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2 new music videos from Belgium


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#1 Olivier Vanaschen

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 03:07 PM

Hello everybody!

First, we would like to thank everybody on this forum, we check it a least every day and did learn a lot from it! We're sorry we do not contribute more but we really don't feel we have enough experience yet so we prefer to listen to others :-)

We're a team of two young directors/DPs based in Brussels, Belgium. We just completed two new music videos that we produced, directed, shot and edited with the help of good friend. Both are extreme low budgets (take the day salary of a top DP in L.A. and you got our whole budget basicaly). To be able to handle such low budgets (and pay everybody on the set and have a great catering), we bought some basic equipment and use a lot of homemade stuff (4-banks, MINI35 adapter,...).

Both videos are shot with our homemade MINI35 adapter. Sure, it's not perfect yet, not that stable but it seems to work ok for now. We can't wait to get a G35 by Cinemek (www.cinemek.com). It'll be way better.

The first one is "Everyday" for a local pop artist called Raian Shedy. It was a hell of a shoot, rock&roll to the end. We had the really bad idea to start with the car sequence that did put us way behind schedule from the very beginning. We used a Mini-Flo kit to light the car which was ok but not that great. Our main problem was the size of the camera. We did put it on a Cinekinetic Saddlecam bag which did help a bit getting a stable picture but it was still really tricky. The cars were really small, a nightmare to shoot. We will never do it again like that. We shot the dance sequence in front of the cars right after on a small closed road. We used a small 3KVA generator and used all the lights we could (800w redheads and a lot of single flos). The next days went way better. We wanted to get something pretty smooth so we used the dolly a lot (Cobra dolly), sometimes rigging 2 36w single flos directly to the dolly. We also used smoke a lot which did cause some problems with the heavy compression of the Sony FX1 (movement+smoke+mpeg2=bad bad blocky artefacts). It was really not our cup of tea style-wise, we really went in the direction the artist wanted but we're really happy about the experience. We had limited unexperienced crew, some of them are still students, a lot of different locations,... but it went smoothly.

We don't have any set pictures, so here's the link to the video (Quicktime 6 required):
Raian Shedy - Everyday


The second one is "Piments de lune" for pop-rock singer Vincent Venet. It was something completely different. Short one day shoot (8AM-6PM), one location, the singer and a horse. We chose to put work lights around the manege (around 5000w) to get some kind of backlight and be able to play with flares. We went for a handheld approach which was quite difficult with our camera system. It was needed because we couldn't afford any grip equipment and had to move fast. We knew from the beginning focus would be hard (we don't have a follow focus) so we decided to also play with it, shooting wide open and just praying it would work. We did light the singer using two handheld homemade 4 banks whenever we could. We decided to shoot b/w in camera to minimize compression artefacts which did work quite well. We did most of the slow-mo using different techniques in After Effects, it didn't always work that well because of the edge detection problems on b/w footage. We shot with a shutter of 1/300 on some shots to help but there's not much you can do when you got 50i to start with. Yes you can see some artefacts when you look closely but we thought with the editing and all the rest,...it's still watchable.

Here are some set pictures:
picture 01
picture 02
picture 03
picture 04
picture 05

Here's the link to the video (Quicktime 6 required):
Vincent Venet - Piments de lune


If you have any questions, feel free to ask, we're pleased to answer. Thanks for taking some time to watch this, we hope you'll like some things. We know it's not perfect but we're working hard on getting better at it. There are not many projects over here so we have to handle many things which doesn't always help but we hope it will show to others that it's still possible to get something out of extreme low budgets. We just bought an old Eclair NPR and some filmstock on Ebay, we can't wait to find a budget to be able to shoot the next one on film really really soon :-)

Kind regards,

Olivier Vanaschen & Olan Bowland
the black sheep
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#2 Trevor Greenfield

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 04:05 PM

They both look terrific, and two very different styles. I love the dancing scene in front of the cars.. just goes to show you sometimes its your hardest shots that come off. Your cuts on the 2nd on are a bit quick for me though.

