An interview with Michael Rader, the director of ZACH Theatre's, "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill"

Michael Rader directs "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill" at ZACH Theatre from Kirk Tuck on Vimeo.

Please click through to Vimeo to see the video in a higher quality format.

This is my second video for the show at ZACH Theatre. The first was the interview of Chanel that I put up earlier this week. This video is an interview with the play's director. The same hardware was used to produce it.

I shot with the Panasonic fz2500 in the 4K mode and edited on a 1080p timeline in Final Cut Pro X. The lighting was a combination of LED panels from Aputure; both the Amaran and the LightStorm lines. The audio was recorded with an Aputure Diety microphone (and I was delighted with the sound on Michael's interview...).

While some of the still images may look familiar I tried my best to find photographs that I had not used before.

The extensive crew for this production consisted of: me.


Mark Bellringer said...

"Sound" sounds good - so you recorded with a shotgun into a zoom rather than a lapel mic?
Panasonic is great a big step up from the FZ1000?

scott kirkpatrick said...

I love the visuals in this series of interviews, and what little of the music you include, mostly in background. In the actual production (I won't get to Austin to see it), what songs does Chanel sing? Does she tackle "Strange Fruit?"

One thing bothers me. You're making a point of cutting from one thought to the next in the sound track without the normal pause between sentences, much less allowing a thought to sink in or accompanying it with a still image. Why?

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Hi Mark, Thanks for the comment about the sound! I was running the microphone into a portable preamplifier since the microphone needed phantom power. The preamplifier I used is not a recorder like the Zoom so I took the output out of the preamplifier and ran it straight into the Panasonic fz2500. So, what you are hearing is the audio recording capability of the actual camera --- assisted a bit by the low noise pre-amplifier. Or, I should say that the pre-amp didn't really get in the way...

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Scott, Chanel sings 13 or 14 of Billie Holiday's songs but I can't remember the names. Perhaps Zach will have the list up on their website: zachtheatre.org

As to the edit, I was trying to compress time a bit because everyone is in such a hurry these days. The mantra I hear from the overwhelming number of critics is: "It's too long."

Plus, Michael talks quickly and doesn't always give me a break point where I want it. Remember also that while I've been shooting film and video for decades I've never really had to edit my own stuff before a year or so ago and I am still in the learning to walk phase. But keep giving me feedback and I'll learn quicker.

Anonymous said...

It must be so difficult to decide at what level you put the background music at. As background music is so common in film it is startling when it's not there and we are forced to actually just listen to a voice. This is also such an individual taste as well.

I suppose the starting question is does the music detract from the interview or enhance it as a starting point for you. Then once you decide on whether its there at what volume do you put it at. It must obviously compliment the interview and give it colour and depth of feeling relevant to the subject, I could state my own personal preference but that would only be my own and it may not be correct and it could be just my own taste...

Would one answer be to have sections of just the interview to then have a section of the actress singing or a partial track of Billie Holiday
It's a difficult question with no easy answer and it must come down to how you see the shape of the interview.
keep up the marvelous work. Which we all benefit from and get a lot of enjoyment from. thank you


Rev. Heng Sure said...

Kirk, It's a kick looking over your shoulder as you learn the ropes of movie-making, especially as you document the real-life challenges of commercial still photography's gradual eclipse by hybrid and video photography. Having read the VSL over the years we get to watch the growth of your video chops, and listen to your warnings to fellow photo craftsmen that now is the time to learn how to record moving pictures and sounds.

I watched your video interview with actor Chanel and later while walking, reflected how far you've come into the new story-telling genre of one-man movie-making. I reflected that I absorbed your description of the technical choices you made but more significantly, I was floored by the video those choices produced. Kirk the videographer vanished and I was drawn entirely into Chanel's telling of Billie Holiday's story. There is power in those moving pixels and bytes and you have learned how to wield that power, before your readers' eyes. There's something happenin' here. Thanks for leaving the cairns up the trail.