Wilson here writing about some stuff.
Well yesterday the video we did for The Emerald Armada went live on Golden Plec. This blog is kinda like an exploration of the work that went into making the film and the lessons learnt in the after math of it all.
Firstly I should say that this shoot and edit was one of the funnest projects we gotta do this year at H&H and we look forward to hopefully many more projects like these in the future! The first thing I am going to run through is the set up of how we shot the film and the process of everything.
At the planning stages with the Armada boys I decided to shoot on the Sony FS700 for a couple of different reasons. The first was the image that the camera gave. The camera is capable of 4K using an external recorder however as I knew it would just be put online for its release so there was no point shooting any higher than 1080p. Even though we didn’t shoot 4K we did take advantage of some of its other features such as its amazing S-Log2 profile, Super slow motion and its tasty built in ND filters. The built in ND filters allowed us to film in S-Log2 which needs to have the ISO at 3200. As you might realise that would be pretty impossible if we didn’t have some sort of ND’s. The S-Log2 profile allowed us to use some sweet Kodak LUT’s in post when colouring it.
We also got the chance to shoot on Samyang cinema glass. I have to say once you film on lenses like these or the Carl Ziess Cinema lens range, its tough going back to photography lenses for videography. I chose these lenses for a number of different reasons. The main being the smooth focus ring as well as having an aperture ring too.
I did try to get a dolly for some long tracking shots however it was booked out. Instead we ended up using just my own slider: the Konova K2 Slider. That slider has done me well over the last year and a good recommendation for anyone looking.
We had a ton of lights with us such as a couple of 1K fills and some Dedo lights for hair lights however we found out that the power had cut in the house we were to film which meant it all had to be battery powered. This cut down our lights to two 1×1 LED panels and two smaller 300 led Bi-color lights. I was super impressed by the power of these LED’s as well as how long they powered for via V-lock batteries.
We also used a Manfrotto tripod and monopod for stabilisation. The monopod was used to get this wee nifty shot:
We rolled up to an abandoned house one Saturday to shoot with only a hand full of gear and a rough idea crafted a couple of days before. From about 12 noon until about 10 that night we shot all that we needed. I was very blessed to have Will McAllister as my second shooter and camera assistant on the shoot. The day went as you would expect, afternoon was rummaging through the cool abandoned house and then at night we mashed it all up. The day started with chat of everyone throwing in the best way to show the music in the video. This was crucial and brings us to the next part of this blog:
1. Surround yourself with Creative People
This is something I myself am constantly learning more and more every day. I am not gonna lie, I like being selfish with my work and because of that I can take criticism pretty harsh too. It’s something I am working on because there is so much more out there when you start working with other creative people. I need to make this clear, yes H&H shot the video but it was a collaborative piece of work between us, the Armada boys and Ben from Angel & Anchor. It was an absolute privilege working with Angel & Anchor on this project who did the designs for the album cover as well as the sweet illustrations that are in the video. This is what I want H&H to be, a creative company saturated in creative people and businesses like Angel & Anchor who just seem to ‘get it’ when working with each individual client. When its about creating briefs that fit clients like a tailored suit because its been thought out. I can honestly say that I have found that in Angel & Anchor with their designs but also The Emerald Armada guys who have there ear to the ground when creating their music – its why I love their music, because it speaks directly to me.
2. Take a moment to think
The plan on the day was very rough and it did have some holes in it. By about 2pm I was getting stressed with how the story was going. I ended up just going into another room alone with my notebook and start jotting down plans, and rough guides. I pretty much had to Assistant Direct my creative Directorness into gear and start planning what I wanted to get. For me it was going to the side and thinking for 10 minutes.
3. Stop planning and DO
There comes to a point where you need to stop planning and start filming. On set this is the job of the AD’s to get your ass in gear but if you don’t have the privilege of having one then you need to get your own ass in gear. Step up and start Directing!
4. Find the pressure balance
Creative people walk a thin line of joy and misery I think. I am horrendous for this, I am forever going through mood swings with the work I create. We as creatives get to better our work everyday, its exciting and defeating all in one. This was one piece of work that I loved and hated at the same time. I am happy with it but there are so many things I would try differently if given the opportunity to do it again. Don’t let this hold you back but also use it. Apply that “Ah I should’ve done this” or that “I wish it was more” to the next piece of work you do. And let that be one of the pillars that upholds why you create in the first place: because you can do better, because you will do better.
5. Keep it simple
I would always argue that story is the most important element in film. Make sure you don’t over complicated it. We had so many different ideas for this music video but I think we told it in its most simplest form. This came down to time and other constraints but I am glad of this.
So yeah, this blog post was just a wee look into how we shot the video but also some of the after thoughts I had on the project. I hope that as we do more creative projects such as this I will get to write about it.
Anything else you would like to know or any comments? Please comment below!