First time in a long time that I have shot, edited and produced a clip without any help, aside from that of the band members. The concept was simple, the start of a story in which the band gets kidnapped by a crazed fan turned almost cult leader, plays "For their lives" and then are saved by the star of their album cover Dr Chops. The execution was not so simple.
3 months of planning and many meeting later we had decided a shoot day and a style to follow. As with all bands they wanted their clip to be utterly unique in it's style. We went with a tribal cultist theme for the wardrobe and atmosphere, fire and smoke abound with an ample amount of face paint to match.
Fairly early on in production the issue of budget came up, as it always does. I love music video and I make it not for the money but for the passion, as perusing other work is almost always more profitable for me. However I love the band and I have known one of the members for many many years. I wanted to shoot on an Sony F3 with the RED 18-85 2.8 as the clip was extremely heavy on low light situations. However it simply wasn't in the cards for us.
I ended up shooting it on my own camera instead, mostly to save on cost. Using the Sony a57 at 60p and conforming to 24p for the filmic look. I used the Sigma 50mm 1.4 DG HSM as my closeup and details lens and the Rokinon 14mm 3.5 as my wide. Using only fire and 3 Red Heads to light the scene.
Here's some BTS by the extremely passionate Matthew Johnson
So the shoot went smoothly, wrapping way earlier than expected, although it started earlier than expected too. As far as coverage I did a couple takes of the whole song on the wide on the tripod a couple walk arounds on the wide and then went in to close ups of each of the band members individually, aside from that it was just pickups of the fans rocking out, the kidnapping sequence and the tribal leader stuff.
Editing a clip like this is fairly simple, I sync all the footage up to the track and watch each take individually chopping and changing where necessary. Then took the best bits to fit the track and sequenced it as follows. For the droning sound on the intro I recorded some pickup interfearance on my guitar with a Tascam dr-40 which then I played around with with the "Guitar suite" in premier.
As for the colour grade I took care of the within Premier again using film convert to get a feel down then pushed the contrast out like crazy, crushing the blacks to remove some noise. Put some purple into the shadows with and RGB curves
The Sony a57 while a lovely camera tends to have a fair bit of noise in ISO 800 and above so while not completely necisary I wanted to run a de-noising pass on the clip too. Ive had some success with Red Giant Softwares de-noiser in the past but have been hearing great things about Neat Video, so I gave it a go. After setting up a custom profile for my camera the results were day and night. The downside was that a 30 minute render now became closer to 5 hours. No matter though all in the name of quality.
Early on in the production process I had decided to shoot for a 240 aspect ratio. I feel that this aspect best fit the style I was going for. I could have adjusted the physical size of the edit but instead I opted for simply overlaying the footage with a matte I had made up years ago. If you find yourself in need of these I have uploaded them at imgur, just for you. Here's a link.
The clip was debuted at The Hard Rock cafe on Wednesday the 16th of July 2014 in a special fan screening only for the bands most dedicated.
Shortly after release the clip got picked up by the guys over at Killyourstereo.com. Nothing really to say here just wanted the shout out to these guys. Thanks
Without further ado here it is. Nobody by A Gentlemen's Agreement.