Read Latest Issue now

CVP Joins Pink on Tour

Posted on May 16, 2024 by FEED Staff

In the pink

How CVP helped David Spearing capture a star on tour

Sponsored editorial

David Spearing is an award-winning director, editor and DOP who has become well-known for his work documenting tours and filming music videos for famous artists, from McFly to Mike Oldfield.

Recently, following shooting the dynamic documentary Pink: All I Know So Far, directed by Michael Gracey, he was asked to shadow Pink on 30 dates of her European and North America tour last year to capture shots for her own personal archive and social media feeds.

“She likes to document and archive things, so I was following her around and filming everything,” he introduces. “That included her and her kids, when they’re backstage getting ready for the show, during the show and on days off with the band where the crew and I would film elements there as well. If there were some social media videos to make, I would also cut some shots together too.”

For the initial batch of dates in the UK and Europe, he decided to use a Sony FX6 which he had bought from CVP for a McFly tour in Brazil a few years previously (Pink: All I Know So Far had been shot on Blackmagic). This is something he paired with a range of vintage glass.

“I had several vintage lenses to use because I like working with vintage glass,” he says. “So I had a bunch of Olympus Zuikos and Canon FDs which looked great, but they’re a bit more fiddly to use on tour because of how small and fragile they are.”

A summer break in the schedule gave him the opportunity to look at other options. As well as leaning towards vintage looks, Spearing likes to keep his kit compact, shooting only with a small backpack containing his gear to maximise his ability to respond to what’s around him.

That means big lenses are out of the picture. Luckily, it was around that time Cooke released the SP3 primes.

“Philip Jimenez at CVP said they had a couple of sets so I pulled the trigger; I didn’t even test them as I would usually do. They were small and I could tell they were going to be perfect – and they have been. The lenses have that vintage look, but they’re also sharper and cleaner while in such a tiny housing. I bought them and was using them for two or three months straight on tour with Pink.”

Spearing likes to use the FX6 on these jobs because of its portability. Touring with any musicians entails a long periods of waiting around with not much happening.

When something does happen, it’s fast so a heavy unit is not ideal for capturing the moment. His commitment to what is effectively a run-and-gun approach meant he couldn’t take all his vintage lenses out with him.

“I took the 25mm, 32mm and the 50mm. I then had to decide between the 75mm and 100mm, settling with the 100mm in the end because there’s various shots of Pink when she’s down the runway – for that environment, they look amazing.”

He did have some initial concerns the T2.4 lenses might prove to make some backstage footage slightly too dark, but reckons they managed to hold up extremely well. 

“Even when I pushed the ISO or exposure, they didn’t break up at all, which is the difference between using these compared to vintage lenses, where you can see it fall apart a bit. But when I was shooting with the audience for instance, and the light hits them, it looks beautiful. I have never seen the FX6 look this good.”

Thanks to help from CVP, Spearing was confident in his choices to get the best shots
Thanks to help from CVP, Spearing was confident in his choices to get the best shots

Spearing worked extensively in the music industry, both in this style of reportage and on music videos.

The differences are huge.

While the day-to-day touring schedule does have a rhythm to it – load in, sound check, pre-gig build-up, performance, after-show, load out and travel – the opportunity to set up shots is limited.

“When you’re doing a music video, it’s a lot more considered,” Spearing explains. “You can plan things and specific lighting set-ups, doing more considered shots. But I still like to do everything as cinematic as I can, that’s why I want to always have great lenses and ensure everything I do has that texture to it.

“You just have to scale it back, being light and nimble. During the show, I have to run around while in my head, I’m checking off the shots I need of Pink performing, the dancers, the crowd and more. I have to quickly move around the stadium and change lenses as fast as I can. Those two hours of the show are a sprint; you’re going non-stop and trying to get all these shots.”

The FX6/SP3 combination is almost tailor-made for that style of shooting, and Spearing is hugely appreciative of the way CVP has worked with him to make it happen.

“They know the industry very well – everyone is aware they’re the guys you go to because of their professionalism,” Spearing enthuses. “CVP is the top dog with their service and stock. They deal with everyone from individuals to huge companies, treating everyone equally. That’s a great service and I like that you always have someone (for me, it’s Philip) to speak to whenever you need assistance.

“I love camera gear, lenses and technology, so any time a camera comes out, I’m emailing Philip and saying, ‘Wow, this looks really cool’. He will give me more information and we chat about it. It’s a nice personal relationship in that sense.

“They’re always keen to help you get gear, and if they can work out a discount for you, they will,” he elaborates. “They’re also quite loyal, which is nice. You feel as if you’re not just another customer; you’re somebody they value.”

Spearing might be using the same kit combo out with Pink again this summer for some potential dates, and is also looking to use the SP3s on other projects.

“I’m shooting a short film this year, which we’re probably going to shoot on my cinematographer friend’s Red V-Raptor. I’m looking forward to trying out these lenses with the RF mount, putting them onto a Red and seeing how they can hold up in a narrative environment,” he concludes.

This feature was first published in the Spring 2024 issue of FEED.

Qibb The Integration Impulse

July 6th, 2023

Established by Qvest, but independent since 2020, Qibb is now a leading integration platform...

MPB: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

February 17th, 2023

Buying new is so last year. MPB is an online platform transforming the ways...

Crystal Clear

September 12th, 2023

Sony’s Crystal LED and Venice innovations have joined forces to enable a virtual production...

Open Invitation

November 22nd, 2023

Having celebrated its grand opening, CVP Fitzrovia is perfectly positioned to become a prime...