By Jonah Kessel
As a video journalist I’m frequently approached by people asking me to come film — whatever it is they have that’s going on. A Chinese rock band, a new brand or some really exciting business conference are the usual suspects. These people often think their event would be so fun to film, that I would love to do it — for free.
Sadly these people are mistaken and generally speaking whatever guest speaker is at the “Annual Chinese Conference of Bilateral Business” is not actually that interesting.
However, last week while at a small bar in Beijing, a Québécoise approached me and told me he had built a device out of a tricycle that could paint Chinese characters on the ground with water droplets as it was peddled. I stopped for a second and thought about it and my first question was — why?
And his answer was … “because!”
Meet French Canadian Media Artist Nicholas Hanna. This guy decided to build a device for no reason, that doesn’t really serve a clear purpose. So, I decided, this would also be a good time to create a video just “because.”
I wanted to keep it short, sweet and corky. An afternoon filming, a weird soundtrack with an upright bass and a didgeridoo and some editing and we had this fun device on film.
Ironically, I found the best way to film this strange contraption — was on another tricycle, peddled by the days assistant Annie Sallaberry. Now picture both of these tricycles peddling through the old streets of Beijing and you can imagine we were quite the spectacle. As we filmed, people would actually just start following us down the street as if we were the Pied Piper of Chinese people.
As working visual journalists I think its a really great exercise do go out and shoot stuff for fun. Its really easy to get in the habit of only shooting when working. But this two day project was a lot of fun and helped me get back to my roots a bit. It reminded me why we do this in the first place — because its fun.
So — for no reason at all, enjoy.
Kit List for this Project:
- Canon EOS 5D Mark II
- Canon EOS 60D
- Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM
- Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM
- Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro
- Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
- Franken-Rig made from Ikan, Genus, Jag35 and Zacuto parts.
- Kessler Krane Pocket Dolly v2.0, Traveler Size
- Kessler Crane All Terrain Outrigger Feat
- Rhode NTG Shotgun Condenser Microphone
- Pearlstone Universal Shock Mount
- Sony UHF Wireless Lavalier System
- Zoom H4n Mobile Handycam Audio Recorder
- (2x) Manfrotto 190Cx Carbon Fibre Q90 4-section Tripod
- F-Stop Satori Expedition Pack
- F-Stop Tilopa Expedition Pack
- (3x) F-Stop ICU (small, medium, large)
- Blackrapids RS-7 R-Strap