Ghetts – Rebel | Music Promo

Director : Luke Biggins
Ghetts was absolutely stellar to work with, really cool guy.
From the get go Luke made it clear he didn’t want to shoot on green screen and comp a red background in, I wasn’t fond of the idea either, it just would look not as authentic so to speak, also there was an extremely tight turn around as the video was being released a mere couple of weeks after the shoot date, just means being more creative with the edit and grading rather vfx artists keying and roto-ing… I am always in support of the director, even though a few questioned painting the actual studio red !
And I knew just the right camera for the job.
Rebel was shot on the Sony F65, for a final apsect ratio of 2.40. This is my 2nd experience shooting on the F65, the first was Daps - I am Ian Wright. As I stated before I strongly believe the F65 is still one of the best cameras of image quality out there to date. Having filmed on a deep red cyc with black artists in front and still maintain such great colour separation is just fantastic. Black s remained black and the texture is just incredible. Of course  a compressed vimeo / youtube version you really can’t see the full benefits, but watching on TV as its on all nation wide music channels, does make a difference obviously. 
The red used isn’t quite primary, but close enough, and the channels did not clip, and the blacks didn’t go muddy. We were recording on RAW-Lite no where near the full quality and we were still recording approximately 12mins / half Terabyte !!! we had to treat the shoot as if we were shooting on film as we were just chewing through hard drives.
If I can have full D.I.T support with this camera, I would seriously consider shooting on this for my next feature, and of course if production can afford the many hard drives needed…

Great shoot.

Heavyball – Black eye Friday | Music Promo

Director : Sameer Patel
This is my third video with Director Sameer. I notice the more we work together, the less we speak, just having an understanding of each other really helps – being on the same webpage, frequency, train…

Shot on the Canon C300 with Canon zooms and 1 prime – 85mm  for a final aspect ratio of 2.40 : 1. The weather was on our side and we managed through the day quite well.
We shot Canon Log and really explored the depths of the image in grading, although quite subtle, it definitely  drives the story forward.
I was pulling my own focus on this gig, which was one of the many reasons why I chose the C300 with Canon lenses. I feel at one with this camera and it really helps me to focus on the things that matter ie, telling the story.

just wanted to say that the Costume Designer Nazira Hanna and Makeup Artist Anna Thompson did an  absolutely amazing job on the piece, everything just looks fantastic.

A great couple of days.

Mark Morrison – N.A.N.G. 2.0 ft. Crooked I & Shonie

It was great working on this project for a number of reasons but what grabbed me most was that this was a music promo with a strong message, that domestic violence is definitely no joke and should receive more attention and be taken more seriously by a wider audience.

I got the call with the brief saying  the producers wanted a real, engaging dark video away from the norm of gloss or fashion, a mini drama. It wasn’t a particularly grandiose budget either, but the content and message was strong enough for me to want to do it.

Shot handheld on a 5D with a handful of lights over 2 days with a mixture of natural light and HMI’s.

I had read  some of the YouTube comments and they were posted by a few women who stated it was either the story of their life or they had been in similar situations and a few had opened up and told their story in the comments, or how they should get out of their abusive relationships before it’s too late…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47HuZsJ7Rz4

All of which reminded once again how powerful and moving storytelling  can be, the importance and power of visuals, the effect it  has on us and how much I actually enjoy being a cinematographer.

Southern Skies : Choices | Music Promo

Director : Guy Davies
Southern skies music promo was scheduled as   a 2 day shoot, so spent the weekend down in Bristol.
Down In Bristol , I left a day earlier so myself and Guy can discuss the look and feel of the video, also how to fully execute the backgrounds changing consistently behind the band members effectively. Which was all tied in to doing a recce.
First day we shot the band performances in three different locations, which meant for quick setups and turn around. The last location of the first day, the weather faired in our favour, It began to downpour which is  what we wanted, we got some amazing shots of the water splashing off the cymbals in the rain and created a look which strongly contrasted the model in the wheat fields on the second day. Bright sunny and beautiful. of course if this was scheduled the other way around, well it would be a completely different story. Matt Allsop did steadicam and usual was stellar.
Shot an RED Epic with an old school Angénieux lens and a set of Superspeeds I was very happy with the look and feel of the video.

