2013 Emerging Pro Casey Stein

Casey SteinCasey Stein
Location: Brooklyn

Casey SteinBoy on a Bike
Casey Stein fell into shooting at a very young age thanks to the influence of late-’90s skateboarding videos and soon branched out to explore narrative storytelling and photography. His approach to shooting is direct, character-driven and motivated. Stein has been photographing narrative and commercial films for eight years. He’s a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and he lives in Brooklyn, New York.

In Boy on a Bike, Casey Stein explores a life via the vehicle of a bike. The project was concise and well produced, and it won him a shot at the First Prize package of a RED camera and Zeiss lens set.

Tell us the story behind the project.
Boy on a Bike was a personal project. I’ve been a cyclist my entire life, and I felt I owed a little praise and gratitude to my bike. The film follows Henry throughout his life, interweaving his various companions along the way, the most important of which being his bicycle. Told from sunrise to sunset, in one day, the story shows the three women in Henry’s life. We shot for two days in Mohegan Lake, New York, and Rutherford, New Jersey. We had 200 feet of dolly track running along these streets. It was an impressive display of steel, to say the least!

What equipment did you use?
The RED SCARLET-X with ZF primes. I used basic support gear, no fancy rigs, wireless, etc. Occasionally, we put on a 1/4 antique suede, but for the most part, we shot with no filtration aside from NDs to counter the sun. It was a very basic package. I like to keep it simple. All of that production gunk tends to muddle the creative process for me. As for our units, we only lit one scene; we used a 1.2 HMI as our key and let the natural daylight be our fill. Everything else was done by the great gaffer in the sky, the sun. The film takes place from sunrise to sunset in one day, and we followed that pretty closely. Due to permitting issues, we had to lay dolly track—180 feet, to be exact—to achieve the long tracking shots. I’d like to give a shout out to Andrew Greigo for pushing our dolly back and forth so many times.

What do you think made this project stand out to the judges?
Clearly, mine was chosen because one of the judges must be a cyclist. I’m kidding. In reality, I think mine was chosen because it’s honest and relatable. I didn’t sit down and say to myself, "Okay, it’s Tuesday, and I need to create something." In fact, quite the opposite. The idea formulated organically, and once I had something somewhat linear, I felt this constant pressure internally to make it. But more to the point, I think everyone can relate to it in some facet, from the familial aspect to the obvious cycling element. I’d like to think it’s a bit timeless, at least I hope it is! I was taught that to make something all it can be, your heart has to be in it first, and that was my approach from day one. Thanks again to the judges for making this happen. This has been an incredibly awesome and humbling experience.

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