(Ukraine--July 30, 2014) "Gennadiy" is the latest documentary feature from director Steve Hoover, producer Danny Yourd and cinematographer John Pope, the filmmaking team behind the award-winning documentary "Blood Brother." The film follows "Gennadiy," a confounding pastor, hardened by years of fighting corruption in post-Soviet Ukraine. He's known for rehabilitating drug-addicted kids, pulling them from the sewers and relentlessly, sometimes violently fighting for them.
DP John Pope chooses Sachtler Video 15 SB for "Gennadiy" documentary
“Gennadiy is a complex and fascinating person, with questionable practices and frightening confidence,” notes Hoover. “There’s a tremendous tension watching him. That tension continues into the landscape; Ukraine, a crumbling country desperate for identity, fighting for change, much like the lives of those whom Gennadiy seeks to reconstruct.”
Yourd said the visuals needed to play a big role in telling this story. “We didn't want to compromise with our gear. It was challenging to keep everything as nimble as possible, but we are happy with our results.”
The filmmakers chose to shoot with both the RED Epic and the Canon C300 mounted with Canon L Series Glass (24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 100mm Macro) / Canon Zoom (16-35mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm) / Specialty Lenses (17mm Tilt Shift, 24mm Tilt Shift, 45mm Tilt Shift, Canon 40mm Pancake). They relied on Sachtler Video 15 SB and Ace L tripods.
“Both Sachtler tripod systems were crucial to the project and served different purposes,” explains John Pope. “Both are lightweight and not cumbersome, which is important because of the amount of equipment we had to carry with us. The Sachtler 15SB handled heavier payloads as well as being more versatile with movement such as utilizing the slider.
“The Sachtler Ace L was used more for our lighter cameras and run-and-gun situations where we needed to be somewhere fast,” adds John Pope. “We found ourselves constantly moving locations in sand and tough weather conditions so, the Ace took a beating and still the pan and tilt performed perfectly, especially when needed in tight spaces.”
For lighting, the team relied on Litepanels LED technology. “We used Litepanels when we were looking to create a more stylized look,” said Yourd. “We really loved the Litepanels MicroPro as an eye light. When we shot in the evening we were only using existing light, so this was very useful and gave us the effect we wanted to achieve.”
was shot over four weeks in various locations in Ukraine. With production constantly on the move, the filmmakers looked to Petrol for easy portability.
"The Petrol CamPack Plus is the best bag for the equipment we typically take and use for our on-the-go documentary filming,” said Yourd. “Petrol allows us to pack it up very minimally so, we can pick up and go to the next location easily and quickly. It all fits into our Petrol’s Deca Airflow and Digiback DSLR Backpacks.”
Unpredictability is universal to documentary filmmaking, but Yourd says production tools can’t be part of that unknown.
“There are always curve balls thrown at us, so we need to ready at a moment’s notice,” explains Yourd. Capturing fleeting moments requires us to have the right tools to shoot anywhere. Specifically with Gennadiy
, we had to be ready day or night to capture footage that's consistent with the aesthetic of the film. Carefully choosing our equipment is crucial to serving this type of production.”
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