A good few day’s shooting.

 

IC 1 Beautifully Ugly | Music Promo

Director: Guy Davies

For beautiful Ugly music promo we found ourselves on the lovely pebbly shores of Brighton beach. Shot on Arri Alexa with K35s for an aspect ratio of Flat 2.40 recording to prores 4×4, Log C.
Walking backwards on the stones of Brighton with an Alexa on your shoulder is not an easy task to say the least but I nailed it after a few takes.
We ended the day with a beautiful sunset performance shot, which we only got a couple of takes of.
I love it when a plan comes together.
Great day.

Daps – I am Ian Wright | Music Promo

I am Ian Wright
Directed by Daps.

Voted as Best Music Video 2013 – Screen Nation Awards.
It’s one thing to have a song dedicated to the great Ian Wright, but  its’ a completely different ball game ( no pun intended) when you have the real big man himself  doing a cameo in the video.  I don’t know many people apart from Daps  who could pull this off to be honest.
The refs Daps presented to me were not referencing other music promos or films, but rather artists of The Renaissance, just another completely different level that I fully embraced.
The camera of choice was the Sony F65, for a final aspect ratio of 2.40. I chose a pair of Optimos zooms  since we were a skeleton crew and we were moving fast. Beautiful glass was really impressed.

won’t go into much detail here about the look of the camera as the final version is graded monochromatic.  But I have to mention that this has been the best camera in terms of dynamic range, highlight handling – roll off and skin tones I have shot with – hands down.
I would really love to spend more time with this camera to be honest. It is a shame it hasn’t really taken off, I guess because of market saturation, not sure why…

As for the Piccadilly Circus scene where Daps is the middle of the street, yes production did lock the streets off at 2200 hrs on a Friday night,  It’s daunting when you have your eye glued to the eye piece and your other eyeball looking around and you can hear the angry motorist, shouting and revving their motorcycles at screeching decibels, wondering if someone is going to try and drive  or ride through while we were filming and at the same time concentrating on getting the shots to tell the story effectively…

Over all a good shoot, thoroughly enjoyed.

Preacher | Music Promo

Preacher.

Directed by Sameer Patel.

This was our first project working together and it was absolutely fantastic.  We had met up quite a few times to discuss the look and feel of the project using references to communicate our ideas over breakfast , lunch and dinner.
After speaking with Sameer, the one thing he wanted to communicate in this project was a sense of space, showing the environment / Brick Lane – London, in the frame as much as possible whilst grounding Doll Hunt (The Artist)  as much as possible into the scenes.
With a few tests I believe the RED Epic  shot at 5k with 3 Ultraprime lenses, 14mm, 35mm and a 75mm for a 2.40 flat aspect ratio was what would communicate best – Sameer’s vision.
We can see both sides of the wide street ( complemented by the 2.40 aspect ratio) and Doll Hunt in the middle of screen with the reactions of the public at the same time.
I had received a few emails asking if it was steadicam,  but for this particular gig it wasn’t. it was all handheld with me walking backwards down Bricklane or maybe up Bricklane, well except for the VFX shots which of course had to be on legs.
We went for quite an extreme grade, Cross process / lomo-ish feel,  pushing the individual colour channels quite a bit, and the RED footage held up quite well without falling apart.
Overall a great shoot.
Enjoyed thoroughly.

Maxsta – Pop Off | Music Promo

Maxsta “Pop Off” directed by Luke Biggins.

I remember given very little notice to shoot this promo, it was within the region of 2 hours. Just had enough time to grab my light meter and viewing glass to get down to the studio for 18:30 hrs, since I had a free afternoon I said why not…
Arriving there I was literally starting from Ground Zero. Decided to hang some domestic tubes that were laying around the studio, originally the bulbs were 865, but I swapped them out for cool whites and position a couple of gelled 2K blondes around the set and set my lighting ratios for low key/ high contrast look, using multiple colour temps to create mood and atmos, wanted it to feel like a gritty drama. Shot on Arri Alexa with Cooke Panchros straight onto SxS cards ProRes 4444.  

