The best video story I’ve done this year! – Susan the brain-injured stand-up comedian can laugh at herself

Posted by ryanjackson on Dec 12, 2010 in lighting, video |

The best video story I’ve done this year!  Please watch.   If you can’t view the embedded video below then click here.  I will have an HD version on the site later next week.

Touching story of Susan Wirtanen who suffered a brain-injury and can can still do stand-up comedy. She jokes of her 30-days spent in a coma, listening to everyone talk around her and her ability to laugh at herself. Video by Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal Also Read the story Hoping for healing on the standup stage

Journal reporter Ben Gelinas and I worked together on this video. I shot everything and we worked together for editing. Ben was sure to ask questions and treat the whole story with the video in mind. We spent three separate nights with Susan in class and at the comedy club.

I shot mainly with my Canon XH-A1 and used my Canon 5D Mark-II for B-roll.

Here is my lighting setup for the main interview.

For the shot of her eye I used an 85mm 1.8 and Canon extension tubes to get close. I slowed the footage down to 20% speed and held it to make the viewer feel uncomfortable while she describes being frozen in a coma but still able to hear everyone around her talk.

Here is how Ben’s awesome printed story Hoping for healing on the standup stage and my stills ran in the paper. Enjoy!


Jimmy Jeong
Dec 12, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Hi Ryan, I really enjoyed watching your latest video. I was surprised at the end to find that the video was more than 5 minutes long. Went so fast. Great work man.

Dec 12, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Thanks Jimmy!




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