Event films are always a challenge. You are at the mercy of people, the weather and all kinds of variables. In the end, you must come out of it with enough footage to tell the story and create an entertaining piece. Different events are more challenging than others. I’ve shot in rain, heat and billowing dust. Cars have always been a great subject to shoot. Whether they are moving or parked they tend to shine spectacularly in the right sun lite.
The McCormick’s Collectors Car Auction in Palm Springs is a popular bi-annual event for out of town folks and locals. Every auction is unique in what it has to offer. The owner, Keith McCormick tasked me with creating a unique piece that showed how exciting his auction was. From his point of view, there a lot of action going on under the tent, and past videographers just haven’t bene able to capture that in their videos. Other than that challenge, he gave me the freedom to interpret it in any way I wanted!
One unique technique I decided to incorporate into the video was time-lapse. I hadn’t experimented with it much before with my AF100. Exposure differences can be difficult with my manual lenses. Not having clouds in the sky can also make it difficult to see the passage of time. So I decided to use the desert’s blasting sunshine to my advantage, I setup several static shots at key locations to capture the crowds passing by the camera.
The next challenge was selecting the right music. Since this piece wasn’t going to involve any interviews, I needed a piece that told a story all on its own. Music can end up being the most difficult part of making any film. Lyrical pieces are difficult because the music selection must be spot on. Normally, we never notice that most music doesn’t tell a complete story. The vast majority of music for video are either compositions for films, (which are tiny slices of a larger piece) or are just musical loops. A unique feature of my lyrical pieces are that they should make you feel like you’ve traveled to that location just by the images and music that I’ve chosen. I had watched several other short car films and really wanted to stay away from any rock or pop music. I wanted my piece to be more filmic and timeless. After a long search, I had located the right piece.
In the end I felt that I had tackled several new subjects and techniques in this shoot. From the time-lapse to shooting cars, I expanded my portfolio and experience by challenging myself in a different arena.