By Alexis Wanneroy
In my day job as an animator working at Dreamworks animation studios I find myself in the company of great artists every day. In the hallways I see amazing character designs, backgrounds and development art from our films. There are a gallery of artists working toward a common goal – the movies we do. Having a concentration of so many talented artists in one place is rare.
The Moonshine book project was conceived as an opportunity to showcase the personal work of those artists and the breath of artistic development talent at Dreamworks. It was instigated and edited by Christophe Lautrette, who also co-directed this short documentary with me. We decided that it would be amazing to showcase the work the Artists did for the book in video, giving people a sneak peek into their private lives.
I shot and Christophe asked questions to the artists. I was blown away by the diversity of the artists and their work. Our task in this video was to show as much as possible in a very limited time.
I’ve owned a Canon 5DmkII for two years now and fell in love with the fact that you could do videos with a DSLR – OMG did it look good! I started to buy gear but on a limited budget because although video is my passion it is at this point just a hobby. I bought a camera rig from Indi systems ( I don’t like because it is sooooo heavy, but it was cheap), a LCDVF loupe, a Weifeng 717A video tripod, a Rode Videomic Pro, a monitor ( I don’t want to mention the brand but it helps me focus ) and a D-focus follow focus that I really like.
For lenses I used a 60mm Micro Nikkor and the Nikkor 28mm f2.0 that I love. I use them on my 5DmkII with a Fotodiox Nikon to EOS adapter. I also have the Canon 50mm f1.4 that I use in low light conditions. It’s a very basic setup but it gets the job done.
When editing the footage I wanted to have a special flow to it so that the audience would feel peace and calm – I did this by not rushing the shots and adding a very simple musical score. To make it more interesting I made very short video portraits of the artists which I cut into the interviews. For the color correction I aimed for a yellowish wash look to keep the moon theme. I used the Technicolor Cinestyle picture profile on my 5DmkII which I found fairly easy to color correct and gave us a great latitude in post.
This was my first documentary work so it was very challenging and learned a lot on the go. I have just started to shoot videos for commercial purposes but this documentary had a totally different feeling to them. It also had a very different approach than all my other videos but for me it was a great experience – being able to film people sharing their passion was just so interesting and fulfilling. I would love to do more work like this as I move forward.
For more details on the Moonshine book : http://moonshineartproject.wordpress.com
and to see some of my work: http://vimeo.com/channels/alexiswanneroy
And Christophe’s work: http://lautrette.blogspot.com/