VIDEO: No Place Like “Om”

Health. Balance. Renewal. Strength. There are many motivations for someone to do yoga, but I bet none of those include holding an inverted pose for several minutes straight while some guy futzes around behind a camera!

When I was looking for a model for this video, I knew I needed a pro. There’s a big difference between doing yoga and modeling yoga! It’s way harder than it looks. I chose Kari White because she’s an expert fitness model and has been practicing yoga for years. She’s my go-to model for many shoots, because she’s fun to work with and I can always count on her to hold her position. Her strength and personality lend that “wow” factor to every shoot.

The concept for this video was all about simplicity, and letting Kari’s yoga poses take the spotlight. In the purest way possible, I wanted to convey messages of health and strength, and perhaps inspire people to take time out of their hectic lives and focus on their well-being.

This video is different from some of my previous big production shoots, but it was fun to get back to the basics and focus on camera technique and directing the action. I chose camera movements to complement each pose and express the idea of stretching out the lines created by the body. Sometimes, the best choice was to leave the camera still and simply watch Kari flow into the next insane pose. I have so much admiration for people who practice yoga!

How It’s Done

We filmed the yoga scenes just east of Denver International Airport from midday to sunset. To give the video a unique look, I locked my exposure down during midday when the tones were a bright and clean white — very high key. As the afternoon progressed, the colors and shadows morphed to a warmer and darker feel, with Kari turning into a silhouette by the end. I wanted the viewer to get completely caught up in the beautiful, vibrant sunset before snapping them out of the midday bus stop daydream. The ad on the side of the bus (“Get a job with a view”) was just a happy coincidence.

In post-production, I let my buddies at New Elm in Denver go to town on this piece. They specialize in motion graphics, and flawlessly integrated words into the video that related to a yogi’s intentions, focus and practice. They did an amazing job putting everything together!

Michael Woodrum added the killer music to the video, and I was totally blown away by how much his music contributed to the piece. It turned out to be my favorite part of the video! I’ve never yet been known for having great taste in music — I have a few albums that I listen to constantly — but Michael was able to “get” what the video needed after a few phone calls and some pretty strange noises on my part. Michael is definitely a pro and I loved working with him!

My favorite part of this work is bringing a team together to create something different. I had sixteen people working on this project, and they each brought something special to the table. There’s no way I could have done this on my own (plus, I suck at yoga). Thanks to you all! Next up, I’ll be focusing on more scientific techniques like the time-lapse videos, so be on the lookout for those shoots soon!

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