Video work: The Arts
I served as director and videographer for this pro bono effort by SOS Productions in Columbus, Ohio. Thanks to Jeff Scheiman for giving me carte blanche to work in his facility and with his talented crew to produce the movie I wanted to make for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.
Looking back, I think this video occurred at a time that represents the high water mark for the orchestra. They were making their best music, under Maestro Alessandro Siciliani, and they were bouncing back into financial stability after a very rough time. A few years later, they again ran into trouble financially, without the charismatic creative direction of Siciliani and the strong civic support of the board and leaders I worked with.
I loved working on this at a lot of levels. I played cello as a kid, and in high school I took my nascent photograpy skills down to the theatre where the CSO now performs, and took pictures of that facility. We had a benefit concert, advertised with the photos I took of the magnificent structure, to try to save the Ohio Theatre from the wrecking ball. Through the efforts of a bunch of folks like us, the theatre was saved literally on the day it was supposed to be levelled. And in the video you can see what a glorious, Severance Hall kind of facility it is.
Obviously, the music was going to define this piece, so I very carefully targeted the shooting to take place on the week they would be performing Beethoven's 7th Symphony. We used three cameras, and I had a diagram with thumbnails of how I wanted each shot framed, and where the camera was to be placed, for each shot. All 3 cameramen had to move twice during the course of the symphony... and we only had one chance to get the shots we needed from the performance. We worked on a Friday night performance, as I recall, that we knew would be sold out. I'm happy to say it all worked perfectly, and we got who we wanted in the frame, when we wanted them. For example, there was a story we were telling about Jonquil Tanner, one of the violinists. I got a serendipitous shot of her playing a great musical moment at the Thursday rehearsal. Based on that camera placement, I shot her practicing that same exact passage in her home, with her face at the same place in the frame so we could dissolve through. Then we went to a few false tries of the next little musical phrase, and completed the sequence with a carefully planned shot of her in the orchestra during the concert. The Executive Director of the Symphony told me that sequence gave her goose bumps, and summarized her opinion by saying she thought it was the best symphony video she had ever seen.
Other crew members I remember were Al Laus and Jim Rebraca.
This video won honorable mention from the Columbus International Film Festival.