Jan 312012
 January 31, 2012

I’ve been itching to get this video out since completion early November. After a few set backs it’s finally public! Rui Furtado approached me mid-October with a rough concept for a music video, and this is what I produced.

One thing I’ve found with making small budget music videos; the schedules and budget are incredibly tight and it’s always hard to focus on what I like doing best, shooting video. So for this one, I made sure I had a second shooter. This gave me more breathing space on set, flexibility in the edit, a second pair of hands, a chance to really get some interesting cutaways spliced in (one of the key things I wanted to capture with this piece) without comprising time spent on the talent. I called on my good friends James Haddock and Guy Gotto for second cam over the 3 days, and they both did a superb job.

It was also a great excuse to hire a 5D mark II. I’ve used them on and off a fair bit, but this was the first project where I got to use one for 3 days straight, right next to the 7D. I really, really fell in love. So much so that I’ve since sold my 7D and EF-S lenses and bought a 5D mark II and 24-105mm L lens. Needles to say I absolutely adore the setup! More on gear later..

Both Cheyenne (the actress) and Rui were fantastic to work with. Rui is a great guy, he has a clear vision and knows exactly what he wants. It was really easy toget on with him, and made the whole process very smooth.

The video was shot in Bristol and Cardiff/Penarth. I was really excited to visit the one spot in Penarth. I’d heard of the existence of an abandoned council estate nearly a year ago, but never gotten round to visiting. A bit of location scouting the morning before had me really excited, it was amazing!

Credit has got to go out to my good friend Kirstie Jones. She helped out for the 3 days, being a third pair of hands, taking shoot pictures and soaking up the procedures. Thanks very much Kirstie!

Equipment wise, as mentioned I hired a Canon 5D mark ii and 24-105mm L as A-Cam. And my 7D as B-Cam. Additional Lenses were all my own; Zeiss 50mm f/1.7, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, Samyang 85mm f/1.4, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, Canon 70-200mm IS f/2.8 II.
I used my Jag35 Shoulder Rig throughout most of it, with a straight rod setup and my Small HD DP6 monitor (there was maybe one Hague Motion Cam shot in there also). B-Cam was operating off my Manfrotto monopod and 701 head. We also used my LCD Fader ND, and I purchased a Cokin .8 ND to go with my Cokin P holder for B-Cam.

Lighting wise, exteriors were mostly natural and a reflector board. For the club scenes I hired a set of 3X 150W Dedos, and a Kinflo. All were blue gelled. For the night exterior I use my 160 LED panel, bounced off a reflector board for backlighting subjects.

I found the Image Stabilisation on the 24-105mm absolutely essential on this shoot. Where there wasn’t budget for a track and dolly, and the most exterior surfaces too rough for any kind of DIY wheel setup, I shot 90% of this walking round with my shoulder rig, 5D and IS on the 24-105. I dabbled with CS5.5s Warp Stabiliser, but the CMOS distortion on DSLRs is simply too much at times, and post stabilising just makes it worst.

There’s no way I could’ve shot this style without a lens with Image Stabilisation. And that’s why I chose it with my own 5D mark II. Although the 24-70mm has a faster aperture, it holds little value when compared to the IS of the 24-105, accompanied by a fast prime.
The reach of the 24-105mm L is superb also, such a useful focal range. That’s something that was never available on cropped sensors, a really good standard lens for video. Both the Tamron (17-50 VC) and Sigma (18-55 OS) examples have poor focus rings for video, and Canon’s 17-55mm isn’t much better.

Anyway in summary it was a great shoot, and how the weather held up so well for the whole weekend was a miracle! Hope you enjoy the video.

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