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The Mystery of Love

by Julie Rose Wilde. Regardez cette page en français

Julie Rose Wilde is a jazz singer in Savannah Georgia. In the fall of 2013 she and her partner Austin Smith launched a fundraising project on Indie Gogo for their recording sessions in Paris. Seen here are the source sequences we shot for their promotional video on July 29th 2013.

Starting the evening of shooting, I met dancer Maria D’Arcy at 7:00 pm at place du Trocadéro in front of the Eiffel Tower. The weather had already been tumultuous during the previous two weeks, and this day was no exception. There was a thunderclap coming from the west as loud as fierce bomb, then it rained heavily for twenty minutes. It was raining so hard that I was getting wet on my shoulders and below my knees, despite my umbrella, and naturally I was having a hard time keeping my umbrella from blowing away, holding my camera, shooting video, and keeping my lens a bit dry.

Maria dancing the Mystery of Love by the Eiffel Tower.

Maria D’Arcy dancing in stills from sequences shot at place de Trocadéro.

I didn’t care about getting wet because it was about 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and I knew I would be dry ten minutes after it stopped raining. I strongly encouraged Maria to get out in the middle of the plaza and dance in front of the Eiffel Tower despite the rain. The wind was blowing her umbrella around uncontrollably, while all the visitors and tourists who had taken refuge in the wings of the palais Chaillot looked on and cheered.

The sun came out quite strongly when the rain finally stopped, giving wonderful reflections on the marble paving stones, deep blue skies and impressive depth in the clouds; we did a couple more shots which came out quite well. Our friends Keith Sarver, Catherine Julian, François Rosny, Jessica Zhou, Matthieu Nevouet, and Thierry & Dora Sotot joined us then and got in to the Métro and headed off to place de la Concorde.

Maria dancing the Mystery of Love by the jardin des Tuileries.

Frames from the shots we took at place de la Concorde: the fontaine des Mers and a red Ferrari.

There we shot some sequences around the fontaine des Mers, and with the Ferrari sports cars one can rent for 89 euros for 20 minutes of pleasure driving around in the notoriously bad traffic jams in Paris. On entering the jardin des Tuileries a city employee informed us in a typically officious Parisian kind of way that it is forbidden to take pictures or shoot video in the gardens without authorization. This is ridiculous because there were dozens if not hundreds of people wandering around with cameras, taking who knows how many pictures and video clips!

David Henry in video:

From there we headed off to the pont des Arts, where the fences had been covered with lovers’ padlocks since 2008. The tradition was that lovers would write their names on the lock, attach it, then toss the key in to the River Seine. From there we then went to the café Panis for refreshments and shots sitting around tables on the sidewalk terrace.

Night had fallen by then and we did our last shots in front of Notre-Dame Cathedral, with the streetlights throwing enchanting shadows and casting a generally mediaeval atmosphere.

«Impressions de France», a television show about the da Vinci Code phenomena in Paris, broadcast in Shanghai

Watch a TV show about the Da Vinci Code in which I appeared.

I enjoy film, movies and cinema as much as anyone else, and though I’ve been taking pictures since I was fourteen, shooting video has never interested me much. The Nikon D600 digital reflex I bought in December 2012 shoots video of very good quality (despite its utterly forgettable autofocus in video mode), though video is not why I purchased the camera. When Julie and Austin asked me to shoot video for their fundraising project I said I was game, and purchased an external microphone for my camera, and self-powered/amplified portable speakers so I could play the song on my iPod, allowing others to hear and dance to the music.

I am quite pleased with the way the clips came out, looking at the sequences I see that I have my typical photographer habits as concerns composition and framing. Directing the people in the shots and coming up with ideas for movement & panning was fun also!

—David Henry

This is Austin Smith’s edit version of the sequences we shot, put together for their Kickstarter campaign. I adore the image quality and color rendition my camera provides, thus I’m not wild about the black and white, sepia, flickery 1920s effects applied to the images…

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