Rob Gaut of FiveStory Pictures created a beautiful short for the Olathe City Fire Department for their Annual Awards Ceremony. Rob used the KC-Lite to help tell his story.
Kessler University (KU): Tell me a little about yourself/company.
Rob Gaut (RG): I run a small production company, FiveStory Pictures. My biggest passion is telling stories through rock solid and engaging imagery. I like to think that if you just pulled just a few frames from my films they would tell the story by themselves. I think that’s a mark of good cinematography – it’s beautiful, but very compelling and moving and can stand on its own. But there are so many different elements that create a great film – at the core it’s the images and the sound. The music really drives the visuals and helps communicate the story in a powerful way. I’m still learning how to put all the pieces together to tell the best stories I can for my personal projects and my clients.
KU: What was your concept behind the film?
RG: I wanted to do this piece for our local fire department in a different way than I had seen other films done. My concept was to wrap in the idea of the history of the fire department through past generations serving the community and continuing on this path of excellence through the current generation. I wanted to show the hard work and humanity of the firefighters. I also wanted to show the men as true helpers and heroes. I did this by including the baby rescue scene (using my own wife and son) and showed the encouraging interaction between the firefighters. I put together a few rudimentary storyboards for my personal use to keep me on track (since I was shooting and editing the project myself).
KU: I was extremely motivated to shoot something after watching the piece. Would love to know a little more about how you decided to approach this project. The story/style/etc. fit so well together. Was the project shaped in pre-production or post?
RG: The story was shaped in Pre-production. I wrote the script first then arranged the shots to go with the script. I knew before I started I wanted to do the piece in slow motion, so I over-cranked my 7d at 60 fps, and then conformed it to 24p in post. This gave me the nice smooth slow motion I wanted to tell the story with. I also wanted a “gritty” grade. This helped create some depth to both the image and the story.
KU: I noticed that you used Kessler gear to help tell your story. What was it like to use the gear?
RG: The Kessler tool I used on this film was the KC-Lite Crane. It’s a fantastic crane. It only weighs 15lbs, so it’s easy to cart around and sets up in 5 min! Most of my work is shot with DSLR cameras which the KC-Lite handles like a breeze. I purchased the crane and put it to use right away with the Manfrotto Tripod head and sticks I already owned. The KC-lite really adds so much production value to your films. Even just a few properly placed moves in your film will make it have a much stronger impact! The crane goes with me on all my shoots, even when I travel on the airline I just add it to my large production case with my tripods and light stands and doesn’t weigh me down!
KU: What’s next from you?
RG: I’m currently working on a new project for the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Awards ceremony. I was asked to create an Intro film to kick off the ceremony and create the vignette films for each of the inductees in the 2012 class including Patrick Ewing. That will kick off this fall, and I have some stills from some of recent shoots on my blog – http://fivestory.tumblr.com/.
I’m also putting together a new project for another area fire department and am looking forward to continuing to explore that genre in different and interesting ways!
If you want to see more from Rob, Check out his website.