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Surface Level

Recently, the guys over at Surface Level Podcast decided to take their social media presence to the next level, and they entrusted me with that vision. I happen to know each of the hosts, with Damon being a close friend. 

This was an all day shoot that took full cartage for my home studio. They provided the backdrop of Damon's Harlem apartment; very fitting for the Surface Level Podcast, an outlet for these Millennial aged Black Queer men. 

That day, they were also having a photo shoot for their merch, so the vibe was that of a school project. People were coming and going (all part of our quarantined social circle network) and there was a lot of creative energy. I hadn't felt this way for a long time and it's this type of atmosphere that I always love to be around. Being around creatives is one of my favorite vibes. 

For this shoot, I opted for a two camera set up, and the team demanded a warmer lighting set up (don't have me looking white on these videos! (I agree)). Camera one was designated the "Wide" camera, and kept a static shot on the subject, while camera two was a fluid eye, used for capturing the more intimate and shadier moments. 

Sound set up was a Zoom H2N on a versatile C stand on bidirectional setting to capture the subjects as well as the interviewer. In hindsight, this isn't my favorite way of capturing audio. If I could do it again, or if I had someone else working on set with me, I would probably have opted for a boom operator, or lapel mics. 

After the shoot, came the organizing of the data. For an all day shoot like this, you should be generating a lot of content. Aside from the main project material, I captured a lot of b roll, and behind the scenes footage, none of which was included in the final project, but it's always there for future reference thanks to Google Drive. Organizing is tedious but manageable thanks to the use of a slate. Marrying audio to video without a slate would be horribly messy. 

As for color correction, I will admit, it's not my strong suit, yet, and having received the request to have a warm light set up, I remember the footage being way too yellow/ orange. Luckily, I was able to correct it to a point, and the editor made the choice to apply Black and White to the fluid camera shots. In the end it all worked out. 

Surface Level is growing exponentially, and thanks to them I was able to keep exercising my creative muscles during a time when sets are closed off, and production has halted. It was great to be in a fun, loving and safe environment. 


| Damaging Spell = (85%) | Healing = (80%) | Archery = (90%) | Swordplay = (85%) | Shade = (100%)

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Location: Brooklyn, New York USA