I’ve been wanting to incorporate dance into street cinematography for a while now. I also bought a new wide angle lens and wanted to create a video production that challenged me to shoot in a style that I’m not used to filming (i.e. wide angles; architecture).
Working with the dancers was incredibly exciting. If I had it to do over again I would love to have a day of rehearsal beforehand to practice the camera moves, the focus pulls, compositions, etc. However, they were donating their time and some were driving in from out of town to arrive on set before dawn, so I was still super happy that anyone even showed up, let alone performed beautifully and with such great attitudes!
The lens is great. The salesman at Austin’s Precision Camera talked me into the Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 Art Lens, instead of the Canon 16-35 f/2.8. I had a couple weeks to figure out if I wanted to keep the lens or not and threw together a quick video production to test it out. After writing a few scripts and finally landing on one that would blend Austin’s skyline & personality with dancing I had to start scouting locations and create a shot list. I have never done much with wide angle lenses before and definitely wanted to incorporate as much as possible while still creating room for testing the lens out in a variety of distances and subjects. I ended up absolutely loving the lens, so glad that I own it. My only two wishes are that I wish it had Image Stabilization to smooth out handheld shots, which I love doing, but won’t be doing many handheld video productions with this lens; and I wish the auto-focus were faster, but I rarely use AF so it’s not a huge deal to me. Creating this was incredibly fun and reminded me so much of my past project shooting the sports-focused “Ironman” documentary video.