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Thank You Tom!

How do you thank a benefactor and announce their gift to the world?

With a video of course.

I created one recently for the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Management Program at Columbia Business School. It heralds a transformational gift to the program from alumnus and CEO, Tom DeRosa of Welltower.

Healthcare at Columbia Business School Thanks Tom DeRosa on Vimeo and YouTube.


The interviews for this project were two-camera setups in a small conference room.

Taking over a small conference room to film interviews. New York, NY. December, 2018.

I worked with my usual kit – Canon C300 Mark IIs and Canon CN-E 18-80mm and 70-200mm lenses. Four Astras and a Sola 4 for the lighting along with Litepanels/DoP Choice softboxes and Roadrags to keep it all under control in the small space.

Canon C300 Mark IIs setup for interviews. New York, New York. December, 2018.

This was one project where I didn’t need 4K footage for output or to enable cropping in post so I took advantage of the C300 Mark II’s 12-bit 4:4:4 HD codec. The extra bit depth 12-bit vs 10-bit provides more subtle gradations often visible in the skin and in the transitions from skin to hair. The 4:4:4 is a measure of how the color is sampled in a file. 4:4:4 provides a much truer color rendering than 4:4:2 or 4:2:0.

When I film on location I often use a 7′ wide seamless backdrop. It’s more portable than a standard length 9′ seamless and it tends to fit even in cramped locations. One downside though is that it may not fully fill the background within the frame from one or from both of the camera angles. When that’s the case, I plan ahead and film so that I can extend the backdrop in post. It is an extra step or two to extend the backdrop but it is simple to do if the backdrop you see is evenly lit and the subject’s hands and arms do not cross into the extension zone.

A-Camera interview frame. As captured with the area beyond the backdrop visible along with a slight shift right in post. New York, NY. December 2018.
A-Camera interview frame after the background was extended in post. New York, NY. December 2018.

The B-Camera angle did not need the backdrop extended but I think it’s a great way to see the advantage of 12-bit capture. The skin tones on the face, the transitions between dark and light, are all incredibly smooth.

B-Camera frame grab. It did not need a backdrop extension. New York, New York. December, 2018.

Here is a video from a previous blog post showing how I extend a backdrop in postproduction:

4k in a 1080 Timeline with Backdrop Extension on Vimeo and YouTube.