Griffin Hammond x LUMIX S1
“I live in New York City where Chinatown meets Little Italy. Many of the old restaurants and storefronts advertise with classic red neon signs. Even the trendiest cafes and clothing shops in my neighborhood appreciate the retro, handmade quality of neon lights.
As a documentary filmmaker, it’s small everyday details that spark my curiosity, and inspire me to learn their story. Armed with the new full-frame LUMIX S1, I set out to understand how neon signs are built by hand.
A glass bender moves quickly, shaping neon tubes by fire. I have to work quickly to keep up, and don’t always have time to change lenses. Fortunately, I only need one lens for this assignment. The LUMIX S 24-105mm F4 MACRO O.I.S. (S-R24105) lens is the perfect range for documentary storytelling.
Shooting handheld with Dual I.S. lets me capture more shots per minute, without dragging a tripod through this narrow workshop. My unobtrusive shooting style earns trust from my subjects and grants me better access. This lightweight gear profile doesn’t interfere with the true story unfolding in front of the camera.
I always hunt for the best light while shooting, but some stories live in challenging environments. Inside this workshop, there’s a lot of dynamic range between the bright neon lights and dark shadows. But this large sensor gives me beautiful lowlight performance. I’m shooting in 4K 60p with a fast shutter, but even at ISO10,000 the image is sharp and clean.
When I’m telling someone’s story, they’re placing their trust in me - and the LUMIX S1 ensures I’m always showing them in their best light.”
Griffin Hammond is a documentary filmmaker in New York City, known for producing DIY filmmaking tutorials for indie filmmakers, and his award-winning documentary Sriracha. His 2016 coverage of the U.S. presidential election aired on Bloomberg Television and MSNBC, and he cohosts the weekly podcast, Hey Indie Filmmakers. As a brand ambassador for Panasonic LUMIX cameras, and a film envoy for the U.S. State Department, he's taught filmmaking workshops in 14 countries. Griffin studied film at New York University, earned a Masters from Illinois State University, and worked as a video producer at YouTube Next Lab and State Farm Insurance.