Behind the scenes
This commission was to film and photograph INSIDE No. 11 Downing street. Previously I have only stood outside No.10 across the street behind the metal gates for press photo calls.
My client is the Institute of Fundraising and this is the fifth year I have been commissioned for their National Payroll Giving Excellence Awards.
I have proudly been the IOF’s official photographer over the last 7 years.
On this occasion the IOF requested my full creative visual services package, photography of the awards ceremony, an HD multi camera angle video production including interviews and post production services to bring everything together.
Time was a key factor during the evening as we had to leave the building at 8pm sharp. We manages to set up in the room about 45mins before the guests arrived. Directly after the awards ceremony I set up posed photography portraits of all the winners and certificate winners with the ministers/mp’s [I used a new Micro Apollo soft box on my Canon 580 flash gun to soften the light and it worked well]
Once the photography was complete, it meant that there was little time left for the interviews, about 25mins. Initially I wanted to set up for multi camera angle interviews but getting the audio levels right with so much background noise was challenging and took priority so I went back to just the one camera. Ideally I would have moved somewhere away from the 100 people happily [but loudly] networking in the same room, but we were not allowed to film outside of the room the awards were taking place in.
There was no stage lighting for the speakers other than from 2 large chandeliers in the room, ideally some catch lights for the eyes would have been nice, but the noise free high ISO [film speeds] of the canon 5d mark II cameras is always impressive. Also as all the delagates were standing it would have been better to have raised platforms for a clear line of sight.
These last few points sound a little like I’m moaning but many of these variables are part and part of filming on location and unless you can have a fully locked off and controlled shoot, getting results that you are pleased with and more importantly the client loves is where experience and a I believe background in photojournalism pays off.
The show reel above highlights how I look to film and take photos with available light and shallow depth of field for a more cinematic feel during the networking drinks reception. I had more footage from the networking sessions but wanted to keep the overall length of the show reel to a minimum to keep viewers attentions.
I take care of the social media uploading to clients channels [saves them time and problems] and any amends to the footage. Before the client could use the photography and videos Downing street press office had to approve all the footage.
Overall a fantastic event, great to film and photograph in such a prestigious location.
Gear and Tech.
First outing for the new Sony NEX FS100 [matched colour profiles to the 5d’s, still needed further colour grading in post]
2 x Canon 5d Mark II DSLR
Canon 24-70mm, 70-200mm F2.8 IS and Canon 50mm F1.2
Zoom h4n with a new custom made -45db attenuated xlr stereo cable into sound mixing desk with engineer.
Litepanels micro pro hybrid led light [new]
Sennheiser & Rode Videomic pro microphones
3 x Manfrotto video tripods and 3 x video heads
Pluraleyes for syncing of all 3 cameras with the master audio [a must for me working with DSLR’s in these environments]
Music rights for the show reel
“We have worked with Karim for five years on the NPGEA and find the service quick and of a very high standard. Nothing is too complicated and the team is adaptable, meeting our exact needs. This year we used their video technology to add an extra dimension to our awards event at Downing Street and promote the event using social media tools and the results speak for themselves”.
Lee Grant, Head of Membership Communities, IOF.