Prime (2012), one in a series of short films about place by Ben Wu and David Usui of Lost & Found Films.
I asked Ben for the story behind this perfectly composed interview. Canon 5D. 24-70mm lens. Aperture a 4/5.6 split. 1x1 lite panels with extra CTO to match the yellow/tobacco tint of the place.
Here’s Ben on the importance of depth of field in this shot: “This is where the 5d/shallow depth of field shines. It has reached a point where even I get sick of the ‘look’, but for talking head invws, it really helps, and in this case, had we shot this with our EX1 or other cam, it wouldn’t have worked. The people in the background would have been in focus, drawing your attention to them, and not to Artie. But with the 5d, we could throw the background out just enough so got the sense of the customers, but just a sense, and the focus, literally and figuratively, is placed wholly on Artie.”
And here’s Artie’s story: “I started here August of 1952. I was about 19, 20 years old. Originally this place was open 24 hours, so we would get musicians from the jazz strip on 52nd Street, Rita Hayworth and Sammy Davis Jr. Every day we was mobbed, every day.”