An Awesome BTS Look at Filmmaker Joe Simon’s Documentary Short "Gerry"

Kessler Crane recently shared an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at one of filmmaker Joe Simon’s more recent short documentaries – Gerry. The film is about Gerry Beathard, a gunsmith and engraver located in Austin, Texas. The behind-the-scenes look includes a wealth of information that Simon lays out in simple language: everything from pre-production planning, to lighting diagrams, gear used and even the finished film. Regardless of your skill level as a photographer or videographer, you’ll be sure to find inspiration within that can help you better plan your next big project.

Joe utilized Canon’s EOS C300 and C100 camcorders as well as a Canon 5D Mark III, a DJI Phantom drone with the three axis gimbal, Lowel Pro lights along with some basic LEDs, and a Kessler Cine Slider with the occasional use of their proprietary Second Shooter motion control system. It’s really quite a beautiful arrangement of specific gear for specific usage and he details the thought process behind each of their functions directly at Kessler Crane’s Kessler University. Below are some excellent views of Simon’s camera setups and lighting positioning - offering a unique glimpse into how Simon crafted the interesting compositions and gorgeous cinematography within the final film.

Each image is clickable for a larger, more detailed view.

You should definitely view the completed film below to see how everything above comes together. It's only a little over four minutes, but the film is both educational after reading about Joe Simon's production, as well as entertaining and inspiring to see how a true craftsman like Gerry creates his masterpieces with such artistic flair.

Read Joe Simon's complete detailed article at Kessler Crane's Kessler University!

All images & videos used with permission. BTS video and photograhs by Jon Connor, Creative Director at Kessler Crane.

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Matthew Taggart's picture

Great BTS. I would have liked to learn more about how he lit the piece, beyond what he says. Great work though. Awesome video.

Chris Blair's picture

Great BTS and great Doc.