Foregoing hired actors, the team requested production during a BETA Testing program where invited guests could experience a visit to NOJAN and give feedback. JBFilms was tasked to capture imagery, in affect, producing a commercial shoot while attempting to let the on-camera talent experience the retreat in a natural and organic way.
I wrote a treatment pulling a few mood frames from other photographers that I found inspiring. Between the script Nojan delivered and the mood frames, we were able to establish a visual style for the project and start creating a game plan on how to shoot it. In the end, I suggested a mixture of setup scenes (with featured people I could work with one-on-one like a formal film shoot) and the BETA tester scenes, that would be shot in a documentary format, allowing the BETA testers to ignore the cameras and fully experience the beauty of a NOJAN retreat. The DECK that I created really became our blueprint for the shoot - informing both the setup scenes and documentary moments. (view deck below)
To keep our profile small, I directed and operated a RED Dragon, using small LEICA prime lenses and screw on filters to keep things lightweight and easy.
My Gaffer Jerry Mundy utilized as much natural light as possible, bouncing and manipulating into our scenes. For a few setups we used 12x12 frame and blasted Arri Skypanels through it to create a controlled window light. Sometimes bringing one inside and bouncing it off the ceiling of a room to give us a bit of fill light. A 1K was used for Rim light on a few scenes and a fair amount of bounce and negative to shape any given scene.
The space is very connected to the natural surroundings and I wanted the imagery to reflect that. So we shot a lot of Macro Details as well as our characters experiencing the "nature" around them. A fog machine was used in a few setups to help enhance larger spaces and the beauty of the light as it cascades through the wooded surroundings. Nearly every room on the property has a window that opens to beautiful views of the forest, so we tried hard to bring up our interior lighting so that we could balance with the outdoor light (and not blow everything out in the background).
NOJAN-60 from jason baffa films on Vimeo.
Devon Howard of Blusky Collective helped me setup scenes and simultaneously shot still photos for the website. The "constant light" setups allowed us to shoot motion or stills at any given time, sometimes shooting simultaneously and other times individually.
Post Production utilized MARMOSET for music licensing, Billy Hobson @TheSHED.LA did the fantastic color work. A big thanks to all who pitched in to make this shoot happen.
If you have a small business and you are interested in creative support for your marketing, feel free to drop me a note. I'm always happy to discuss your options.