All posts tagged fitness

  • Pure Intensity Training

    Wow is this really my first post of 2013? For shame, Jesse. In my defense, I’ve been a bit busy – with projects like this! (OMG best segue ever)

    The snippet I’m sharing here is the opener to a longer video about a fitness class called Pure Intensity Training. Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the decisions I made (lighting, framerates, editing, music) that lead to this particular look and feel.

    Overall Direction: The class is aptly named. Pure Intensity Training IS intense. While it can accommodate anyone from beginner to elite athlete, there’s no escaping the fact that this class will kick your butt. My goal was to capture that “intensity” with the opener. I wanted to create something high-energy, aggressive, dynamic, and sweaty (but not TOO gritty.)

    Content: So what am I going to shoot?  The class itself is chocked full of movement. It seemed like a no-brainer to showcase those moves with actual people from the class rather than try to illustrate “high-energy” with some other visual (ninjas? monster trucks? no.) And let’s be honest, budget and time is a huge factor here. We only had an hour to shoot this.

    Style/Art Direction: Another differentiating element of the PIT class is the way they use “pure” movements – there’s no special training or gym equipment required. This is why I chose to keep the frame clean and clear, pure and simple. No backwall, no mirrors, no slowly rotating gym fans. Just bodies and movement.

    photo-2(Red Epic with 24-70mm. Convenient and terrible lens)

    Lighting: There was no key light in this shoot, just two kickers in the back. Any front light came from the kickers reflecting off the gym floor and bouncing back into the talent’s face. This type of lighting served the piece in a few ways.

    1. This is a showcase of movement and sweat, not specific people. Lighting the edges meant the viewer’s eye is drawn more to the outline of the body rather than people’s faces.

    2. Using hard lights, and putting them at such an oblique angle created shadows and texture that really helped highlight muscles and lines. Wanna look extra buff? Take off your shirt in front of the bathroom mirror and use your iPhone to light yourself 90 degrees from one side (or above). Every little bump is now defined with a shadow. Now put your shirt back on, please. And maybe eat a salad.

    3. Lastly, don’t over estimate the “it looks cool” factor. Edge light is edgy, duh.

    I used two 400 watt jokers in the back, both at about 45˚ from the subject. I was shooting at 110fps with 180˚ shutter so needed a lot of light. Ultimately I would have preferred a couple of 800 watt jokers and a little more diffusion back there to help the light spread across the talent more evenly.

    photo-1(400 Watt Joker Pars in the back)

    Music and editing: Dub step seemed like a good mix between rock and dance. Fitness and fashion seems to lean more toward dance/house music. And when I think of “pumping iron” I think of aggressive rock music. This dubstep track sat right in the middle. As for editing, I try so hard to avoid speed-ramps but felt it was necessary with this edit. It seemed to “ramp” up the intensity and was a good transition between furious realtime and poetic slow-motion.

    Ok, thanks for reading. For the record, when approaching a new project I don’t necessarily start with categories like this. I start with “you know what might be cool” then work backwards to make sure the idea fits within the project goals.

    Jesse out.