All images by Patrick Rochon. Used with permission.
After gaining an in as a Red Bull Illume photographer, Patrick Rochon went on to creating lots of inspiring light painting projects. He even has his own line of tools for the art form. And recently he was hired to, well, quite literally just be creative.
This particular light painting project involved shooting a video and creating stills. Done in Thailand, the project called for lots of cameras, quite a bit of light painting and playing off of four words: Bold, Mysterious, Futuristic and Fun
Phoblographer: What was the concept for this project? How did you even begin to get a gig like this?
It’s a creative “out of the box” indirect campaign. So instead of advertising a product, they advertise a message, an idea that utilizes my artwork and my way as an example.
Phoblographer: Where did the inspiration come from? It reminds me a bit of ancient Greek muses in a way.
Patrick: Thailand is very creative, lots of people there are entrepreneurs, freelancers, run their own business, or make all kinds of artistic stuff.
The agency saw my first 360 degree project and chose this direction for their concept. All the looks, costumes and styling including hair and makeup, are based on keywords. Bold, Mysterious, Futuristic and Fun. So, I had to create light paintings that matched those keywords and looks.
Phoblographer: Talk to us about the rig that was used to shoot this. There was a whole lot of cameras.
Patrick: This rig was built in Thailand, in collaboration with a team who previously experimented with the Bullet Time technique, except this was their first full 360 degree project.
I brought in the special software designed by Eric Paré, his team of experts. It’s an important software that allows you to trigger all cameras together and witness the result right on the spot after each shot. This way we can tell if a camera is misaligned or out of focus and at the same time witness the light painting from every angle.
We had 24 Canon 5D Mark II cameras on the ring connected to four computers.
Phoblographer: This had to have been done with a giant constant light source which makes sense; but talk to us about the creation of these images. Was there story boarding involved or did it just come from your own mind? How much creative input did the client have?
Patrick: This wasn’t a constant light source, the lighting is created on the spot. No rehearsals for this part, but lots of colour research and tool preparation.
Yes there is a story board behind, especially for the video part.
One of the big challenges here is that since we are in 360 degree, this means there is a camera pointing in every direction in the studio and because we are doing real light painting on Bulb, the long exposure quickly captures any parasite lights around. This means the whole studio must be 100% dark. No mobile phones, no computers, no windows, no light coming from the cracks of the door. 100% darkness. It’s a trip with a model standing there and you have to light paint her without seeing where she is, what facial expression she is making and, most importantly, without blocking the view of any of the cameras.
I only use hand held lights such as, the Liteblades, Klarus lights and Kino-flo tubes, in some cases to “paint” with light.
I did all the direction and creation of the light painting. From the client’s end, the gold colour was key and needed to be present in the light painting.
They worked together with the agency for the concept, message and coordination. My agent, Suzy Johnston & Associates, was there the whole way to support wherever they could including guidance on working with the 360 rig and finding all kinds of solutions. We also had a friend of mine, Pierre Tremblay, help out on the editing for some of the clips and helping out however he could.
It became a big family of creation with lots of international communications. It basically took over six months to do and now I’m going back at the end of May to do a live light painting performance.
This kind of experience is life changing and is quite a cultural exchange. We create and get to know each other, we go through big challenges and problems to solve, we all work in the same direction towards a common goal to create something fun, different, outside the box and daring in many ways.
I honestly want to say thank you to the client, 285 Blend, the Amex Team agency, the video director, Bob Eye View productions, and all the collaborators and friends who participated in this creative journey.