Christoph Gelfand was raised in a small seacoast town called Newburyport, an hour north of Boston. Though fluent in video, he was trained on actual celluloid at The State University of New York at Purchase where he learned the importance of each frame. Gelfand develops documentaries and short form work to fuel his artistic passions.
When did you make this film?
The film began in mid-2012 and was finished in early 2013.
What was this project for?
This piece was created as part personal project and part of a job. It serves a dual-purpose of working on a documentary level and also to show off the metal worker’s skills.
What is the story behind the film?
The loft in this piece is an extraordinary property and one of the most extensive jobs Bill Curran Design had ever worked on. I’d been by the site on a few occasions and marveled at the detail and thought that went into the project. There is an inherent beauty in any craftsman’s work, but metal work has this kinetic energy that really resonates with me. In thinking through how the piece would work, I thought it would be interesting to really let the building tell the story. I wanted there to be this constant movement amidst all the stoic steel beams and stairs. The shop and the welding and the actual construction were somewhat ancillary to the finished product — in itself, a true piece of art. It’s really an extraordinary apartment that I feel very thankful for Bill and the owner, Sean, for allowing me to capture.
What equipment do you use?
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Kessler CineSlider, ProAm 12 foot jib, 1×1 Bi-Focus Litepanel.
I usually hire people who really know their jobs, so this was admittedly my first time being the sole operator on such an unwieldy piece of gear. The apartment has such amazing natural light from the massive skylights that I was able to use much of the ambient spill to assist in exposure and backlight.
What do you think made this project stand out to the judges?
I was surprised and flattered to learn that I was a finalist. I think much of this work is so subjectively viewed that it’s hard to guess what makes one piece shine above another. I can only surmise that some of the craftsmanship and style in both the sound design and camera movements were attractive to some of the judges.