“JOY”
a Film by Abdulaziz Alhussain

One of the things that made me love the cinematic photography is the ability to extend the feeling of the story of what the lens captures, which makes the viewer lives an interesting & extended experience. Telling a story through visuals may take the viewers to a place they’ve never imagined before even if it was a silent story. So, making or shooting a video is not that difficult, sometimes you may not need a huge staff, or a large number of equipment, you just need to make the right choices. I’ve been using Sony equipment for years and the reason behind using Sony’s equipment that it gives me many options while shooting a video. I have always preferred handheld shooting, and when I do, that equipment offers me lots of advantages. I used Sony A7SM3 camera in my latest project “JOY” with a set of G Master lenses, and this camera has many exciting features, high quality UHD 4K 120FP, 10-Bit 4:2:2, which opens up more opportunities for you in video coloring, many options of Image stabilization like Active Mode option that helped me to shoot high stabilized shots without using any vibration inhibitor and without resorting to modification in the montage, high performance for Auto focus, high ISO number, which helped me to shoot in a very dark locations, however it gave me a satisfactory result and beautiful shots.

Let’s talk a little bit about the project, at first, when I was thinking about what I was going to shoot, I had the idea that I shoot the entire project with the fewest possible equipment, and with the fewest possible number of staff, I wanted to show a result that was free of filters or lighting effects on the subjects or of all that might change in the original image of the camera. I chose a simple story that tells the events of a day for a photographer in Riyadh and contains several scenes in more than one location within the city, In the first scene, it was in the photographer’s house, and in the first shot specifically, I wanted to open the video with the OneShot shot so that the overall atmosphere of the place and the situation of the photographer could be shown at that moment from the beginning of the day, I used GM 16-35mm f/2.8 lens for two purposes in that scene, first, to give me a wide range that shows all the details and also to help me with its perfect weight for stability while turning around and moving the camera throughout the first scene. In the transition to the second scene and in the first shot of that particular scene, I used the FE 35mm f / 1.8 lens and due to its small size and providing a narrower range of view, I was able to insert the camera from between the small openings of the fence and take a snapshot of the distant buildings and then take it out easily with Pull Out to surprise the viewer, Also in the wide shot of the bike at its first appearance, there was depth in the image and a very impressive color gradient, and it is worth noting that Auto Focus was very accurate, although I would prefer to shoot in Manual mode most of the time and to control it myself for my fear of any mistake that might affect the scene. On the location of the second scene, I was kind of worried because the sky was completely empty of clouds and the sunlight was very strong, when I saw the location at that moment I said to myself, perhaps we wouldn’t be able to get beautiful shots on this site, but I was surprised by the final result and the way the camera deals with this atmosphere.

In the third scene inside the tunnel, I only photographed one shot, Since there is no team with me on this project and I wanted to do a continuous shot from the beginning of the tunnel to the end, I used a friend to drive the car in one of the tracks while I was sitting in the back seat and the camera out of the window, and the actor in the other path from the tunnel, maybe it’s a little risky, but I wanted to test the camera’s stability in such scenarios, GM 16-35mm f/2.8 lens was the right choice here, as well, because I wanted to take a very wide shot, and since we’re shooting in 4K, I will be able to recreate the shot in the montage while maintaining high quality.

When we moved on to the fourth scene in one of the shots, I had to use the Gimbal stabilizer to synchronize the speed of the actor while he was riding the bike, and in the last shot I used the GM 85mm f / 1.4 because I wanted a lens with a longer focal length, to give me a close-up image as he left the scene.

In the fifth scene, I continued shooting with the wide lens using the GM 16-35mm f / 1.8 to show the entire empty place looking over the city. When we moved to the sixth scene, I wanted to move the scenes to a quiet place, so the forest was the perfect place, I finished shooting with the wide lens to show the size of the place and the color grades, as well as using 85mm to show the details of the young plants. In the seventh scene we went back to the city noise and here started the shooting experience in low light places, and I was able to get beautiful high quality clean shots despite the high ISO number. The last scene was my favorite, I’ve always preferred shooting in dark places rather than in daytime, I mean here natural lighting such as moonlight, not what’s artificially made for shooting. Unfortunately, the shooting could not be timed to coincide with the full moon, meaning that there was no strong light source from the moon because it was not complete, so I used the GM 85mm f / 1.4 lens to attract as much light as possible.

Abdulaziz Alhussain

Abdulaziz Alhussain
Saudi Arabia

Abdulaziz Alhussain is a Saudi freelance cinematographer based in Riyadh who started his journey in filmmaking in 2014 when he was in high school. In addition to being a freelance cinematographer, Abdulaziz is currently completing a degree in Media at King Saud University. Obsessed with movies and the unique styles of different cinematographers, Abdulaziz is determined to create his own style.

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