While on a recent trip to Israel, Mandy’s cousin invited us out for dinner. As it turned out, she lived very close to where we were staying in Jaffa and so we met her on the far end of the Tel Aviv beachfront.

She mentioned that she really wanted to take us to a great little place near her that made knaffe. We had no idea what knaffe was and when we asked, she said it wasn’t easy to explain and best that we just see what it was.

This led to one of those lovely travel adventures. Knaffe Noga, the restaurant she took us to, is a lovely little place on a street corner in the very vibey Noga district of Jaffa. But what is knaffe, you ask? I am not even going to try and describe it, but let’s just say it’s very yummy.

Now anyone who knows me will know that I can be a pretty cynical grumpy old grouch and I don’t really go in for most spiritual mumbo-jumbo, but this place really does have a great energy to it. I think it’s a combination of the passionate friendly staff, the delicious food and bohemian feel of the area.

As we were leaving, we started up a conversation with Danny, the owner. His passion for what he was doing really shone through and I immediately knew I wanted to capture his story. I asked if he was camera shy and when he said he wasn’t, I asked if I could come back in a few days with my cameras, interview him and shoot some footage of his place. 

So few days later, we came back, laden with gear, and set up the interview. He turned out to be just as comfortable on camera as he mentioned and we had a great time learning about his journey and seeing him light up as he talked about his passion. I had a moment of brilliance, if I do say so myself, while he was talking. I noticed that he was talking a lot with his hands but I didn’t want to interrupt his flow to adjust my set-up. I was shooting with my GH4 and A7s, but Mandy also had her GX7 on the table. So I quickly grabbed that and shot some clips of his hands as he spoke. I was really happy I did as I think they cut into the final story very well.

Funny side story about those GX7 shots. The other cameras were shooting on the flatest profile possible and so even after I colour corrected them, I had to desaturate the GX7 footage of the hands so that it would match.

I then shot tons of B-roll around the cafe as Mandy guarded the GH4 across the street while I set it up to shoot some time-lapses. This showed just how much my wife loves me. She stayed outside for two 20-minute time-lapses in the sun and it was “warm”. That is true love! 

As for what I was going to do with all this footage, I really didn’t have a definite idea. I had assumed I would just do your standard 2-3 minute corporate promo-type edit but, as I started going over the footage, I just found Danny’s passion so engaging that I decided to try my hand at a longer form video.

I have some ideas for some documentaries that I want to shoot over the next few years and I figured this would give me a perfect opportunity to practise long form. It’s one thing to hold a viewers attention for 3 minutes, but 8 or 10 minutes? That is something I haven’t done yet. Well I did do a 20-minute clip while I was at Apple, but I can’t talk about that… :)

I am thrilled and humbled that Danny helped me feed my passion by allowing me to capture his.

Be sure to also read part 2 - Things I learnt from the edit.


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