The One About the X-Pro3 Film Shoot

Francis, just before we drive out for the final shot.

I’m not yet done with X-Pro3 images—more stuff to share. But I also had the good fortune to shoot a promo film for the camera so here’s some BTS for you guys. I’ve been “archive diving” for this one too, trying to avoid using images that have or will be seen in other posts—here or elsewhere (1). All of these were obviously shot with a pre-production X-Pro3, processed in Capture One Pro 12 from Classic Neg JPEG files.

THE PROCESS

I once again worked with Billy Luong and Francis Bellefeuille from Fujifilm Canada. I really couldn’t hope for a better team to be honest: we brainstorm every project together, then Francis and I usually head out for a few days and shoot. He does all the camera work—since I’m typically...err...in front of it—but it’s like a playground: we bounce ideas off of each other, sometimes sticking to the script, often adding as we go along, reacting to what we see. An expandable framework for you will.

Once the shoot is done, Francis moves on to editing and I get to pull back a bit, which provides a bit of distance. He usually does a kicka$% first draft and we refine/tighten from there. Once we have a “working copy” Billy gets to view the results with even fresher eyes and provide feedback. I think the best word to describe the entire process would be organic—everything simply evolves, piece by piece.

THE PLAN

The storyboard was pretty open on this project: we had a theme and intro in mind, both revolving around the concept of overload and reconnecting with something more...essential. We had also figured out the ending and had a plan and location for it, which meant most of the work would focus on getting street imagery. We decided on Toronto as the backdrop: both the recent GF 50mm promo and last year’s Precious movie had been shot in and around Montreal so this would make for a nice change of scenery. The idea was to fly in early, get as much of our daytime/nighttime street material on this first day and have most of day two as a bonus—a safety net but also a way to possibly add a different vibe. Because weather (forecast was calling for rain). Our flight home was scheduled for 7PM, which would give us plenty of time.

Anyway...how about a visual journal instead of a long explanation? Here we go. 


HOME TO YUL TO YTZ TO TAXI TO HOTEL


The sun shines this morning, a dim fog floating above the fields. I get to the airport, hop on the shuttle and meet Francis. On the flight I have a chat with the woman sitting next to me—as much as I hate the tediousness of flying, I’m usually lucky with the folks I meet. We land in the middle of the city, hail a cab and check into our hotel. A quick 15mn breather and we meet in the lobby.


DAYTIME I


Sunny weather, check; bustling streets, check; walking shoes, check. The first hour of a shoot always feels pointless—as though nothing will work and we’ve entirely missed the mark. Then, slowly, the rhythm takes hold. We spend the entire afternoon canvassing Toronto, stopping when we need to stop, moving when we need to move. We retrace some of our steps a dozen times over...


NIGHTTIME (outtakes)


We’re back in Chinatown for dinner with Mark, but we Ubered this time...didn’t feel up to the same 40mn walk right before our evening shoot. The weather holds. The night is indeed liquid.


DAYTIME II


I wake up to gray skies. We need to check-out after breakfast but there’s a whole day ahead of us. By noon the rain has started and it’s a doozy: a hard, torrential downpour that shows no signs of letting up. We get lunch, stretching it, hoping for a break. It’s not happening. We wanted a different look today. Here it is.



DOWNTOWN TO YTZ TO YUL, EVENTUALLY.


We’re happy, we’re wet, we’re looking forward to home. The plane is half-empty and on-time...until the captain picks up the mic: one of the batteries isn’t charging. We get off and we wait. Better safe than sorry, right? Second boarding call comes 45mn later and this time the flight is full. So much for stretching our legs but hey...at least we’re on our way.


DIFFERENT BREED


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1. If you haven’t seen these already, I did a post on KAGE and also wrote a piece for the Fujifilm-X website.