Edge

This man, living his life inside a trailer outside Göteborg / Sweden. Had it all more or less. Great job, lot’s of friends, money. (he’s mentioned in IMDB.com) Life was rock’n’roll. Too much Rock’n’roll. Really. That was ten loooong years ago, or in reality maybe much longer. He’s fighting alone to get back on his feet, but it’s a struggle for everyday survival and it’s a reality most people close their eye to. It’s scary to think that it’s even remotely possible to be where he is, or was – which was much worse in the late 90s (living more or less under a tree for years walking on all four). And to listen to his story, on how easy it is to get where he is, and on how good old friends just disappears when trouble arrives is educating to say at least.

We’re talking about making a documentary of his story, we talked about it now for some time and he’s ready. I’m thinking about how to do it, what gear to use. I’d like to use film or red. Any suggestions? I’d like to go without extra light. (or maybe one portable light).. Any good suggestions? Even the Canon 5D Mark II might be good for this?!..

Oh, how much I’m longing for a film function for a SD camera. even at 480p or 720p it would kick some serious but – especially at black and white with it’s extreme micro contrast it has a very special film-like feeling that I yet have to see using anything digital. Including red.

About Carl Rytterfalk

Welcome to my blog! I'm Carl Rytterfalk, a swedish photographer who loves everything that is interesting in the world of photography. In 2002 I fell in love with the three layered Foveon sensor and has since then been an addicted user of Sigma cameras. Though I use Canon and Nikon as well. :)
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10 Responses to Edge

  1. Anna says:

    Har tittat igenom din sida och måste säga att du är duktig! Hade behövt en man som dig i närheten som skulle hjälpa mig att utveckla mitt fotande :)

  2. boothrp says:

    Hi Carl,
    Strange mixture – on the one hand to hear some of the man’s story with all it’s emotion, and on the other hand to read you debating about which capture process to use.
    I hope you manage to achieve something that benefits this man and brings better understanding of other peoples’ problems in a wider sense.
    It feels like one of those times where the technology should be taking a back seat.
    Try asking Ole Thofte, I’m sure he’ll be able to balance things out.
    All the best to you and your people from the UK.
    Paul.

  3. Rytterfalk says:

    Paul,
    I’m sure it sounds a bit weird, but I didn’t wanna make two articles about it. About tech, yeah – and that’s a bit why I want to shoot this using film. Black and white, high iso if possible. not really sute what exists today. Problem is price for scanning etc so it would become too expensive. Would feel strange to make a expensive story about a poor mans life.

  4. boothrp says:

    I’m sure you’ll do a good job whatever the technology.
    I’d get hold of whatever the best camcorder you can and investigate which external microphones to get and how to get the best out of them. Good sound is a significant part of good footage (for me personally).
    Not that I’m the video master by any stretch of the imagination !
    KISS – Keep it simple stupid
    All the best
    Paul.

  5. Clive says:

    Paul’s right about the sound’s key importance, and this can very often be a challenge, especially for someone who may speak quietly, as one might guess from the images you show. I might suggest looking into a mic he can wear, a ‘lapel microphone’, often used with television; and this way there also won’t be anything sitting in front of him to distract. Acoustics will likely be better, especially in a place like a trailer, and I think you will get that intimate sound that is most desirable for something like this.

    On the other hand, you may want to hear some local advice where you can test alternatives for yourself. The people who could rent you a RED should know very well about this, and they or their frieds could let you try the lapel and some alternatives, so you can learn how to get the sound you want, given number of helpers, etc..

    It’s best to be practiced and prepared before you do the actual shoot. And then it’s simple and non-distracting, as the tools just quietly work, while you do with another what the interview is.

    As far as the technology vs. the subject, I guess we have passed the point of having the politics of the ‘Kitchen Sink’ filmmakers. And especially so that the result is going to be appreciated and _watched_ by people in Scandinavia, I think it wants to have high quality, and the ‘quietness’ of approach which goes with that.

    Technology, whether sable brush tips or ‘film-like’ video cameras, is just the artist’s toolset, and the people I’ve known who do the most real art have been each very practical and pragmatic on all matters of their imagination. They will do ‘anything’ to learn and to get the effect that’s good, to share it. Sable makes a difference, for example, in watercolor.

    Going back to original premises, this is, after all, a man who’s had experience in the higher qualities of the world. He’s not going to be intimidated, and in fact that ‘high qualities’ coexist with the possibility of losing the privileges of them is the central subject. I happen to be experiencing a bit of that myself for an interval now , for all the basic good fortune there has also been, so it is a subject close to heart.

    In this, we can understand so much better how people don’t quite get in the door, and also how many live in a fear that doorways may close, until we understand better how to keep opening new ones. This risk can explain very much of things that have been happening in our day, and it is our great thing to come to another side on.

    There are many paths for this, and while a strong part of them probably need to come in our institutions of work, in large business, flowers open already for alternative paths. Carl’s in fact is directly one of those, I think, and all the related services that others who ‘prosume’ can use, such as photo printers in this case, etc..

    Another path that has long interested me is the Third Sector of Alain Lipietz, which can open an alternative to simple welfare and get a lot of things done that we need and that business society finds ‘uneconomic’. It’s in this kind of arena where you might think a man of this kind of capability could actually come to be a leader. Maybe…

    Last point. I was just appreciating the effects of your still photos, Carl, when mentioning about the possibility to combine video and stills in an interview. Somehow this appeals to me. Video can set a scene; the trailer, some moments, etc.. What if you cut to an appropriate still at some times, while he would be answering something involved. It gives a chance to study the face, to hear the words better. The knowledge that it would be used could help free the words. Effects can be very effectively used to give a little motion to the still if needed. Slow background shifts, etc.. were very effectively used on stills with no video at all, in some very high-class interviews and story-telling of Peter Drucker that I am familiar with from the corporate educational world.

    Ideas – use as you like.

    Regards,
    Clive

  6. boothrp says:

    Clive – That had enough figures of speech to slow me down digesting the meaning.
    I hope Carl’s English is good enough to cope.
    Mind you, there are plenty of English people with a standard of English worse than the younger Scandanavian generation !
    All the best.
    Paul.

  7. Paul! Thanks, sound is 80% of the picture (they told me during film class) and if that’s true then I better get it right. :)

  8. Clive!

    Thanks for your input, always appreciated! (as I hope you know!) My english is good enough even if some of the persons you mention isn’t people I heard of before. But google is my friend. ;)

    Still pictures mixed with film about his life – and I’m not sure if I’m going to have my voice inside or another narrator or just his own words. We’ll see. Sound has to be good and that’s maybe the trickiest part as photography and movie making itself isn’t that hard (I do have more experience with picture).

    I digest every thought and We’ll see what comes out from this. Thanks!

  9. Clive says:

    Carl, Paul, a smile to each. Talking this way; it’s how we get to good things, isn’t it ;).

    All best,
    Clive

  10. Spence says:

    Film obviously would be my number one choice if it was up to me on any given project. But, seeing as this would be a documentary you are likely to get massive amounts of footage. With documentary work its best to always be shooting because its the surprises that really add poignancy and depth to these types of ventures. That much film would be quite pricey not to mention its development and telecine, if you can afford it go for it, otherwise I might suggest the HVX 200 or the Sony EX-3, just make sure you get a good colorist.

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