Whoo-hoo! A LomoKino music video is what Michael Raso of New Jersey based "Film Photography Project" has created as one of Lomography's first LomoKino Amigos! The experimental electro-acoustic band "The Smoove Sailors" are featured performing their song "Majic Carpet Fried". What a great complement the creative camera provides the non conventional tunes. Also, a special surprise lurks after the jump!
Name: Michael Raso
Location: New Jersey
Blog/website: Film Photography Project
A music video – that must have been a challenge! What inspired you to shoot The Smoove Sailors with the LomoKino?
The Smoove Sailors play and record inprov, experimental music. It just felt natural – LomoKIno and The Smoove Sailors. I have an open invite to visit the guy’s rehearsals and the whole band is interested in traditional photography – which made it even more fun!
What’s your directing experience?
I’ve been directing professionally since the late 1980s when I worked for Comcast (here in the states). I worked in their local New Jersey studio and was responsible for producing 30-second commercial spots for local advertisers. In the 90s through the 2000s I set out on my own and produced numerous low-budget indie feature films. Such not-so-classics films as Shock-O-Rama, Splatter Beach and Play-Mate of the Apes! If your insomniac you might catch one on ultra-late night TV!
Would you say it’s easier or more difficult to sync up the music to the video when it comes to experimental tunes?
I found syncing up the music to my final picture to be quite easy especially since the music is experimental. I had no concern over actual sync and was more concentrated on setting up the mood. In the end I believe that both visuals and music are quite complementary!
What is your priority, when shooting? Do you go with your gut instinct or map out all you desire to capture on film beforehand?
Well, I always map out a plan but I’m almost always forced to make decisions or different shot choices based on such things as location, lighting (or lack of) and subject. In the case of shooting Smoove Sailors, it was a live performance, so I had two LomoKino cameras loaded up with additional film in my pocket and although I had a preconceived idea of shots, once they began playing, I made many decisions on-the-spot.
What is your favorite aspect about shooting with the LomoKino, and 35mm cameras in general for that matter?
The LomoKino is very new to me so I’m still completely intrigued by it. I’ve shot both 35mm still and motion picture film but the idea of shooting 36-exposure rolls of film seems a bit like a fever dream. A completely new, fantastic lo-fi experience!
What do you like about working with the ProFoto XL 100 Color Negative Film from KODAK?
I just discovered Kodak’s Pro-Foto XL 100 while doing an e-bay search for film stocks. I have never heard of it so I did a bit of poking around on the web and found a spec sheet. From what I’ve read, the film was designed for Asian countries where humidity and temperature is high. Some shooters on the web have compared the film to Kodak Gold but after shooting many rolls of the Pro-Foto I’ve starting calling it “Portra Jr.” The Pro-Foto is very easy to scan and has a color palette very similar to that of Kodak’s new Portra. It’s not as good as the Portra film but the film is about half the cost!
We know directors don’t give the full details of the films they are working on away, but can you tell us what you’re planning next?
No secrets here. I’m happy to spill the beans! I just completed my first LomoKino 20-Second Spook Show. It’s called Daughter Dracula and is shot on Kodak Portra 160. Think Christopher Lee Hammer-type horror! My goal is to produce a series through Halloween 2012.
And here it is, the first in a series of Spook Shows, for you to sink your teeth into! Keep your eyes peeled for the next installment!
How was the process of post-production editing for you?
As a still photographer I already owned Adobe Photoshop and an Epson V700 scanner. Preparing to edit my LomoKino movie required that I scan in each of the 144 frames per roll. It’s quite a task and has made me a better planner for my next LomoKino movie. Scanning is labor intensive so if I better plan my shots before shooting, it will save me precious scan time in the future. Although I’ve done lots of film editing, I’ve never editing using a computer – so, this was a brand new experience. I had no software to speak of so I went to the Lomography website and started watching demos on how to edit a LomoKino movie. I use a PC so what a surprise to find that the editing software I need (Windows Movie Maker) is already installed. As far as I know Windows Movie Maker is a “bare bones” editing software, which is great because anyone that owns a computer and scanner can edit a LomoKino movie.
Who are directors that inspire you?
I’m most influenced by hard-working and industrious filmmakers like George Romero (original “Night of the Living Dead”) and Sam Raimi (original “Evil Dead”). These are guys who squeezed their amazingly small budgets in to amazing, groundbreaking films.
You shoot at a range of different angles which leads me to think you must enjoy the mobility the LomoKino gives. How do you make your decisions on when a shot is in extreme close-up or in wide angle?
I envision the final movie before I shoot it. This enables me to (somewhat) camera edit the movie while I’m shooting. Since the subject was live music, I felt I had the freedom to vary my shots and try to get as much coverage as possible. I’d shoot twenty frames of guitar, then whip around and shoot drums, quickly tilt up and grab some faces. I’ve been shooting since I picked up my first Super 8 camera at 15, so I’ve had 32 years to practice for this LomoKino experience!
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Enter a new analogue dimension with the LomoKino. Lomography’s own 35mm analogue movie camera allows you to capture action and immortalize your story on film! Shoot 144 frames on any 35mm film and create your own cinematic masterpieces. Want to watch your movie the old-school way? We also offer the LomoKino and LomoKinoscope package!