Posted 11 December 2006 - 05:30 AM
i just wrapped this music video recently and i thought I would share it on the forum, mainly because we used a M2 micro35 adapter and cinema lenses, which i believe people, especially us low budget folks, are fairly interested in.
the video was very ambitious for a low budget crew, and the two directors Robert Glassford and Timo Langer wanted to shoot it with a short film flavour.
The story is all set on top of a roof, where groups of people meet to play an obsolete dice game, in which who loses has to jump off the building. The whole point of the story is that the main guy, Terry, keeps beating his challengers and once each one of them has jumped off and he is lonely on top, he finds victory being bittersweet and decides to jump off as well.
The piece was filmed in four different locations: A parking garage, an office building, a rooftop and mainly a green screen studio.
We were looking for a playful tone of the piece and our reference were the Jonathan Glazer?s commercial Dreamer combined with the provocative, energetic and electric visual feel of the Prodigy Voodoo People video.
I was hoping to use the Panasonic HVX200 with our M2 Redrock adapter, mainly because i really wanted to avoid tapes and take advantage of having the uncompressed footage already digitized and stored. Unfortunately we found out that there is only a HVX200 (????) in Scotland and the rental price (including 4 P2 cards and the store drive) was way out of our budget.
So i opted for the JVCHD101, mainly because i liked the in camera color correction options and because we managed to get it for free.
The lenses were a set of ZEISS superspeeds, which i preferred much more than my other choice (COOKE S4) for crispness, contrast and a helpful extra stop. I went for four focal lengths: 18, 25, 50 and 85, all t 1.3
I have to thank Panavision Glasgow and in particular Bill Outch, for making us a very affordable price and for helping us so much.
the main problem was that the JVC with the adapter and lenses was a beast, which made it awfully complicated on handheld work:
the micro35 has the flipped image issue, so i had to get an extra 4x4 lcd monitor and mount it on top of the camera. i have a love/hate relationship with the adapter: i do love the DOF but sometimes its very annyoing to deal with all the artifacts that come with it, especially the spinning disc. i wish we had something less problematic, like the MOVIETUBE or the SGpro, which dont have the disc but a steady glass.
the lighting package was limited, i wanted the film to be very low key and during testing i found out that i could push the adapter and lenses a lot on low light situations: we had two 1.2 k HMIs, four 1ks, two 2ks, six 650w fresnels, four 4 bank kinos and a few redheads.
Our main location was obviously the rooftop, which we had to "remake" in a studio and place it in front of a greenscreen.
We figured that our best option was to recreate a corner of the roof, where people would jump off, and that small sort of hut with the door, to use it as the wall were the guys play dice. it looked like this
now, the greenscreen was the main problem: we ordered 2 big silked skypans which i had planned to rig on top of it with a u shaped rig, but unfortunately on the day of the shoot they gave us a much smaller one by mistake which could not be replaced. We couldn?t use it because it was definitely much smaller. Me and the gaffer started to find another way to light the whole screen and we found out that placing the big skypans on the bottom of it, facing up, was our best bet.
then we used some 650s to make it all even and my spotmeter read an overall 5.6 all the way thoug.
i wasnt very happy with it, but we couldnt do anything else and we had to find an acceptable way around it
my lighting for the rooftop was very simple. on wide shots i had a 1k with a chimera as soft keylight with a few kino tubes placed behind the edge and the 1.2 k Hmi bounced off a reflector as fill. i didnt want to make the rooftop too bright and i didnt have any "big guns" lights to place somewhere far away: the studio wasn?t big enough. On close ups i was able to make the lighting more interesting, especially during the game: i lit the main guy with two tungsten fluorescent tubes which i had warmed up with an amber gel, to make him look a bit more intense than the other folks. i played a lot with those kino tubes, i liked the softness of the light. here a few stills
The toughest part of the shoot was when we had to set the main character on fire, which was the ending of the video: we could afford to rent a sfx guy from London and do the job for a thousand pounds, but me and the director were sure we could fake the effect and don?t spend any money.
We knew this photographic trick where if you place a very clear glass on a 45 degree angle in front of the camera you can superimpose anything on that glass and make it look like if its right in the scene.
We knew we could do it with fire, too, and because it was a locked off shot we were sure it would work.
We built a reproduction of our main character with chicken wire and covered it in a not very flammable material, then we placed it carefully where it would superimpose perfectly with our real actor who was standing in front of the camera. With a few adjustments we found the perfect position and set the mannequin on fire.
It was great, the fire looked very real, a very bad picture and diagram here
i wish i had better in camera stuff but all the footage is in the editing suite and i cant get there yet so i will post more once i can access the real footage.
hope you enjoyed and sorry for grammar mistakes !
Posted 12 December 2006 - 12:04 PM
also, all the film stills were shot by Jethro Collins, a wondeful stills photographer
Posted 12 December 2006 - 02:10 PM
Thanks for the detailed post. I was wondering what kind of artifacts did you get from the Redrock adapter due to the spinning ground glass? I have one and have never noticed anything like that from it unless the battery is weak and the image element spins too slow. Do you have any footage that shows this artifacting?
Posted 12 December 2006 - 02:36 PM
i probably used a wrong English term, what i meant is that the adapter´s structure, including the spinning disc, is very unpractical. the main problem i found was that the focus distances were all wrong, because the motor of the spinning disc was slightly offset from its axis, Redrock shipped us a faulty one.
we had to unscrew it with a tiny allan key and tune it until the distances were just fine. i had to remark slightly the distances until they were accurate.
the other problem is that with a spinning disc you cant use a high shutter speed or a higher fstop like 5.6 because it picks up the wobblying.
also, its a nightmare when filming tv screens. i really enjoy using it but probably the movietube and the sgpro are a better choice
unfortunately i cant access to any of the footage yet but once its all rendered and available ill post some
Posted 11 January 2007 - 12:39 AM
Posted 07 February 2007 - 08:19 PM
im gonna have some footage to post very soon. so far im quite happy about what we got, a part from some discontinuity with the lighting on a few shots, mainly my fault due to lack of time to set things properly.
Posted 08 February 2007 - 01:25 AM
Posted 10 February 2007 - 08:40 PM
Keep it up.
Posted 11 February 2007 - 12:20 PM
it will take me a long long time to get to mr. Brereton´s level...i still have tons to learn
having said that, im 23 and im definitely not in a hurry.
Posted 11 February 2007 - 12:24 PM
I'm 15 and not too great, I did however have one moment of incredible genius, sadly that is now gone.
Posted 14 February 2007 - 04:34 PM
Can you post the full video when it's all done?
Posted 14 February 2007 - 06:40 PM
Can you post the full video when it's all done?
i dont know yet. i will certainly post some frame grabs soon, the final cut with the many GCI composites will be finished in march so you would have to wait until then im afraid.
all the best
Posted 25 April 2007 - 11:15 PM
Posted 01 May 2007 - 04:52 AM
Hey sorry to bring up such an old topic, but have you posted or atleast seen the final version of the video yet? How does it look?
sorry for the delay but i have been really busy lately! the video is done and dusted, however i am not allowed to put it anywhere in the internet for many reasons.
hopefully i will be able to do it very soon. i am fairly satisfied with it, i think it looks good but you can really tell the limitation of the adapter once you project the image on a very big screen...it basically falls apart, and its very soft.
not that this is too important when you shoot music videos destined to the small screen, though
i really hope ill be able to post at least screen grabs VERY soon
all the best