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Cool Kids "Pennies" music video


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#1 Albert Smith

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 08:31 PM

The original intention was to shoot this music video on RED, but I was slowly talked into going back to the tried and true 35mm adapter as much of the budget began being allocated to lighting. with a $10,000 budget it was kinda either lighting or camera. Lighting won. The director wanted all the day EXT. to look somewhat like "golden hour" and very fall, in addition he wanted the video to look somewhat "creepy" as the song entails it to be. We looked through alot of films and videos. Specifically I think the halloween films as well as select scenes from "Belly" gave alot of influence to the video. Going into this video I had never worked with anything larger then a 1.2k HMI, so it was most definitely a learning experience. I went to the rental house that we were working with a day early and they took the time to show me some things to help aid in my decsions. Orginally my plan was pretty simple, prey for an overcast day (which was forcasted) and get a 12 or 18k HMI gelled with a bit of CTO and there is my low angle golden hour sun. When I went to the rental house though I was actually talked out of this, and do still recredit it. The guy pushed a 9light on me pretty hard (which I did learn is a great light! but probably wasnt the best for what I was trying to do) and also noted that they didnt have a 12k par and only had an older 6k par with a HUGE ballast (the guy actually told me there is no such thing as a 12k par and pars only went up to 6k...this was only the start of problems with this rental house which will remain unnamed). Anyways in end to save money and to move faster I went with a 9light as well as 2 2.5k hmi pars and a variety of smaller HMI's. I shot most of the exteriors at the gas station and on the dryers utilizing the 9light alone which worked very fast and efficiently. On the 2nd day of the shoot while beginning to light the first Night Ext. I noticed a large problem....the HMI's were flickering I told the geny op who was hired from the rental house and he had a hard time believing me but then when I finally proved this to him he didn't know what to do, as it became night and all the daylight was gone the flicker became extremely apparent and we had to wrap early and move the end of production to another day. On the rescheduled final day the lights STILL flickered, however not as bad and I attempted to use it as an effect since we had no other possibility of shooting another day. I used the 9Light as side key for most of the night ext while using the hmi's gelled 1/2 CTO as backlights and backround lights.


sorry for the long runon paragraph.


heres the video, youtube "HD"
http://www.youtube.c...o...ated&fmt=22
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#2 Albert Smith

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 09:42 PM

here some of my favorite stills and what I did
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This didn't happen at all as planed by we were a little behind and the sun popped back out as it was setting I decided to shoot right into sit slightly cutting the flare with the barn door on the matte box and then just blasted everyone in the car with light. 9light on the girls in the rear and 2.5k hmi with some CTO not far out of frame on mikey in the driver seat. also a 12x silk we used for some other stuff was there so so we have a little fill from that.
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2.5k rear third key, 1.2k fill and 9 light on the girls, same scenario as car setup
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9light from the right
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9 light rear third on the left to warm him up a little and somewhat give the golden hour appearance and a 2.5k with a narrow in it giving a little edge on the dryers...but not much.
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2.5k par outside the window in the rear third on the left 2.5k, 2 x 1.2k bounced off the wall frame left for fill....deffinetly needed some more light on the subject and could have watched the window reflections a bit more but overall this is my favorite still from the video for sure.
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#3 Sing Howe Yam

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 10:29 PM

Nice work, was there any thoughts on using shiney boards? As it reads here, seems like you were having to use a lot of power to fight the sun a good bit. You state in the beginning that you ran behind, I'm assuming since you had to use a genny and run power (which is time consuming and can be a bitch in pinch moments).

For the golden hour look, were filters a consideration? Could be an easy way to keep an accurate color tone throughout. But cheers on the Cool Kids vid, it must have been fun.
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#4 Gus Sacks

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 11:36 PM

Hey Jake,

Don't mean to be rough, but do you know what here cost $10,000 that couldn't have been done for half if not less than that?

Gus
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#5 Albert Smith

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 11:34 AM

Yea, shinny board, thats something I picked up some use of during this shoot although I dont think it could have replaced that much, because it is still somewhat a pain to control, it could have saved some money. The generator really didnt run us that far behind, maybe for the first location (the stacked dryers in the open lot) it did but other then that I think in end using shiny board would have taken longer because I would have a whole lot more trouble controlling it.

as far as filtration goes, na I dont think so....colored filtration isn't doing anything but offsetting white balance, there maybe some benefit to it over color correction as far as picture quality but past that I don't see the point. Im a strong believer in shooting a clean image and then worrying about it when you grade if you wanna do anything like that. Much of the video was shot with mellow ND grads though.

Gus
I'm not sure I understand your questions? are you suggesting I should have used different equipment or...? I did not produce the video there fore I cant really account for how it was spent and the shoot being 6months ago its hard for me to remember exactly what happened. I do agree, for $10,000 we really didn't make the most of it which annoys me. I can tell you though the lighting/grip/geny/geny operator did not account for the full 10,000. This shoot was also put together in a matter of 3 or 4 days which was another issue. Like I said though, it was a learning experience....

...Its amazing how much I learned during this shoot. I only went to proper film school for 1 year and it wasn't for cinematography. There is absolutely no way if I were to do this shoot over I would approach it even close to the same way.
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#6 Joshua Powless

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 04:24 AM

Thanks for sharing jake!
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