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Follow the Beans!

It’s always a pleasure and so much fun to work with my friends Melissa and Megan of 44 North Coffee! This year we set the bar very high producing four new videos.

First up is a brand video which follows the beans from delivery, to roasting, to packaging, and to serving.

44 North Coffee on YouTube and Vimeo.

We had a number of goals with this project:

  • Tell the story visually, using no interviews or voiceover.
  • Feature 44 North Coffee’s two locations, their year-round roastery in Deer Isle, Maine, and their seasonal cafe in nearby Stonington.
  • Give a sense of the physical labor involved and the attention to detail needed in producing fresh roasted organic coffee.
  • Show that 44 North Coffee offers mail order.
  • Show how the Stonington cafe space acts as a hub for the community.
  • Show 44 North Coffee’s merchandise.
  • Show customers in the cafe including the local lobster and fishing crews.
  • Impart a sense of 44 North Coffee’s unique location on a small island off the coast of Maine.

Production

This leg of the project was truly the epitome of small crew production. It was me working solo. I used two Canon EOS R’s to film, one mounted on a DJI Ronin-S gimbal and one on sticks. Using a mirrorless camera like the R as opposed to a cinema camera kept the kit light and small, both pluses when working alone. Using the two bodies on the two platforms also kept things extremely nimble. I could easily switch between whichever setup was needed at a particular moment without having to remount or, in the case of the gimbal, rebalance the camera.

Two Canon EOS Rs setup for filming in the 44 North Coffee roastery in Deer Isle, Maine. September, 2019.

Both cameras were set to Canon C-log with internal 8-bit recording. On the gimbal camera I primarily used a Canon 24mm f/2.8 IS EF lens but I switched between in-camera settings of 4K cropped mode and 1080 full-frame mode. This allowed me to make creative choices based on resolution and on the lens’ effective focal length without swapping lenses. In 4K mode the EOS R crops the field of view to make the 24mm lens the equivalent of ~40mm focal length. In 1080 mode the lens remains a true 24mm.

I chose the 24mm f/2.8 IS EF lens because it is compact and very light, factors which lend themselves to long periods filming by myself. The IS of the lens is Image Stabilization and while it is not fully necessary when using the camera on a gimbal, it actually can add another layer of smoothing to the camera movement. So, it doesn’t hurt to have it turned on.

The sticks based camera used a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II lens and an on-board shotgun mic provided audio should I have wanted to incorporate natural sound in the final piece.

A Canon EOS R on a DJI Ronin-S gimbal, lensed with a Canon 24mm f/2.8 IS lens. All set for filming at the 44 North Cafe in Stonington, Maine. September, 2019.

A DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone was used for the opening and closing drone clips. I filmed in D-log 10-bit 4K mode.

Mavic 2 Pro in flight in Maine. September, 2019.

So, this leg was the brand video… what about the other three videos I mentioned? Well, stay tuned. I’ll give you one hint, in order to make the other videos it was truly all hands on deck.

A huge thanks to Megan and Melissa, the founders of 44 North Coffee! I’m so glad to be a part of their marketing efforts. We had last worked together back in 2013 when I filmed a short documentary about 44 North Coffee.

A shout out as well to Samuel Kirkland Lothrop, who plays as ℅ United Artists, for providing the music track.

re: stay tuned -> the follow-up blog post with the three additional videos is now up: Coffee Brewing Methods from 44 North Coffee . Have a look!

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