Make-up dreams world tour

I’m finally able to announce the incredible news that for the next five weeks I will be travelling on the Kryolan Make-up 2014 World Tour. I will be shooting a documentary focusing on the celebration of art and culture through make-up, travelling to almost every continent for our inspiration in the process.

Although I have travelled quite a bit shooting films, going away for five weeks is far longer than any other project I have worked on abroad. Needless to say I spent a few days just working out what kit essentials I wanted to bring. Shooting almost entirely external locations for this project the first thing I wanted to establish was what lighting gear to take with me. During the pre-production stage I agreed with the client that we would attempt to shoot at sunset as much as possible for the obvious mood that it gives but also for the much more radiant softer light I can then work with on the skin tones of the models. Flags, reflectors and diffusers are always staples of my lighting kit so I bought a bunch of these with me to allow me to cut, diffuse and bounce the natural light as I please. As for my own light sources I bought along a large Dedo LED panel. Dedo are a company I hugely admire for their commitment for producing quality products. Their LED panels are some of the best on the market with a high CRI level for perfect coloured skin tones, a super long battery life that runs off my Sony-npf batteries and of course the robust build quality that Dedo are so well known for. Having some kind of quality light source to work with on externals is such an important thing especially when shooting make-up and fashion if for nothing else other than achieving a glint in the eye that makes the models look so alive.

As for camera gear I took along my trusty Sony FS700. The Odyssey 7q had to stay at home for this one as shooting 4k for five entire weeks would have just produced a colossal amount of data too big for one person to deal with whilst on the road. I find the FS700 the perfect camera for almost all the work I carry out. With the ability to shoot super slow motion and now with the incredible dynamic range of S-log2 the image is just fantastic and a pleasure to work with.

Choosing lenses for five weeks when I have a limitation on how much kit I can bring was a tough decision. I instantly knew I need to take an amazing 50mm. On a full frame camera this is the focal length that the human eye sees with and shooting a documentary of course I want the ability to capture life as I see it myself. My leica 50mm 1.4 fitted the bill for this job. With a decent prime sorted out I really wanted to take a couple of zoom lenses which I knew I would be using for the more candid and unplanned moments. The ability to zoom and pick up coverage quickly is vital in these situations. The Canon L 24-105 is my go to lens because of the incredibly large focal distance it covers but also because of the built in IS and the beautiful movement you get with this when shooting handheld. I knew I would also require something with a bit more reach and had to debate between the 70-200 f2.8 or 70-300 f4. With the 70-300 coming in much smaller, lighter and with more of a focal length I opted for this lens. When combined with the metabones speed booster it makes up for the slower f-stop of f4. I also took along the Canon L 1.4 24mm so I had a faster prime for wide angle shots and my macro rings for close ups.

I have been shooting make-up for a long time now so already had an idea of the stylistic approach I wanted to take with the film. I love to create imagery that shows life in a way that the human eye cannot see it. Macro lenses, slow motion and beautiful movement of the camera all help create this style. The glidecam HD2000 is one of the best devices on the market to create wonderfully smooth movements so of course I had to bring that along too.


One thing I know a lot of other filmmakers suffer from when working with heavy equipment is back pain. I’d been looking at wheeled backpack solutions for a while because of this reason and picked up a Thinktank airport takeoff for this project as I knew I would be on the road for so long. The build quality of this bag is fantastic with enough room for all my gear and needless to say a life saver when transporting everything through airports and cities. The Airport takeoff also complies with size limitations for both international and european flights so fits perfectly in the overhead storage.

Other kit I took along which I haven’t mentioned includes:
-4 x 64GB SDHC cards
-4 x 32GB SDHC cards
-Macbook Pro
-2tb Harddrive storage
-Radio mics
-Rode NTG2
-Invelometer for timelapses
-Manfrotto 501 head on some small legs

I’m really excited to start working on this project and to have the opportunity to travel the world. Stay tuned for more updates from the trip and to find out exactly what locations we will be visiting.

By Paul Bates, on Aug 15th, 2014, 0 Comments

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