Would you mind giving us more info on:

- Your homemade 35 - What is your GG, are you using condensor... basically what is your setup?

- What primes did you use for the two shorts?

- Exactly how bad were the artifacts, and were they only on the shots with the smoke or were they elsewhere too?

Thanks :)
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#3 Olivier Vanaschen

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 06:29 PM

Hello Trevor,

thanks for the nice comments!!

- For our homemade 35 we use a ground glass from Optosigma (50mm diameter, grade 1500). The condenser also comes from them. Here are some links to the pages: GG / Condenser. On the Sony FX1, we use a +8 macro (77mm with step up from 72mm) that comes from some asian seller on ebay. Not the best one but it's always better than the two +4 macro from Cokin we used before.

- We have a prime lens set of mixed Nikon and Sigma lenses: 20/1.8, 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 105/2.5 .

- The artefacts were present mostly on quick pans (it was even worse when we used smoke). Heavy smoke creates a kind of slow moving pattern that seems to give the codec a hard time. They were not that apparent on the rushes but once we started to grade the shots, it became difficult to avoid them even in a uncompressed 10bit workflow. We had to find a compromise between look and noise in many shots. That said, we did the grading at 1920x1080 so when we downsized it to PAL SD, it did reduce the problem a lot.


Thanks again,

Olivier & Olan
www.theblacksheep.be
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#4 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 09:33 AM

which condenser did you use - and how did you hold it all together - have you got a rough diagram?

thanks

Rolfe
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#5 Olivier Vanaschen

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 12:01 PM

We used a 50mm Convex Condenser from Optosigma (see link on our second post). We used a below to get the right flange distance, the GG and condenser are held in a filter ring. The macro is on the camera, we used a lot of empty filter rings to make a tube to link the two.

You can see a picture of the camera in our first post (picture3.jpg I think).

It's not a perfect system, we highly recommend you to have a look at G35 from www.cinemek.com , it's going to be THE ultimate MINI35 system, cheaper than the P+S Technick MINI35 and way better in terms of image quality.

Olivier&Olan
www.theblacksheep.be
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#6 Trevor Greenfield

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 01:33 PM

thanks for the links and info O&O. Why do you feel your adapter was not as good as it could have been? And why do you think the G35 is going to be the best?

To me, your footage, although reduced in size, looks pretty darn nice.
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#7 Olivier Vanaschen

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 03:14 PM

Thanks a lot Trevor!

Our system is not perfectly stable yet, the edges of the picture are still a bit soft (because of the not-so-good macro), GG is still a bit grainy...it looks good for something homemade but the G35 is a commercial product using new patented GG system, perfect macro lens,... Have a look at the beta tests on their website, it's gorgeous.

We would not use our system if it was not good enough. Our clients watched the stuff on TV and loved the picture but we know it could be better. We have to do a lot of post-production to polish the picture but it's worth it :-) It's going to be easier for us in the future.

Thanks again for the support and nice comments.

Olivier&Olan
www.theblacksheep.be
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#8 LondonFilmMan

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 03:30 PM

Raian Shedy with "Everyday" was a very romantic happy heart-warming Turkish/Egyptian-sounding upbeat tune without being too 'inshalah' for Western tastes. I am sure I used to hear this kind of music a lot when I was out there in Turkey/Egypt. I liked the song very much and find it quite memorable, enough so, that I would buy it.

The visuals, I felt, were duller and less energetic than the music deserved. The visuals seemed to drag their heels a wee bit. I think the visuals should have been a bit more fiery....maybe a bit Ricky Martin-ish to liven it up.

I think the opening shots were a bit too dark (on the web anyway). We should have had a few more MORE sexy shots of her...crossing her legs was fine, but we should have got a closer up. I wanted to see her thighs didn't you?

