Fashion Week Filmmaker Interview: Paolo Baroni

Posted in Equipment, Video by Nathan Lee Bush on September 11, 2012

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We caught up with Milan-based DP Paolo Baroni outside the Lincoln Center Fashion Week Pavilion about what he’s shooting with and the challenges that come with capturing this hectic event.

Adorama Rental Company: Who are you shooting for?
Paolo Baroni: We’re shooting for IMG

ARC: What setup do you have here?
PB: Scarlet with a Canon mount. I do prefer Nikon lenses, since I’ve had them for years, so I just bought a Nikon adaptor, and I use mostly Nikons with a Canon adaptor. I’m waiting for the true, official Nikon adaptor from RED.

ARC: What accessories do you have here?
PB: Usually I have the 5-inch monitor and the touchscreen. But you know traveling, with backpacks, you try to minimize your gear. I’m shooting also 5D stuff, and I’ve brought the Zacuto EVF, which is really sharp and then the RED itself has got the magnifying and the edges features, so you don’t really need a big monitor to focus.

I just bought the new Redrock blue microFollowFocus because I like hard stops, especially when you’re doing runway. You just set the beginning of the runway, and the end of the runway. Shooting details is not easy, especially if you can’t close the lens too much because of the lights. So if the runway is well-lit, you can close more, and it’s easier to focus. If you have to shoot like f/8 it’s a little bit tricky, especially if the runway is long. So hard stops really help.

I really like Bricks instead of Red Volts, because 30 minutes, it’s like you switch it on, and then it’s done. So two hours and a half, at least, with the brick. And I’ve got a handle. As you can see it’s pretty compact.

ARC: Are  you shooting full-res?
PB: Yeah I’m shooting 4K every time. [Our team is] mixing a lot of stuff, like Sony EX, Panasonic, 5D and RED, but mainly, when you want some details like hair – beauty stuff, 4K really pops out from the monitor more than the other cameras. Like closeups of the eyes or lips or nails, it’s gonna be more ‘beauty’ in the beauty shots.

ARC: What’s the client looking for?
PB: Actually the client is looking for everything and nothing. They want establishing shots, they want to see the people, the mood, sometimes they want to see just the venue, they want wide shots and sometimes interesting closeups of people interacting, inside and outside the venue, in the lobby. They have different points and you try to accomplish day-by-day what they ask. So it’s not about the gear itself, but more about what you can get from the gear for a special request. For wide shots? Okay, crisp lens, 4K – it’s a very detailed wide shot. If you wanna go with closeups, a 5D with a 50mm (for out of focus stuff) is good enough. 100 macro 4K for eyes is the best shot you can get from backstage.

ARC: And what’s the final output? Is this for the web?
PB: Mainly the official website. Something for YouTube. Something Blu-Ray. Something on the monitors inside the lobby, streaming. So it’s really different. The final taping is always Full HD, so shooting RED is going down-res, but it’s really nice if you want to zoom in or crop something out. For runway if you don’t set the proper white balance, or maybe if the designer is complaining about colors of some textures or other things, you can fix that later with the RAW.

ARC: Do you do a lot of Fashion work?
PB: Every city in the world. All the Fashion Week’s for IMG.

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