The Complete Guide To Color, Composition, & Composites With Erik Almås | BEHIND THE SCENES
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The Complete Guide To Color, Composition, & Composites With Erik Almås | BEHIND THE SCENES

October 28, 2019


– Supposedly, most documentary film crews use these G3s to record
audio from their subjects. We’ve rewired them to play a
little bit of Franco music. (easy listening music) – So we’re going out to meet Erik. We know he’s a little bit scary. He’s never dealt with a crew that can make monkeys faint
before and everybody on the crew has made a monkey faint at
least once and in public. So we’re gonna go out there, we’re gonna take Erik by the throat, we’re gonna show him exactly what we do while he shows us the
magic that is Erik Almas. (easy listening music) – Welcome to RGG EDU. – We have traveled to San Francisco, we’ve packed up a ton of people and a ton of equipment to work with Erik to go to some of the
most amazing locations that he’s found, and he’s scouted over the last few years. – Over the next ten
days, we’re going to be following Erik on four
different photo shoots, to see his thought process,
see how he deals with models, see how he builds his landscapes, and to really get into his mind on the entire process of how
he creates his images. – [Rob] Day number two, we actually met in Erik’s studio for a little bit, we first grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down and reviewed the script. And, then we were able to get into it, we were up on Erik’s third floor, very stark and white with great pictures and we just kinda went through the entire first day’s
worth of production. (Clapperboard snaps) – I’m a photographer drawn to
big moments and big spaces, and apply that in a quiet manner. – So we’re in Erik Almas’ studio, we’re getting ready to
shoot a couple scenes for his intro segments. We’ve got the Kessler CineDrive set up here with the C100, and we’re going to do a series of clips that
we can then composite later. We can do repeatable moves
with this CineDrive unit, so we’re going to run it once with all the camera operators, as well as Erik, staged in this scene and
we’re being very meticulous about how we place everybody, so that they’re in separate
parts of the frame, because then we can repeat that shot with no one in the scene,
and then in the edit we can very easily mask around each person and bring them in one at a
time in a really cool way. – [Gary] Two of the
backplates for this shoot are in Bishop California, which is about eight hours East of San Francisco. – [Rob] Bishop is this place
that Erik had picked out, he’s been wanting to photograph there for quite some time, and the sun was just dropping in the left, and
it was kinda leaking across, and he did it in a
couple of different ways where, he had his camera there, and he shot for the light
leaking across the mountains when it was really nice, and as it dropped a little bit lower,
it came nicer into the trees so he grabbed that. (easy listening music) – I love it, I mean look at it. It’s beautiful, just beautiful. (easy listening music) – [Gary] Yesterday we woke up around 3:30 to be out on location at five. We were up on the bluffs looking West into the Sierra Nevadas. – Huge vista, and as that
sun just started to come up, pushing up into the sky and then pushing that soft light
down, we were ready. We were able to capture
Erik making his magic, and it was a great time. – [Erik] As a European,
we’ve always been fascinated with the American West, and the cowboys, and that story. So, I put a guy there in
this big Western landscape, it was really neat. It’s me, looking out
wondering where to go, and what lies ahead for me. – [Rob] The place presented
some challenges for us as well, because we were on the edge of a cliff, it was very, very rocky,
not easy to get to. And we had everybody
with all the equipment, so we had to be careful where
we positioned everybody. Erik was actually right on the edge of the cliff a good portion of that time. Which meant that our Camera
B was kind of behind him, also on the edge of a cliff. So we had to be careful
where everybody was, making sure that nobody
stepped off the edge, went the wrong way or even just tripped or twisted an ankle on something. – [Gary] We scheduled this shoot just how a commercial shoot
with Erik would have gone. And we wanted to cram for these shoots in about ten days of production, which is pretty typical of Erik, and we did that because
we wanted to see how he dealt with the problems, and the issues that he normally deals
with on a commercial set. (easy listening music) (camera shutter clicks) – [Erik] Lovely. Okay. Beautiful. – We’re currently doing a backup, we’re using these newer, rugged ATC drives from G-Technologies,
they’re both one terabyte, they’re both Thunderbolt. So, this is the actual drive that always stays inside this case. It’s somewhat shock-proof,
but just in case a bag does get dumped in the water, you do drop it, there is an
added layer of protection. It’s important when you’re
putting this much time and effort into a production, that you protect your most
important asset on set. So, at the end of the
day, we have three copies that go with three different people in three different
cars, so no matter what, we have copies and
everything is backed up. (easy listening music) – I thought he was just going to have us, you know, like, me specifically to just lift the back end
and hold it up, you know? But. – [Crew member] Yeah, but then
who would shoot your camera? – Exactly, this is way easier. – [Crew Member] I’ve always
been a big fan of his work, so to now see him work
throughout the entire day to create one image, it’s
really quite amazing. – [Rob] This really funky warehouse. This place has got so
many crazy things in it, right now he’s in the middle of, kind of, turning this
