As part of our aim to strengthen the connection between us and our readers, we decided to give our talented audience out there a stage to express themselves and share their success stories in our new weekly TALENT FEATURE. We hope that with time, these guest posts will become a source of inspiration to our colleagues wherever they are. If you are interested in participating, Please upload your video to our VIDEOLOG and follow the rest of the submission process by reading the information here. (Intro by Johnnie Behiri)
Hisonni Johnson is a writer, director, actor, cinematographer and creator. He studied with acclaimed Chicago photographer David VanderVeen, amassing an impressive portfolio of commercials, along with an affinity for still photography, video, film and post production. He has worked professionally in nearly every crew position there is, in both television and film. As a result, his skills as a writer, director and cinematographer have quickly earned him numerous awards and accolades.
Name: Hisonni Johnson
Age: 33 years old
Currently based in: Ontario, California U.S.A.
Language Spoken: English
How did you get started in our industry? I grew up in a successful photography studio, David VanderVeen Photography. From a very young age, I’ve known that its possible to be happy and make a living from the arts.
Current assignments: I’m currently in pre-production for a short film and web series. I shoot weekly videos (3-6 videos a week) for Yelp, Groupon and Zillow.
What types of productions do you mostly shoot? I shoot 60 – 90 second spots for businesses within a 70 mile radius.
What is your dream assignment / job in our industry and what are you really passionate about? I’d love to produce and direct television shows.
In the work that you are presenting to us, now that it is done, what would you have done differently? Not much. I’m really happy with the way things have turned out. Wait… I take that back. In hindsight, I believe that you can never put too much time into team chemistry. I could have spent more time with my crew. I believe that communication on set becomes this sort of short hand variation of normal communication due to the rush of shooting. More importantly, I’ve realized that not everyone is used to that short hand language and messages aren’t conveyed as clearly as they could’ve been. I’d like to fix that.
What current camera, lenses and sound equipment do you use? I have a 5D mark II, Red Epic, Arri Alexa classic paired with Canon L series lenses, Zeiss super speeds and Schneider Xenon FF lenses.
What is your favourite light equipment and why did you choose that kit over other solutions? I believe the best pieces of equipment I own are my Arri L7 C lights. The build quality is amazing and the flexibility of those lights is priceless.
Do you use drones / gimbals in your productions? If yes, what is the most effect reason why you’ve found in deploying them? I’m in the process of grabbing a drone. I owned a gimbal but sent it back. It felt like the company rushed that gimbal out before it was ready. Owning a gimbal made me feel like I was spreading my self too thin, and if you know how many hats I juggle then you’d know how big of a statement that is (LOL). The gimbal required entirely too much time to set up and didn’t yield the results I hoped for. Ultimately, the experience made me focus on the basics (composition, lighting and colour) a bit more in my shots.
What editing systems do you use? Love and use Adobe Premiere CC.
How much of your work do you shoot in Log and what is your preferred way of colour correcting? It’s split evenly. 1/3 of my work is shot on a DSLR, 1/3 is shot raw on my RED and 1/3 is shot in ProRes 4444 12 bit on the Alexa.
How frequently do you travel, and do you have any tips when it comes to packing your gear? I‘ve really cut down on the traveling. I found it to be super rough on my body. By staying local, I feel like I’m investing in my physical and mental well being. Im trying to have longevity as a filmmaker because I’m sure it’s going to take some time to reach all of my goals.
If you want to learn more about Hisonni creative’s work, head over to his homepage.
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