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Art is Work

In 2018 I filmed and photographed three projects for Vienna, Austria based OOOM magazine. A photo and video story on Princeton University President emeritus, Shirley Tilghman, and video stories looking inside the New York Times and documenting a superstar graphic designer roundtable.

The print edition came out that year but the videos have just been released on OOOM.TV’s YouTube channel. For all of the videos the intros & outros are in German but the interviews are in English.

The designer roundtable features Milton Glaser, Paula Scher, Chip Kidd, Stefan Sagmeister, and Jan Wilker. All titans in the field. They met at Glaser’s historic Kips Bay studio to discuss good design, responsibility, creativity, a divided America, and more.

Designer Roundtable on YouTube.

Jodi Rudoren, Director of New York Times Global, was the subject for Inside the New York Times. She discussed the viability of print and digital journalism, covering the unpredictable president, the divisions within America, and “fake” news.

Inside the New York Times on YouTube.

Shirley Tilghman, a scholar and professor of molecular biology, was Princeton University’s first female president and on the Board of Directors at Google. In the video, Shirley Tilghman – First Lady of Princeton University, she discusses the hurdles confronting women in science, the importance of talent, and the ability of tech companies like Google to quickly make billion-dollar decisions. My post on the print edition of the story can be found here.

Shirley Tilghman – First Lady of Princeton University on YouTube.


The centerpiece camera for the three video stories was my Canon C300 Mark II.

On the Tilghman project I also used a Canon 1DX Mark II as the B Camera. The interview was filmed in her office with a couple of Litepanels Astras bounced off the ceiling and walls to provide a soft overall light. It was unclear at the time if her interviewer, Professor Roger Nelson, would appear in the final cut so all of the footage was shot in 4K to allow for reframing in postproduction.

Second Camera Operator: Chris Flanegan.

OOOM magazine, Tilghman interview BTS. A camera view. Canon C300 Mark II. Princeton, NJ. March, 2018.
OOOM magazine, Tilghman interview BTS. B camera setup, Canon 1DX Mark II. Princeton, NJ. March, 2018.

The New York Times and the designer roundtable pieces were filmed on the same day a few days after the Princeton shoot.

Entrance to Milton Glaser’s Kips Bay studio. New York, NY. 2018

The logistics of the day dictated that I scout Milton Glaser’s studio in the early afternoon, the designer roundtable was to take place later that evening. Scouting would give me a chance to get a lay of the land and let OOOM Magazine know about the options available to us.

Main workroom, Milton Glaser’s design studio. New York, NY. 2018.

The primary workroom in Glaser’s studio already looked like a picture perfect set. So, it was clear from the start that it would be the location.

With that set, I left the equipment and hightailed it over to the New York Times, just bringing a my A camera, wireless and shotgun microphones, a set of sticks and a few lenses. I would film the interview and b-roll for the Inside the New York Times piece and afterward return to Glaser’s studio with one hour to setup for the three-camera shoot of the roundtable.

At work at the New York Times. New York, NY. 2018

The work at the Times was very quick with no real setup. I shot b-roll while we waited to go in and again just after we finished the interview. I kitted the C300 Mark II with both a shotgun and a wireless lav to wire Rudoren with for the interview. The lighting was the available light in the room. In the interview you can see that the lav’s transmitter remained on the conference table. Not optimal but it fits with the feel of a fast paced news environment.

That done it was back to Glaser’s studio where I met the crew so that we could prep for the roundtable. Dan Phakos was the second camera operator and Jerry Stein provided the audio.

Designer roundtable, behind the scenes. New York, NY. 2018

As seen above the roundtable was virtual. The designers along with OOOM’s publisher and creative director, Georg Kindel, were arranged in a U shape. Glaser’s studio was the background.

Two Litepanels Astras and a Aputure 300D lit the designer roundtable set. New York, NY. 2018

The set was lit with two Litepanels Astras and an Aputure 300D. All in soft boxes and all filtered to match the studio’s overhead fixtures. I don’t fully recall, we may have had an issue with the 300D and swapped it out with one or two more Astras.

Cameras were my Canon C300 Mark II, my 1DX Mark II, and Dan’s Sony FS7. All shot in 4K to allow for reframing in post. The 1DX Mark II stay on a wide shot of everyone while Dan and I operated the C300 Mark II and the Sony FS7 focusing on whichever designer was speaking.

A Canon 1DX Mark II gets a 4K wide shot of the designer roundtable. The shotgun mic is for sync sound only. New York, NY. 2018
The Canon C300 Mark II gets a tight shot of designer Jan Wilker. Designers roundtable, OOOM.TV. New York, NY. 2018

Much thanks to everyone involved! Chris, Dan, and Jerry. Georg Kindel, OOOM Magazine and OOOM.TV founder, publisher, and creative director. Plus our subjects: Shirley Tilghman, Jodi Ruderon, Milton Glaser, Chip Kidd, Paula Scher, Stefan Sagmeister, and Jan Wilker. I’ll admit to being a more than a bit star-struck meeting Milton Glaser and getting to work in his historic studio.

Art is Work!