Shooting this video was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in recent memory. The video focuses on Jamie Tripp Utitis, who is taking the drug Tysabri to combat multiple sclerosis. Jamie and her husband Tony were so accommodating, so nice, so willing to do whatever it took to get all the shots we needed…they were the nicest people to work with that I can recall in a long time. Even though I had catering brought in for lunch, Jamie cooked a delicious lentil soup for us. Although she got fatigued due to what she was dealing with, she hung in there with us. Here’s the video:
We shot this with the EX-3, minimal lighting setup, just one Arri 1k with chimera, I think we used a bounce card for fill. The living room scenes were all natural light (thank God for large picture windows) and the kitchen scene was just a 1k bounced off the ceiling. We had a total of three days to shoot and edit this; while that schedule produces a lot of grey hair, I tell you I absolutely LOVE being able to crank out a story and just play with different effects, not have to worry about any rules in terms of editing (I like to call it “MTV-style”) and getting it done. Projects like that I find to be the most fulfilling, and even more to the point: when you finish a job like this and you feel satisfied that you got it done and the end result is pretty good…that’s one thing. But then, after invading this woman’s space, putting her business on video, for her to see it and love it is the icing on the cake.
One funny note (and if Jamie sees this, I hope she doesn’t mind that I brought it up). We wanted to shoot Jamie in her apartment to first and foremost, keep her in the comforts of her home and to capture glimpses of her daily life. When I first contacted Jamie, she was hesitant to let us shoot because she claimed her apartment was too small, she was embarrassed by the size. The account executive kept telling me how I needed to be very sensitive about the small apartment, that I shouldn’t bring a huge crew because Jamie was so concerned about the size of the place. When we arrived that morning, I was shocked to walk into a HUGE two bedroom apartment with a living room, dining room, kitchen and full bath! I told Jamie her place was bigger than most homes in northern New Jersey! We laughed about that the rest of the shoot!
Please check out Jamie’s blog, Ugly Like Me, where she poetically outlines her experiences of life and dealing with MS. She posted a gracious write-up where she gives a truthful summation of her experience dealing with a milestone infusion of Tysabri as well as her experience with our crew. I must point out that I assume the title “Ugly Like Me” must refer to the MS, because Jamie is ANYTHING but ugly. She’s gorgeous inside and out. Cheers, Jamie!