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Marianna music video - shot on EX1


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#1 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 03:10 PM

Some people here may remember a post I made describing my first experience using the Sony EX1, a camera which though not perfect I've come to love (in a totally non robo-sexual way!)

Some may also remember that the shoot for this music video for an unsigned band Shed Studio was a disaster, the location for the shoot a 60's styled rock-bar fell through (the owner with the keys failed to show up, and switched off all his telephones), when the actress (who was to play the lead character in the story) heard of this, she also vanished of the planet...

So the members of the band and the director (after some nudging) took to the streets to find a replacement location and found..... nothing.

We were left with the lead singer's mum's house and his girlfriend acting in it..... so we improvised....

Marianna Music Video

Let me know what you all think, particularly about the surreal framing (at times I feel very uncomfortable about it).

Cheers,
Andy

Edited by Andy_Alderslade, 01 September 2008 - 03:13 PM.

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#2 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 04:25 PM

Anybody?

.......can I hear crickets? :)
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#3 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 04:26 PM

Anybody?

.......can I hear crickets? :)
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#4 Damien Bhatti

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 08:37 AM

Andy, doesn't seem to be working on my computer?
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#5 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 12:18 PM

Andy, doesn't seem to be working on my computer?


Oh dear, I have tested it on a variety of different computers, its has a slightly long download time - but seems to work (its just a standard Quicktime).

Are you finding the problem with the link or the video file?

Thanks,
Andy
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#6 Tim Partridge

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 04:21 PM

Fair play to you!

I love the framing (which is where it's at) and I LOVE the push ins. Is this the famous "Andy-Cam", again? Something tells me it physically cannot be given the impressively rigid steadyness!

Inspiring stuff (especially when you know how hard it is to get anything made over here right now).
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#7 Daniel Carruthers

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 05:40 PM

very nice work
I also like the framing and dolly work
and the lighting looks very natural, did you use some promist or diffusion filters for some shots?
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#8 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 05:01 AM

Thanks guys,

Tim, i'm afraid its not the infamous 'Andy-cam' which has been somewhat unused lately, we hired in a Londsmandy spider-dolly with flex-track, which though is very versatile - has severe limitations. The track is essentially like one long piece of liquirish that you put down on the floor in the shape you want and the flexible leg of the spider compensates for the imperfections, the problem is the track rarely stays where you need it, if its a straight run you can use a spreader kit, but thats very time consuming to be put down and just as time consuming to make small adjustments.

Its amazing that professional dolly track is so simple to put down and level, and yet all the pro-sumer companies insist on reinventing the wheel.

Unfortunately the fluid head wasn't really up to the job of all the dolly work, hence why we adopted a style of letting the camera 'scan' the move rather than maintain the correct framing while tracking in or out.


Daniel, yes I used a 1/4 and 1/2 Black-Promist, generally saving the 1/2 for close ups - though admittedly i've gone off using diffusion lately. The same director insisted I use some for interviews in a documentary (largely because he wanted to use what he'd paid for) which simply looked awful.

Because we essentially had to improvise the whole thing from scratch, we took a very naturalistic approach to the lighting - the first scene we shot (in the bedroom) had a naturally soft light so we adopted that for the rest of the shoot supplementing it as little as possible, using reflectors, dedo's and a Diva, some 300W, 800W and blondes stayed firmly in their boxes.

As with the framing, we were willing to try anything to make something out of nothing - i think it works better in some places than others,

Cheers,
Andy
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#9 Serge Teulon

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 06:04 AM

That looks great Andy!
It goes to show that with good lighting any camera can shine.

Congrats!

p.s bet the lead that deserted you is now cursing herself!

Edited by Serge Teulon, 17 September 2008 - 06:05 AM.

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#10 Tim Partridge

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 09:22 AM

Unfortunately the fluid head wasn't really up to the job of all the dolly work, hence why we adopted a style of letting the camera 'scan' the move rather than maintain the correct framing while tracking in or out.


