Interview: Jared Galley
I am a big fan of a good music videos or festival teasers and/or recap films and the people working on these often do not get the recognition they deserve. Therefore, today's post comes in the form on an interview with Jared Galley - Videographer, Director & Partner at Ajax Visuals. Being a bit of a hobby photographer myself, I was curious to learn more about some of the challenges he would be dealing with when working in often crowded, dark and loud locations. Maybe if you are an aspiring videographer yourself, there might be a thing or two in here that you could learn from this interview. Hope you enjoy!
As a videographer at shows and festivals, what are some of the biggest challenges you face in order to capture the vibe and story you want to tell? I assume it must be particularly tricky to get good shots at night and find a balance between complete darkness and very bright light sources like lasers and flashing lights…?
Shooting at night for sure has its difficulties but is a fun challenge to take on. There's more lighting to play around with and makes for a more chaotic feel with the flashing lights/lasers but this also adds a different flavor compared to day shoots. But some of the biggest challenges I face are the crowds. Sometimes they're great; screaming, dancing, and interacting with the camera - but sometimes they're stiff as a board and I'll literally have to go up to people and ask them to dance for the camera. Another problem I face is creating a unique story for every experience. I don't like just simply capturing the moment, I prefer creating meaning and telling a "story" with each video. I think the days of simply making a cool edit with a couple of zoom transitions and spins are slowly drifting away - the audience wants more depth and texture. I'm still trying to figure out how I can tackle the project in a unique way - I want the event to tell a story, not just documented.
Does the crowd love the camera or do they hate it when you stick a lens up in their faces?
I feel there's a love/hate relationship with how the crowd reacts to a lens in their face. Many times they'll dance, laugh and stick their face right in the camera but often they'll also hide from it or just ignore it - everyone has a different reaction. I've had a fair share of unique experiences from a girl kissing the lens leaving a nice fat lipstick mark on it to a guy attempting to grab it and running off (both situations that I was not a fan of). Nevertheless most encounters are funny and a lot of people just want to be in that next aftermovie to show their friends.
What has been the most fun or exciting promo, show or festival you have covered and what made it special?
I think shooting at Veld Music Festival with Dzeko & Tiesto was the coolest experience to date, the crowd was insane and being able to work with a huge stage production including co2, confetti, and pyro was such a treat as videographer - it's so much to play around with in post.
How do you find inspiration and creativity to come up with new ideas for shoots?
Many times it depends on the city/location of the shoot and what kind of stage I'm working with. I always get so inspired by our environment and the ambiance of the different locations. Many times I'll show up to an event with a completely different initial vision, but as soon as I get there I get hit with new inspiration and ideas from what surrounds me. The different shots and angles start to appear in my mind and I just start to recreate what I envision. I think of what the shots would look like in an edit and then I begin to execute.
What type of gear would I find in your backpack and in particular, how much storage do you have to carry around when you’re out in the field to make sure you can capture all you want?
You'll find me running around with a Sony A7sII, Sigma 35mm & 20mm prime lenses, Canon 24 to 70mm, and my beat up Glidecam Hd-2000. Storage wise - I'm looking at about 20 to 50 GB of footage for a single day shoot so I use a 64GB SanDisk SD card.