Using the 5D or 7D was frustrating when working with the former drug sales rep turned medical anthropologist Michael Oldani, who talked a million miles a minute and was very physically active in his environment, or with the historian Robert Helms, who was often on a lot of Adderall, a go-fast drug. They took us on whirlwind tours of zoos, doctor’s clinics, libraries and graveyards. This more often than not required the trusty HVX-200 and a big zoom lens again. I could accurately capture their natural mania visually without encroaching on their physical space too much:
About halfway through shooting “Off Label” Panasonic released the AG-AF100, a micro 4/3 camera system that to me represented the best compromise between the three cameras I was currently using. The AF100 was light and unobtrusive, it begged to be used handheld, it had a decent tonal range, and it had XLR inputs on it so I could stop worrying about sound as a separate item as you have to consider when shooting with a DSLR. I fell in love with this camera, and the latter half of the film was shot almost exclusively on it. It was particularly adept at rendering what I like to call the “ethereal” scenes that crop up towards the latter half of the film. I was trying to get at a sense of the spiritual and translucent through the imagery as the film at this stage is trying to draw a parallel between faith in pharmaceuticals and religious faith.