Amazing that you brushed a lot of music video vocabulary seemingly through practical neccessity rather than choice. Not to undermine you and your director's abilities, but sometimes limitations bring out the best. I get the feeling that had the actress, the 60s bar, a decent dolly and everything else been in place, the vid wouldn't have been half as inspired (or half as interesting to look at).

Thanks for the Spider-Cam info by the way. I must admit that I'll have my eye on that next time in order to easily replicate the very attractive, relatively limited movement you achieved here! I've seen some much more expensive kit produce comparitively unimpressive results when trying to ahcieve the same effect. Nothing beats a rigid push in on a wide lens (IMO).
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#11 Damien Bhatti

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 01:20 PM

Oh dear, I have tested it on a variety of different computers, its has a slightly long download time - but seems to work (its just a standard Quicktime).

Are you finding the problem with the link or the video file?

Thanks,
Andy


Sorry Andy, tis working now. I think it works pretty well, the flowing dolly shots are especially nice with those cooler colours from the window. Theres one which starts from a nice composition and then begins to move. I didnt know whether it wanted to be still at first, because of its good framing, but then it started move away. (it was so nicely composed that perhaps it didnt need that?)

I really like the idea of the band being in the house, was that yours? Because if you take that idea and run with it, i think you'd end up with a pretty interesting situation, thanks
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#12 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 05:23 AM

p.s bet the lead that deserted you is now cursing herself!


I hope so! ;)

Amazing that you brushed a lot of music video vocabulary seemingly through practical neccessity rather than choice. Not to undermine you and your director's abilities, but sometimes limitations bring out the best.


Definitely, its often the limitations that keep you on track, because you have to embrace them and make them your own, its much easier to build a consistent style of lack of resources, than decide what luxuries your not going to use.

If you suddenly have access to dollies, jibs, steadicam, cranes etc i suppose it must be hard not use them... when you don't have them, you find an alternative and run with it I suppose, like the Evil Dead and its use of Plank-Cam.

My favorite example would be in The 400 Blows, in interiors the blimped camera becomes physically immobile and all the interior scenes: the classroom and Doniel's parents apartment are almost totally static. Out doors the relatively small Eclair Cameflex camera suddenly becomes mobile, with swishing pans galore, there's suddenly a lot more energy and freedom to his life on the streets. How many film-studies lectures have hailed this as inspired direction, when the direction has perhaps stemmed from technical limitations?

I really like the idea of the band being in the house, was that yours? Because if you take that idea and run with it, i think you'd end up with a pretty interesting situation, thanks


Essentially the house was the only resource which we were physically close to, we were at first looking at trying to find an alternative bar, but were finding it impossible and we generally thought taking to the streets without prior permission in North London was going to be disastrous.

When somebody explained to me the style of the house (muted colours galore), I imagined we could invert our original idea. Originally Marianna was to be a glamorous hostess in charge of a hip 60's bar, showing her to be sought after by her male clientele, lonely in a way but very much in charge. So when that concept was nuked, the description of the house made me think of the dancing in the window woman from Mike Leigh's Naked - so I thought of the idea of this Marianna character who wakes up alone wearing a dress in bed, with mascara running down her face, who goes about her day making her self to go out at night again, but then stays in and dances by her self in the house all dressed up, while band members play in different parts of her house around her like ghosts.

So essentially we had a rough idea how it was to progress, using the natural light fall off, but pretty much improvised each scene as we went along. Of course the original idea got more and more diluted as we went along, when the actress disappeared, the singer's girlfriend stepped in but was obviously uncomfortable with certain aspects and had to be changed. Muting the original idea probably helped and hindered it as much.

The thing that really lets it down for me as a whole is the shot of her giggling, that was originally an out-take which they put in the edit for an experiment. For me it completely ruins the atmosphere and I made my opinion known but they pretty much bluntly pulled rank on me. Annoying really as I felt I pretty much came up with the concept and contributed so much, but never-mind.
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