a lighting truck outside, he explains: “The idea for the observational sequences was to be as light on our feet as possible, so we tried to keep kit to a minimum.” Occasionally, during the more chaotic moments, series director Tom Barrow would film B roll or cross shoot with his Canon EOS C300 Mark III. But for the most part, the team covered everything with a single camera. “I enjoy this style of shooting on the whole. It adds a feeling of spontaneity to the footage, and makes the viewer feel like they’re right there in the room,” Stingemore adds. “I enjoy this style of shooting – it adds a feeling of spontaneity to the footage”

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ON THE FLY While the sit-down interviews were rigorously planned, Stingemore needed to run and gun on other days


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