Kicking off the month of March and Exploration…
is a beautiful submission by Étienne Buteau. The film is titled “Jordan” and filmed with only a iPhone 6s, the LanParte Handheld Gimbal (HHG-01) and a couple of other accessories. A favorite by the LanParte USA team, “Jordan” is a video that will take your breath away with its awe inspiring landscapes, vivid colors and amazing scores. The film perfectly encapsulates the theme of exploration and finding beauty and meaning in exploring new lands.
“Jordan” is a perfect example of why you don’t need the best, most powerful tools in the field. Understanding your craft and the fundamentals of a good film can make a filmmaker just as powerful with more basic tools. With already 21,000 views on Vimeo, Étienne has really knocked it out of the park. We interviewed him to learn more about the film and his background…
Etienne, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a Videographer and Motion Designer from Quebec City, Canada. I’ve worked for a video production cooperative since 2011 called Productions 4 Elements. I work with a bunch of talented friends. Most of the time I do graphic design stuff and editing. From time to time I’m also shooting behind the camera.
You have filmed videos from all over the world. Would you say traveling is your passion? How does this factor into your film career?
Traveling is for sure one of my passions but film making is also a strong one. So each time I travel, I never leave without a camera. The main goal of my travel videos is to make a great souvenir for my friends and I. Even though I have a job that I enjoy a lot and am very proud of, work comes with deadlines, budgets and the usual dealings with clients. This is why sometime I need to do personal projects like these traveling movies. It allows me to be creative without restrictions.
Many of your videos employ similar styles, can you tell us a little bit about your style in film making?
My videos are similar because they are all pretty much traveling movies. However, I try to explore different techniques to expose the breathtaking landscapes and cities of my trips. For example, I traveled to Scotland a couple years ago. I did the whole project by shooting timelapses to show the cloudy sky over wonderful green mountains of the country. This year in Jordan, my challenge was obviously to shoot 3 weeks away from home only with my cellphone.
These days, when we hear about Jordan and the Middle East it’s always regarding war. So, when people tell me that my video changed the way they see this country, I really appreciate it.
Most travel films highlight one or two locations, but in “Jordan” you have a multitude of beautiful structures and breathtaking landscapes. Can you take us through how you were able to get so many great shots?
We spent three weeks in Jordan. So the trick is to just shoot a lot (without forgetting to enjoy the trip!). The new iPhone takes great shots, but I had some other gear to accomplish what I wanted. This included the Lanparte HHG-01 gimbal, an external drive for backup, an external battery (to keep the phone alive in the desert!) and a mini tripod for timelapses. But even with all of this, the main reason why I pulled off so many great shots is because Petra and the Wadi Rum desert are such beautiful places!
What story or message were you trying to accomplish? Tell us a little about what you did to ensure that message came across.
Like I said, the main goal was really just to have a beautiful souvenir of my trip. But I also try to push my projects further than that. These days, when we hear about Jordan and the Middle East it’s always regarding war. So, when people tell me that my video changed the way they see this country, I really appreciate it.
Being a video editor really helps me while shooting. At the time, I often already know if what I’m shooting will make the final cut or not. I’m also a huge music fan and it’s very important to me choosing the right song for the project. This is crucial to provide the desired mood.