Since I was a child the Steel Factories in Cleveland’s Flats have always haunted me...
Overlooking the mills, dozens of churches speckle the surrounding area. The most notable being St. Theodosius Greek Orthodox Church – which appeared in the film The Deer Hunter and can be seen in this piece starting at 2:56.
Being back home for Christmas I decided to enter the belly of the beast and capture some footage. I recruited my Dad as my guide and we were off…
This was my first solo run using my new Canon 5DMK2. SO I guess you can call it a test of sorts. I paired it with a couple Nikkor lenses I picked up from friends over the last few months when I was a Letus man. A 50mm 1.2 and a 80-200 4.5. I also used a very cheap and very plastic Cosina 24 mm Macro Lens 2.8.
NOTE: I have used the 5D on many of my Dwell vids. But they were owned and were operated by my DP’s - mainly Ben Jacks. I love this camera DESPITE the slow post workflow issues and lack of slo-mo.
By the time we arrived at the location(s) every cloud in the sky had vanished – much to my dismay. The sky was bright and blue and I had no polarizers < lesson one. I was closed down almost all the way and my ISO’s were way low. This didn’t give me a lot of flexibility so I decided to really focus on strong locked down compositions. I did bring a dolly but there was so much static electricity in the area the pvc piping track was like a magnet to the surrounding soil (those of you who use skateboard dollies now how sensitive they can be especially while using non IS lenses) As the day progressed the harshness of the light lessened and shooting became a little easier. I would have like to have gotten closer to the factories but they are pretty secure. At one point a very large truck sped toward us 2:28 and its driver sternly warned us to leave the premises immediately. Maybe he thought we were spies? As you’ll see in the piece – the entire area is like a ghost town.
From the start this piece was intended to be in black and white - mostly because that's how I remember the steelyards.
Next time maybe I'll get inside.
The music is by Jurgen Kneiper from one of my favorite films Wim Wenders “Wings of Desire”
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