Many a times you have to make the most of what is readily available to hand and  think quickly on your feet, something I quite enjoy.

Definitely a great shoot and the label was quite pleased with the final results.

Sabrina Washington – Hit it Hard | Music Promo

Going to keep this post short. maybe from here, now onward I will keep all entries to just a few lines.

Sabrina Washington – Hit it Hard, directed by Ben Peters, have to say we were blessed with such a good day for shooting outdoors.

Sabrina  was such a pleasure to work with, really down to earth and a real trooper.
Shot   on the Arri Alexa straight to the internal SxS cards at ProRes 422, the footage was then transferred via laptop to two hard drives on set – very straight forward.
I really started to appreciate how much latitude this camera has with the shot of Sabrina under the bridge in a semi silouette.  I was still able to maintain detail in seeing her face and still see her left eye, with no lighting, just purely by getting the exposure where I wanted it. I was just blown away by this. There are of course many cameras out there that may hold a similar level of latitude, but thinking that the Alexa footage can be ingested straight into any editing platform of choice, ready to be edited without transcoding/ developing  when you think about it is amazing. 
Definately one of my favourite shots – 120 FPS, using the 300mm lens, wanted to jump to 600mm but I was just way to close to the edge of the canal. I was close enough as it was already.

The shots in the gym were fairly straight forward as well, just concentrating on Sabrina Washington and Shantel Jackson who is Floyd Mayweather’s fiance. It all ties in with the whole boxing theme – nice.
The match did take some time to choreograph and to get the camera angles right, having the women work at safe distances enough so as not to cause injury to each other but close enough  for the shots to work.

Overall a good day.

 

Molella – Let me give you more | Music Promo

 

Molella music promo – “Let Me Give You More” is the new single of Maurizio Molella that will be released in Italy on May 18th 2012

My mission should I accept and I clearly did was to follow Bethany Harrisons’ bum for the entirety of the shoot, literally. This was the concept of Director Ben Peters.

When my girlfriend saw the rough cut, she smiled and said ” I bet you enjoyed that shoot” to which I responded by pointing out the complexities and technicalities of pulling it off successfully, which were to the best of my knowledge absolutely true, (spin doctor insert here) so there was no time to “enjoy” the shoot – a stern look & silence…
Haunched over, armed with a Sony F3 and a 14mm ultraprime in hand I set off on my mission. Have to say though, 12 hours in the same awkward position was taxing, I truly felt it the next day.
Shot the entire promo on that lens, being so wide there was minimum distortion except for when I went in really tight, which gave the bum a much more rounded look in my professional opinion, there were make up checks on her cheeks and a powder down to go…
Bethany’s bum was/is Hero (or is that Heroine)

As for the under water stuff it was quite straight forward, shot on the 1D MarkIV which held up quite well, shot on a deep stop, knowing the 1D MKIV holds up well in the iso range.
Created a custom look in camera to get the grader in the right direction and that was really it.

Definitely a great day for all the right reasons…

You can also view it on youtube here, if you like to read comments.

Wiley & Cashtastic – Only Human feat. Tereza | Music Promo

 

Small crew  and all hands on deck , generally good fun working on these shoots, everyone just pitching in to make it happen. Challenging as always but a real feeling of achievement.

Had to engineer it, so we could get through 50+ extras for the portrait  shots and be flexible enough to just swing around for the performance shots, with minimal turnaround time. Directed by Ben Peters this simple but effective promo is just the right feel and tone for the track,  we both decided to go for a more naturalistic look.  The BTS operator picked up shots of the artists and crew working away at it,  this gave me just enough time to concentrate on the portraits and performance.  All looks were created in camera using the picture profile setting, so essentially what you see is just straight out the gate – well I mean sensor. Whilst all of this was going on, I had rigged a 7D  for the time lapse shots on a hi hat secured onto a step ladder, no ladder pods, always got to find a way.

Most Definitely a good day. 
you can also watch on youtube here if your into reading comments. 
Ps, Hopefully next few times round I could actually snap a few  pics.