by Michael Winokur on Aug. 13, 2020
6 Feet 1 Question is, so far, two short documentary films by the directing duo of Michael Winokur and Iana Simeonov at UnionMovieWorks.com. After the city of San Francisco had been under a shelter-in-place order for 3 months, people were starting to come out on the streets again. We wanted to know how they were adapting. Using the measurement of 6 feet as a safety precaution and a creative tool, we went out on the streets and asked people: "What do you miss the most?" and then, "What can you live without?" We're thinking of other potential questions, cities and audiences with which to continue the series.
The idea of asking a street-cast group of people a single question has been on our minds for awhile. When the length of Covid-19 shutdowns became apparent, we had to accept that projects were not restarting any time soon. We pivoted from ideas we couldn't work on to an idea we could finish. Coming up with the concept of 6 Feet 1 Question was easy, deciding exactly what questions(s) to start with was harder. We needed something thought-provoking enough to elicit some rumination, yet clear enough to be answered on the spot.
On the technical side, the pandemic changed production dramatically. We are used to working with small crews but like to have a professional sound engineer as well as a 1AC and an operator at minimum. With the exception of one day when our friend Sean D. Johnson came out, we shot the entire project just the two of us. Michael operated our Red Dragon and a wireless hop from a Sennheiser shotgun mic. Iana had a DJI Osmo Pocket. We couldn't manage any kind of lighting gear so picked locations for natural light. Some were better than others. Sometimes we had to stop for wind and traffic noise, other times it was all just seamless. Iana cut the shorts in our newly-built editing suite. We weren't sure how, or even if, the tiny Osmo's footage would work with the beastly and impeccable Red, but were happily surprised. We've been working with the same composer for the last six years who created original music for both pieces and then sound designer / mixer Nathan Moody cleaned and polished the vocals and filled in with sound design where we didn't have production audio.
©2020 Michael Winokur. All rights reserved.
A photographer, cinematographer, editor and director with roots in journalism, Winokur thinks like an artist and work like a craftsman. That means providing advertising, design and corporate clients with distinctive ideas and skillful execution.
Whether it’s real people for a healthcare or life sciences campaign, models for an editorial spread, actors on a film set or wild animals for a museum, Winokur looks to express individual identity as well as capture our common humanity.
An award-winning photographer, cinematographer and director focused on stories and character, Winokur developed a documentarian’s eye while working as a photojournalist for national newspapers. Telling stories through direct, compelling and beautiful images remains a common thread and driving purpose.
Winokur’s base is The Foundry Studio, a warm, flexible 2000 sq. ft. workspace in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District stocked with tools from vintage 4x5 cameras and antique lenses to a Dragon from Red Digital Cinema.