DP Marritz emulates elegance of photo style for jeans ads with P2 HD VariCam

Manhattan-based creative services company Late Night and Weekends has produced an ad initiative for Gap 1969 jeans featuring theatrical and Web video elements shot with the VariCam 3700,Panasonic’s solid-state P2 HD VariCam camcorder.

The “Gap Born to Fit” campaign, viewable online and in movie theaters nationwide, was directed by Late Night and Weekends’ Andrew Zuckerman, who also photographed the print ads. Late Night’s Alex Vlack was executive producer, with Eddie Marritz as director of photography.

The campaign features the personal style of 10 artists and entrepreneurs, including photographer Anna Gaskell; actors Alessandro Nivola, Sonya Walger, Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Eisa Davis; musicians Anni Rossi and Cassidy; Tom Szaky, founder of TerraCycle; Melissa Kushner, founder of Goods for Good; and Gap fashion designer Patrick Robinson.

The challenge for the cinematographer was to emulate the classic elegance of Zuckerman’s photography, an aesthetic he established in such books as “Creature” and, especially, “Wisdom,” Marritz said. For “Wisdom,” Zuckerman photographed all of his subjects against the same white space.

“As we would be shooting against a white cyc wall, I was interested in a camera with extended dynamic range. And because of the demands of projection in movie theaters, I wanted to shoot 4:4:4 in 1080p — criteria that led us to the HPX3700,” Marritz said.

The campaign was shot in June at Silver Cup East in Long Island City, NY. Three days of shooting were preceded by one day of prelighting. The production rented three AJ-HPX3700s from Abel Cine Tech in New York

. Marritz relied on one HPX3700 with a Zeiss DigiPrime lens in a fixed position in front for a wide shot. A second camcorder with a Zeiss DigiZoom also in a fixed position was used up front for close-ups. A third camcorder with a Zeiss DigiZoom on a tracking dolly captured 180-degree shots.

The HPX3700s recorded the uncompressed 4:4:4 signal to HD tape decks. The edit began on the set to accommodate a fast turnaround as well as the clients’ interest in how the free-ranging content would evolve. Editors Jon Fine and Geoff Gruetzmacher supervised the Final Cut Pro edit.