Back with Areté for another collection shoot, we seem to outdo ourselves every time that owes itself to a solid team all channeling the same direction and aesthetic.
The palette here is the star of the show, shooting in The Hockley Arts Club’s various rooms that created this 80’s party-esque tone.
The guys at Areté welcomed and trusted my experiment of shooting vertically in camera (9:16) for more screen real estate on social media when viewed on phones, which is obviously how most people experience the world now. It’s a very different framing to work with but I think it’s perfect for this where the main focus is all on the models and hair. I imagine this can easily be done when shooting 4K horizontally and reframing in post, but unfortunately the Sony A7Riii doesn’t do that at 60p for slow-mo. Hey-ho.
I was mainly striving for a sharper video on Instagram and experimenting on ways of how to avoid it’s muddy compression that loves to make a mockery of my Sony’s amazing video quality. According to various blogs, keeping the video under 15MB at 1080x1350 (4:5) is the sweet spot to avoid compression and have the largest post size in feed, It’s seemed to work better but still it’s not perfect, I saw a video by Givenchy that was incredibly sharp for Instagram that made me question why everyone else’s videos don’t look like that. I imagine in reality it’s based in a monetary backhand to Facebook to allow this quality that us general public don’t get access to.
Regardless, I think I’ll be doing a lot more video fo 4:5 vertical video that just as easily can be used 9:16 for a gorgeous screen-filling Instagram story.
The beginning of a new series from Beam Editions: In the Studio that will be exploring artist’s lives and practices.
We visited artist John Newling at his home and studio in Nottingham for conversations about the artist’s expansive career, growing plants for his work in his garden as well as ideas of new economies.
Areté and Black Cactus have come together for a collection combining each salons’ expertise - Areté’s pursuit for excellence in male grooming and Black Cactus’s Californian inspired beachy looks and Balayage colouring.
Balayage is a technique developed in the 1970’s in France, rather than using traditional foiling or cap highlighting techniques, this method sees hair precisely coloured by the hairdresser’s hand.
The long winter sunset casted a golden hue over the city of Sheffield during this shoot that made the in-redevelopment old factory location shine.
For the video’s direction, I started with the usual lifestyle feel from working with Areté previously but tried to get under what Black Cactus was (as this was our first meeting) and implement that into my choice of framing and movement. After all, this is a collaboration.
Still unbelievable results from 4K out the A7RII (Super 35) downscaled to 1080p, working with hair really makes this stand out.
Check out the BTS below to see a window into the process of a collaboration like this. Also see more from Areté over in the portfolio.
Experimenting in the space we focused on collaboration rather than Danni soley directing.
Soon into the shoot I felt the energy of Danni's movements were not being communicated effectively when filming static on the tripod. I went handheld to get more into the action and found myself reacting to Danni's movements within the dance, but also over time going against these self-established rules moving the shot away from the subject.
This decision was influenced by Steve McQueen's video with Kanye West for All Day where Kanye's presence flows through McQueen's single continuous shot facing off, chasing and ignoring Ye's performance. Because sometimes it's what you don't see that is the most interesting.
One of the most stand out music videos I have seen in a long time. Still not sure if 'This is America' topped it or not.
Had to get some photographs of Danni doing her thing too obviously.