Benjamin Von Wong is an up-and-coming photographer/videographer based out of Montreal. Since quitting his day job as a mining engineer in 2012, Ben has been throwing himself into his passion for photography, growing both personally and professionally. We came across Ben's Game of Thrones fanfiction video, and he was kind enough to sit down with us and tell us a little bit about his process. Enjoy!
Tell us a little bit about this project and why you started it.
The initial idea was to do a small game of thrones themed photoshoot with Dracolite, a medieval boutique. Somehow though, as discussions progressed, more companies were brought in (Les Ateliers Nemesis for special effects, Duché de Bicolline for the medieval village) and the concept grew into a full fledged video project and we upscaled the team accordingly by adding additional crew such as Five Knight Productions (video crew), Fantasy Armor, Atelier de l'Arbre Mécanique and more…
The idea, first and foremost was to create a story in a universe that we absolutely adore, perhaps to answer some questions while we wait for GRRM to come up with the real plot, but also to prove that we are able to do something worthy of the game of thrones universe!
What were your main goals with the project? And how did you plan it all out?
The goal? Well to make an absolutely epic project that would hopefully be so successful that we could raise some money to produce an even better, longer round #2!
It's funny to say but the entire project was planned out extremely organically - we had a one month deadline to preproduction due to a plethora of constraints so we simply fit everything into the schedule that we had available. We were only allowed to have 2.5 days on location, and most of the actors wouldn't have been to stay any longer anyways, so that's the time frame in which we shot our video project. For the most part, the crew assembled had never worked together in the past, but thanks to an extremely motivated and talented crew we managed to pull the whole project together, on schedule!
I would like to note that we didn't have a single sponsor for this project, just a group of companies and individuals that were willing to put their own time, money and sweat into creating something amazing.
What gear did you use to create the video and the photos?
We shot the entire video side of the project using Sony FS-700s. For the photography side of things, I used a Nikon D800E!
What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
There were a couple factors that made shooting extremely challenging - for one we were dealing with an extremely tight time frame - 2.5 days with no space for delays. The conditions were not the most comfortable - zero degrees, knee to waist deep snow and variable shooting conditions meant that we had to be on our toes and ready to improvise whenever needed. Simple things such as making sure the fire stayed at the same height for our conversation scene meant that we had to take breaks to actually fill up our fire pit and light it back up over and over again!
To meet time constraints, the shooting team even had to occasionally split up and film two separate scenes simultaneously. This meant that good communication and trust in one another was an absolute must!
What was the best part about creating this video?
Seeing how a group of passionate individuals could work together to produce something amazing with a shoestring budget whatsoever.
To see Benjamin's own post and thoughts on the project, be sure to check out his blog.