"....anyway...let me show you...la la la...da..da da..." should have been met with some dancers by the pool swirling around with sequins.... whadaya think? Or at least some more action. IF the focus had to just be on her then you needed to draw out your leading lady more.

I didn't like the way she got in the pool. Why didn't we see her dive in? suddenly she was in there (we missed the splash)....aghhh. no.

He never seemed in close proximity to her physically....no chase was going on, so HOW did he deserve 3 smiles from her in her car? Nah.

Did she speed passed him in the car or the other way around? She SHOULD of speeded passed him....in this on-going chase...if that is what was going on. It should have been. Although, she did seem a bit easy. Nice girl though. Pretty.

Then she gets out of the car to dance...ok...nice.....BUT he seems reluctant to get close up and hot with her. Why aren't they both in the same frame ever? Noooo.....there was NO togetherness between them at all.......doh.....no.....no. no. no. no!

Overall there were too many vague shots.

At the end, the rose was expected...but you completely spoiled it by NOT letting us see him GIVE her the rose...that JESTURE might have justified ALL his previous lack of actions......because the shy boy would have finally plucked up the courage to give the pretty young lady the rose...

I dunno. For me it's a no on the visual story for the most part of it.

Having said that. His attitude when he sang to the camera was good and her feminine-ness was also good. But what did they have or build together? Not much eh?

Nice song.
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#9 LondonFilmMan

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 03:46 PM

Vincent Venet with "Piments de lune" has a nice chorus but I have to admit that I don't really understand the lyrics as my French is quite rusty (to say the least). So maybe I am missing something. Is the horse metaphoric or symbolic?

But it seems a bit STRANGE that he is singing to/about a horse anyway...

I got bored of the same location especially given that you 'took the colours away' REDUCING it to black and white. I don't think TWO colours + ONE location worked for me in this case ESPECIALLY given that this song was about his 'pet' horse.....(?)

Mutley! I am confused... Mutley.....!
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#10 Kitao Sakurai

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 02:25 AM

Hey guys,

Great work, I thought the second one - the black and white one - was especially well realized. I loved the quality of the images.

I'm curious as to how much of the "look" you did in post, and how much you did while shooting. You say that on your home-made mini35 rig you are using sigma and nikon 35 still lenses and a macro that "isn't perfect" in that it blurs the edges of the frame slightly. I found this bluring - as well as the vignetting (again, was that post or in camera?) - to be one of my favorite visual aspects. It was very "organic" feeling, and worked perfectly with the shifting focal plane and really very smart hand-held shooting.

Well done,


Kitao Sakurai
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#11 Riku Naskali

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 01:30 PM

Does your design use static or spinning ground glass?
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#12 Olivier Vanaschen

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 10:14 AM

Hello Kitao,

thank you very very much for your post, it did makes us very happy. We watched your reel quite a few times with great pleasure, your work is amazing!

Our equipment is far from being perfect, we worked hard on getting it better but for this one, we've chosen to rather play with its flaws. We did quite everything in camera, the vignetting and edge bluring are caused by the bad macro and we did like it too. We didn't do much about the look in post, just curves and levels, some "power windows" on some scenes. We did add some colors in the highlight and a bit in the shadows and added some grain at HD resolution so when we did downsize it to SD, the grain seemed to be more part of the picture.

It was our first try at shooting a music video almost completely hand-held, our setup is quite heavy and moves a bit but it was great fun :-) Thanks again Kitao for the nice comments, we'll continue working hard. Best luck with your projects!!


hmm...LondonFilmMan...thanks a lot for the in-depth analysis...don't know what so say...

Riku, we use a static adapter. We found the moving adapters do soften the picture a bit too much.


Thanks again everybody,

Olivier Vanaschen & Olan Bowland

www.theblacksheep.be
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#13 andres victorero

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 06:50 PM

marvellous, fantastic, great...

congrats
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#14 Olivier Vanaschen

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 12:04 PM

thank you very much andres!!

olivier&olan
www.theblacksheep.be
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