When prepping the short documentary Earth, Wind & Fire, the profile of Bonsai pot artist Gayle Fiato, the first step was to understand the artist. Over glasses of ice-cold lemonade, iced tea, and cups of espresso, we dove into her work. I came to understand her inspirations, motivations, and process. We scouted locations essential to her work and life. At the locations, the conversation continued. We discussed meaning and context. Looking at the kilns inspired new questions and interesting and surprising answers, not just about art but about community. The entire ecosystem that surrounds art and artists.
These conversations are essential to the work. Any work of art, be it created in a few minutes or years, is derived from lived experience. The past, as Shakespeare noted, is the catalyst of today. For Gayle Fiato, every Bonsai pot she crafts is derived not only from immediate inspirations and creative energies, but in a collaboration with her past.
The same is true for filmmakers. Experience contributes to outcome. Filmmaking is a collaborative art, an ecosystem. Collaboration between filmmakers and subject, and the final collaborative moment between the audience and the film, is the ultimate exchange of energy.
When hired to make a film regardless of form or type, an exploration of the subject, its theme, intention, and script is essential to creating a strong presence for the viewer. This is the work behind the work.
If you enjoy geeking out on gear, here's the package for this shoot.
Camera: Varicam LT with Nikkor primes 35 & 50mm • 1/8 Black Pro Mist • 1 stop ND • Camera settings 1250 ISO • 5600k • 144' • 23.98 & 60
Lit kit: Prolycht Orion 300 FS 5600K • 3 heads with various modifiers • CRLS Lightbridge #2&3 • Rode shotgun mic on a boom • camera audio
ErgoRig for shoulder work • O'Connor sticks & head
The artists studio space was small but using our tools and skill effectively enabled us to give it a feeling of depth.
Produced and Directed by Guy Mastrion & Don Moore
DP: Guy Mastrion
PA: Elena Quartararo
Talent: Gayle Fiato
Post: Guy Mastrion