into more of a story, adding a little bit of
a fashion element to it, he’s going for several
shots that he can attach to the car crash. So, he can blow up the car crash into a singular story could be blown for several pages in a magazine, if they choose to do so. – Erik’s crew is setting up what they need to recreate the light for the car shot. This is the car that’s going to be Photoshopped into the scene earlier. – I’m excited. And Jarren’s here too. (lips buzzing) (easy listening music) – [Gary] We brought pieces
from the forest itself to help his blending elements. Erik builds an entire background, so it was really interesting for me to see his creative process,
and also the technical side of what he needs to do to achieve the easiest elements for post-production. (easy listening music) (funky music) – [Rob] So we just wrapped
up another day with Erik, this one was a long one and a hard one, just to get, basically, one shot because the places are tight. We’ve got, I think, 21, 22 people in a really small space, and we have been doing this dance all day around each other. It’s kinda nuts, so we were literally trying to move around each other, everybody has equipment, and
we have five cameras ourselves, and then his whole crew,
and all their lights, and hair, and makeup, and wardrobe. One of the things that was particularly tough for us today, was staying out of each other’s eye lines, camera shots. We had a really hard time
setting up our camera positions cause the rooms were so small, and we’re trying to
get three camera angles plus BTS, plus have everybody in there. (techno music) – Let’s let her try if you were to lean over more, and let’s see if we can do something this way. Beautiful. I like this. [camera shutter clicks] (techno music) – Every day on Erik Almas’ shoot, we’ve been rolling five C-100s, two 5-Ds, one 60-D, and two GoPro Hero 4s. So, by the end of the day,
we just have a massive amount of media that
needs to be backed up. We really like using these
G-Studio six terabyte drives. They go in RAID zero, which
is really great for us, because it’s incredibly fast. Basically, we have two drives in here and it’s writing to both
of them at the same time. We like that because it’s the quickest way to offload all of our media, so we can start formatting
cards and shoot the next day. (dramatic music) – We’re shooting the last image where a wise old man is, kinda, showing Erik the way,
showing him his future, there’s a life ahead. The woman with the
beautiful flowing dress, that’s going to be
dropped into the backplate that was shot several days ago in Bishop, which is really kinda
cool, you think about it, Erik is shooting these in
totally separate locations, I mean, we’re 400 miles from where we were when the backplate was shot. But he’s going to shoot the foreground with the talent and drop them in, and it will look absolutely seamless, and it’s just gonna
have such a drama to it. It’s really gonna be cool. (dramatic music) – Kate looks back over
her shoulder, exactly. And you just be stoic,
and you ride that thing. That’s right. I love it. Yes! One, two, and woo! Nice! Mmmm! – [Rob] This image in particular is going to be super striking, I just can’t wait to see the final result. (excited chatter) – I think the most challenging aspect of this shoot is the long hours. We have a crew of eight people, we have six cameras, and we have about 18 hour days, every day. – I’m Camera C on the
shoot with Erik Almas, here in San Francisco. Primarily, what I’ll be doing, is trying to make sure that – Oh hey, were you filming? – No. So this is Gary. – Are you guys filming? – No. – Are you guys filming? Are you guys filming? – I’m Camera C, so I’m typically on the 70 to 200, and I’m kinda staying for close-ups, a lot
of cutaways, reaction shots. – I am the B Cam Operator on this shoot, basically I’m covering
medium close-ups of Erik, to cut from the A Cam, which is Gary who is generally pretty wide. From time to time, I
run a few trailer shots, which are just more cinematic shots that we can throw into the trailer, really capturing Erik’s lighting setups, using his light that he
already set for our video. – Pretty much every day I have to be awake before everyone else,
be ready with a camera, and that also means I’m that last one to pack up, because I’m shooting the rest of the crew packing up. My responsibilities also include getting the CineDrive going, getting time lapses in
some of the scenic areas that we have to go to, getting shots with the Roman, fly-through shots, and I also have to go around, and do interviews with the crew. – All the call shoots say
that I’m the director, and in charge of script. Which sounds cool, but
I have been coatrack, I’ve been gopher, I’ve been a note-taker. I kinda do everything, but mostly my job is to direct, and make sure that we’re getting all the
info that we need out of Erik, and constantly cruising around with a slate in my hand just making sure that I change the scene
so that all the cameras know what scene and what take they’re on. It makes it a lot easier for us in post-production, obviously. It’s always fascinating to
watch somebody else’s process, particularly a guy like Erik Almas whose talent is kind of insane. I’ve learned a lot, quite frankly, it’s really been interesting and amazing to see his whole process. (funky music) – [Gary] It’s been an amazing two weeks, and I am so excited to start putting this documentary about
Erik Almas together. – [Rob] We’ve really had an amazing time going all over Northern California, to some pretty special locations, to capture some images
that are really unique. I think that this tutorial is going to give people an amazing insight to the mind and the
workflow of Erik Almas. (dramatic music)

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