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Music Video Tips


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#1 Matt Lazzarini

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 08:08 PM

Hi all,

For anyone following my 'Road Movie' production diary, I'll be posting Week 2 hopefully tomorrow. I've just been so busy I haven't had time to update it. Sorry :unsure:

Anyways, on topic - I've been hired to shoot a low budget music video in a couple of weeks. It's in the style of 80s hip hop videos - lots of breakdancing. We're going to desaturate and mute the colors somewhat in camera, but I want to shoot it relatively clean and do anything else in post.

We're shooting on the XL1s with the Mini35. I'm asking for a shoulder mount from Panavision that I saw being used on a shoot last month which has two handles for it. I has a trigger on it for film cameras but this one had its wires cut - anyone know what I'm talking about? I never got a name for it. D'oh!

I haven't selected what primes I want to use. We're not exactly swimming in money on this shoot, so I can only get what I absolutely need. The director wants wide/almost fisheye shots, but I'm not sure how wide I can go on the Mini35? I'll look into it, but any thoughts/suggestions? I also need a good telephoto length, but not too crazy - maybe a 75mm? And maybe a 35mm for everything else?

Shooting a feature while trying to prep a video is stretching my brain lol :P

All the shots are daytime exteriors. The budget doesn't allow for a generator, so I asked for a 1200 HMI which we can hopefully run from a nearby power source for the main scene. I'm a little worried about power consumption being an issue, so I thought about maybe changing that to a 575 HMI. Has anyone used one for day ext? Does it do anything at all in terms of punch, or should I stick to the 1200?

For the rest of the shots we're going to go into some back alleys with graffiti covered walls. For these shots I won't have access to power, so I'm basically bouncing/reflecting either the sunlight (of which there might be little because we're in an alley) or the ambient daylight. Any tips for this kind of no-light shooting? I've done it before but I'm wondering if the much more experienced shooters on this board can give me some advice.

And any tips in general for shooting music videos. I'm guessing get a helluva lot of coverage, which I plan to. I wanna shoot (in addition to the director's shotlist) anything and everything that could be thrown into the mix in the editing - focus pulls on performers, closeups of feet dancing, etc.
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#2 Tomas Koolhaas

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 08:31 PM

Hi,
my first piece of advice would be to use the XL2 instead of the XL1. Using the mini-35 is a good idea, but the XL1 is very far inferior to the XL2, if you can cut costs in other areas (perhaps using reflectors etc.. to bounce the existing daylight instead of renting pricey HMIs) you should definately try to upgrade. Also get lots of cut-aways/inserts, you can never have enough of these on a music video; feet dancing, sweat dripping, asses shaking, krystal pouring etc..etc..
You can safely plug most 1,200w HMIs into house power sockets (if you have the correct edison plugs). Just try not to overload house power curcuits with more than 20 amps (or about 2KW of power).
Get the XL2, if you don't you will regret it.
Also, it depends on the circumstances but usually a 575w HMI won't do much in a daylight exterior scene (this depends on many factors , but generally) you may be better spending the HMI money on reflectors and other things that bounce the existing daylight.
Good luck.
Cheers.

Edited by Tomas Haas, 07 November 2005 - 08:35 PM.

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#3 Wendell_Greene

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 08:42 PM

Watch the DVDs "Wild Style" and "Style Wars" .

Keep the 1200 HMI's.

If you're shooting an '80's style hip hop video then you I would think you'd want a more saturated look in art direction, wardrobe, instead of desaturated images.
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#4 G. Stephen Bruno

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 08:51 PM

Watch the DVDs "Wild Style" and "Style Wars" .


Wild Style!
I have no advise, but hey watch it anyway........


-Bboy Glenn
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#5 Michael Collier

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 08:52 PM

For the ultra-wide angle fish eye the director wants, you can probably drop the mini-35 for those shots, and use the standard lens (assuming its also included in the rental) and add a death lens or something like that, just a nice fisheye adapter.

(this is all assuming several things such as: the standard XL1 lens included in the rental, fish eyes not working with the mini-35 (not sure it would create a problem or not) and assuming the fish eye attachent is a cheaper rental than a PL mount fish eye)

The reason I say drop the mini 35 is because the idea of the mini35 is to crush DOF, but with a fish eye the focal length is so short that you probably will have a large DOF, even with the mini on board. You can save yourself weight and reduce the amount of elements/GG which will make your image sharper.


as for no light shooting, I would recomend ballancing in the shadow so they wont go blue, especially if you are working with a bald sky. Try to avoid really hot pockets of direct light, as the contrast between shadow and light will completly blow those highlights out. If you cant avoid the direct light, or like the shadow pattern they throw, get some silk or netting or chease cloth and a ladder, place it as high up as you can so the netting doesnt cast its own pattern, but will drop the level of light so its more in range with the shadow.

I would avoid all unnetted direct light unless you want to shoot detail in the highlights and let the subject sillouette, which is always cool and a great fall back if you cant controll the highlights at a certain point of the day.

also I am assuming the ally walls will be perpandicular to the suns travel (ie, the highlights will be on one wall of the ally in the morning, and in the afternoon it will be on the other side, just an assumption) I would shoot everything in the afternoon, so shaddows dont move around too much, but you get a lot of shooting in.

If lighting becomes a huge issue, find the guy with the coolest car, park it in the ally, turn the driving lights on and make sure to incorperate the car into a few shots. Its cheap and clece to have a car in a music video but if you need light, theres light for you.
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#6 Sol Train Saihati

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 08:55 PM

Watch the DVDs "Wild Style" and "Style Wars" .

Don't forget "Beat Street". :D
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#7 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 08 November 2005 - 04:37 AM

...and lots of Congo filtered blue back- or sidelight... :D
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