Long after the cameras leave a disaster zone, the residents of that place are left to pick up the pieces. This series is three short form, branded documentaries produced in collaboration with vice medias commercial arm, and the national association of Realtors. Our goal is to go to places that had suffered natural disasters long after The other news cameras had left and follow up with the people on the ground there. Each story here has its own character and sensive optimism or pessimism. The big take away that I learned was that in a disaster, oftentimes a community will come together in ways that it hadn't before hand. The other thing I learned is that FEMA is largely laughed at as a joke by people who have suffered natural disasters. Pretty much everyone we talk to told us that the federal government hadn't done the single thing to help them but their communities were strong and they helped each other. I have no further comment on the matter, it was just a strange thing that across so many different places everyone agreed on this particular point.
When you're making films, you tend to work with a lot of different crew. While you do have your core team, there's a lot of turnover as people come and go in this largely freelance lifestyle.availabilities change, people move up in their roles, and the team changes. I would like to say that this particular series had one of the most coherent, most friendly, and most collaborative teams that I've been fortunate enough to work with. we got along as friends throughout the shoot and to this day we continue our group text chain filled with inside jokes and general good times. It's really the reason that I got into film making in the first place, to connect with like-minded creative individuals trying to do their best to tell the important stories.
We had to be extremely light and fast, and the bulk of our scenes would be daytime exteriors or daytime interiors on this shoot and so I opted to employ Angenieux Optimo spherical zoom lenses. We captured these documentaries using two Sony FS7s with PL mount adapters. A camera was fitted with the optimo 15-40 and the b camera was outfitted with the 45-120. I was fortunate to work with the illustrious Carrie Cheek as my second camera operator.
I could not be more pleased with the way these came out. The optimas performed incredibly well in every situation and were lightweight and easy to use. Very consistent clean sharp lenses. Carrie is a fantastic cinematographer in her own right so we had a great time collaborating on the best way to capture these images.
For the aerial work, I employed a DJI mavic 2 drone and tiffin ND polarizing filters for the hasselblad camera mounted on the drone. It is an ideal aerial capture system for this type of scenario in which we needed to be able to capture the landscape and all of these places, often times in restricted air space, very quickly and comprehensively. During times when we were able to concentrate on filming b role, Carrie would often handle cutaways and inserts from the ground while I operated the drone. The FAA has rolled out a new system for obtaining instant air traffic control authorization without which at least two of these episodes would have been severely lacking in landscape aerial photography. So, kudos to them. While ariel footage is not always appropriate, for this particular story I believe it was critical in furthering the audiences understanding of the disaster scenarios and the impact on the population.