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)
I am a photographer and filmmaker based out of Delray Beach, Florida. I’ve been a cinephile since I was a small child and I attended a 16mm filmmaking program at NYU in 2007. Since then, I’ve worked for corporate and magazine clients in South Florida, including Maxim, Men’s Health, JetBlue, and Lynn University. I had a short documentary featured in the Miami Short Film Festival and Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival in 2014 on the native Miccosukee in Florida’s Everglades. Overall I am trying to find the time to balance creative personal projects with professional ones, which is something I think most people in our business can relate to.
Name: Justin Hearn
Currently based in (country/town): Delray Beach, Florida
Language(s) spoken: English
Occupation: Senior Multimedia Producer for Lynn University, head of Hearn Studios LLC
How did you get started in our industry? After film school, I offered to do free corporate videos for a couple of businesses I liked. With this small portfolio, I managed to get paying jobs and after a bit I was supporting myself.
Current assignments? Last week I was granted permission to bring a full grand piano to the beach at sunrise. I was filming a Lynn University Conservatory pianist playing Ravel. The challenge with this project will be to get four separate takes of her playing synced with a studio recording of the 7 minute long piece.
What types of productions do you mostly shoot? Documentary-style corporate videos, usually in one-man-band shooting scenarios. Staged photography for web and print.
What is your dream assignment / job in our industry and what are you really passionate about? I would love to shoot the New York Times’ Op-Docs, or just be a working DP in the higher film and commercial industries.
In the work that you are presenting us, now that it is done, what would you have done differently throughout the production? I would have spent more time lighting the final shots of the food at the end, and staged the students more in the cafeteria eating the dishes. If I had been able to get enough light into the kitchen for slow motion and a high shutter speed, I would have tried some Twixtor on the cooking shots – maybe on a pan flip or something. I also would have liked to have done a proper sit-down interview with the chef, but he was so busy that day that I could really only interview him while he was preparing food.
What current camera, lenses and sound equipment do you use? Canon C100 Mark II, Canon XC10, Canon EOS 6D, Canon EOS M3. I go back and forth between a set of Canon 35 / 50 / 85 primes and their 24-105 and 70-200 L zooms depending on the job. I also have a Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 and Tokina 11-16mm F/2.8. I use a RodeLink Wireless lav kit, an NTG 3, Rode smartLav++, and Zoom H6 for sound. Canon cameras can’t usually compete on the spec sheet but the image always wins me over. Canon puts so much thought into how their cameras operate, and once you are comfortable with one it just gets out of your way and lets you get the shot.
What’s is your favorite lighting equipment and why did you choose that kit over other solutions? Even though the technology is ageing rapidly, I refuse to get rid of my Lowel tungsten light kit. The color rendering of tungsten is just beautiful. For quick jobs I use LED lights like the Fotodiox flapjack.
Do you use drones/gimbals in your productions? If so, what is the most effective why you’ve found in deploying them? Drone footage has to be used carefully – just because you are impressed by the shot does not mean it will hold the audience’s attention. I use a Phantom 3 Professional. I have a DJI Ronin but its enormous size prevents me from using it as often as I’d like. When I do get it to a location I am always amazed at the quality of the camera movement.
What editing systems do you use? Premiere Pro CC on Mac.
How much of your work do you shoot in Log and what is your preferred way of colour correcting? I always shoot in log absolutely 100% of the time. I find a flat picture style with the accompanying dynamic range boost is more important to me for a pleasing image than resolution. These days I am enjoying grading with the Lumetri color panel in Premiere. I usually use a film LUT of some kind to taste.
How frequently do you travel and do you have any tips when it comes to packing your gear? I was sent to document study abroad classes in Europe for Lynn and I managed to pack the XC10, Canon M3, and sound gear into one sling backpack. When I would go out into cities I just had a padded messenger bag that I could put that day’s gear into. Worked out really well. My advice would be to pack as light as possible and don’t be afraid to compromise.
If you want to learn more about Justin creative’s work, head over to his Vimeo page.
Participate in our initiative: share your talent and creative work by following these steps.