A day in Arizona with Paige Spiranac

Earlier this year, Prospertere magazine featured an exclusive interview with Mr Selfridge and Entourage actor Jeremy Piven. It was an excellent opportunity to spend some time with the team when I headed over to New Jersey for the shoot.

The team are now back in America (a little lower and further west!) for a shoot in Arizona with Callaway golfer Paige Spiranac.



In terms of technicalities I shot the interview on C100 and picked up cutaways with a combination of C100 and some GoPro 4blk & gimbal (Feiyu Tech WG on a pole) shots. We also flew a 3DR Solo drone, again with GoPro 4blk for some aerials.
Differentiating the interview 

Paige is an up and coming athlete and has gained a huge amount of attention in the last 12 months not just in the golf world but also with health and fitness fans, something she is keen to attribute importance to. Her Instagram alone has garnered well over 400,000 followers.

As such there has been a significant quantity of media interest surrounding her. With this in mind it was important to produce a piece of content that could be differentiated and offered something aside from what had been done previously.
The importance of good B -Roll

After 15 minutes speaking with Paige we had a few hours on course. This afforded time to shoot enough cutaways and B-Roll.

With these shots I think it is so important to attempt to capture the essence of the person. It sounds like a raging cliche but it seems lots of b-roll in interviews is placed purely for stuffing and / or to help the editor with cuts. Of course this is true, but the reality is that good b-roll provides a huge opportunity to bring the words to life.

A great way to do this is to shoot behind the scenes as you go about the day. The candid and natural shots of a joke made from crew to the talent can give a smile 100 times more honest and real than one that can be directed.
Getting creative with GoPros  

The good thing about GoPros is that they can do anything (anything?). They are crazily useful! Keeping a few in your pocket always come in useful. Throwing a GoPro in the hole looking out whilst a ball was putted in is a perfect example. Something just done at the last minute which adds a lot to the edit.

I've been playing a lot, (a serious lot!) with my 3dr drone. I was keen to bring this along to the shoot. Whilst time on the day was pretty limited, I knew the aerial aspect would add some interest to shots and be a good scene setter for sequences.

The 3dr solo is great in that, alongside full manual control, is has a bunch of programmable presets. These take seconds to setup and nail the shot 9/10 times. On a day like this they worked a treat. Laying down the drone as we got to each hole allowed it to acquire GPS whilst me and the photographer picked up teeing off shots. It was then ready to get straight into the air when needed wasting no time. Even fairly high wind (15-20mph gusts) didn't phase it hugely with gps correction continually keeping it in check and the gimbal smoothing out jitter.
GoPros & Gimbals for those smooth follow shots?

A staple whatever I do now, keeping a GoPro handy on a gimbal offers constant chances to grab super smooth follow shots. Essentially everything I used to do on glide cam I now do with a gimbal GoPro combo.

Following golf carts, shots of Paige driving cart having a laugh and orbiting Paige whilst teeing off are all good examples where shots were only possible with the gimbal and took seconds to achieve.
Wrap up and takeaways

I think the key takeaway is that there is always time to be creative with shots no matter what your time constraint. Using the likes of the drone seemed hugely impractical initially due to having little time with the talent and worrying that I may miss the bread and butter shots. The reality is that with a little pre planning, you can get the drone in the air super fast and even a handful of good aerials really add a lot to the overall edit. Likewise with the GoPros. Having them handy for the odd creative shot you spy takes seconds and adds so much to the edit. 

Shooting with Paige was part of a longer (excellent) week long trip. From Denver down through Moab Utah, to Sedona Arizona then Scottsdale, Phoenix - back to the Grand Canyon, up to Vail, and finishing in Fort Collins, Colorado.

James Hustler