Olympic Medalist – Marita Payne-Wiggins

Sports isn’t my strong suit. I know it, now you do. How about that for some honesty. As a boy, I loved playing soccer as much as the next kid, and constantly wondered why their coordination was much better than mine. I still remember some of the own goals attributed to my name and rival teams thanking me for the favor. Through the years, I learned the harsh truth that we all cannot be Messi, Djokovic, LeBron, and so on. Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting a woman with athletic genes streaming down her bloodline. An Olympic medalist with her name engraved in history for achievements on and off the track, Mrs. Marita Payne-Wiggins.

In preparation for her receiving The Barbados Ball Award of Excellence, I was commissioned to shoot a conversational piece for the audience to see on the night of the ceremony. I really enjoy this kind of work because it puts me in the same room with great achievers. There’s something moving about meeting people like Mrs. Payne-Wiggins in person. I felt a rekindled burning of that fire in the belly, a renewed conviction to do something worthwhile with my life.

Usually with great achievers, you are either put off by an enormous ego, or you get vacuumed into a soft showing of self-knowledge, strength and wisdom. Setting up my gear in her living room for the interview, any existing pressure soon slid away from her choice of relatable things to chat about. She wasn’t in any hurry to get into the ‘’tell me about your achievements” conversation, in fact, none of that came up till the camera was ready to roll. With genuine interest, she asked about my faith, what I believed in, my principles and involvement in community. It was all light talk and quite relaxing. Exactly what a cameraman about to record a hall of famer needs ☺

Now onto the production side of things, I shot this with two DSLRs, one framing a wide shot, and the other a tighter frame. My choice of lens: Sigma Art 18-35mm for the wide, Nikon 105mm F2 DC for the close-up. I still work with hot lights because I like how they render skin tones and investment-wise, they are still a wicked bang for the buck. The key light is a 1000watt bulb in an octodome softbox. The hair light is an L.E.D with a CTO gel to match our color temp. For sound, I had my shotgun mic on a boom pole above her, recording into my Tascam field recorder. Editing was in Premiere Pro and motion graphics in After Effects. Here’s the finished video.