Jon Fordham

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When cinematographer Jon Fordham began prep for the indie feature “Aaron Bacon”, he knew he would need rugged and reliable support for the lead character’s journey from the suburbs of Arizona to the deserts of Utah and back. “It’s the true story of a 16-year-old kid who dies at the hands of a tough love wilderness rehab facility,” Fordham explains. “We would be shooting stark contrasting environments from director Nick Gaglia’s choice of a suburban home in upstate New York to Nevada’s uncompromising Valley of Fire.

“That’s why I made sure I had reliable support – and that, for me, is always an OConnor. I knew that I needed tools that would not only do the job, but also be rugged enough to withstand the heat and harsh desert conditions.

“Filmmaking is all about problem solving,” he continues. “I choose tools that are not only appropriate for the job but also ones I know and trust. That way I eliminate having to solve a problem with my tools and can focus on how best to tell the story.” For this feature, shot with the Sony F23, Fordham chose Canon HD prime lenses along with the Canon ACV-235 aspect ratio converter, and Schneider ND’s to help balance the desert light.

His head was the OConnor 2575C. “Yes, there are plenty of fluid heads on the market,” he admits. “But OConnor’s heads have succeeded in not only delivering excellent fluid movement but also provide repeatable adjustments for the amount of drag and tension the operator needs for a variety of moments.

“I chose to shoot in the 2:35 ratio to really show off the expanse of the wide open desert landscapes,” he explains. “My first wide shot that reveals the desert required an extreme tilt and pan move. We started high in the sky. I tilted down as I began to pan slowly revealing the desert landscape to find Aaron’s group walking through off in the distance. With a 90 degree tilt, and a virtually 180 degree pan, the OConnor 2575C was the only fluid head that could have achieved that particular shot.”

Fordham counts on OConnor for full film size and HD cameras as well as today’s smaller cameras. He recently shot two music videos back to back for director Dylan Mulick. The first with rock band, He Is We, required gentle camera moves to complement a natural beauty style of lighting. For the second video, with legendary 90’s band Sublime, he required a variety of camera movements on the streets and in the suburbs of Los Angeles. “From quiet moments portraying a group of friends to fast paced-moves of skater/actor Francisco ‘Kico’ Pederasa, the OConnor 2575C never let me down!”

“Aaron Bacon” a Justice/Over the GW film release by Vanguard, is available on DVD. Fordham’s two music videos, supported by OConnor as well, are now airing.

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