I will write up a short blurb on my experiences making this video over the next couple of days. To summaries, there were 6 separate sequences (& details) shot over a 5hrs period on one Canon 7D then edited using Adobe CS5 Premier Pro's multicam feature. More later.
The video was created solely for the "Don't keep me waitin' video competition" run by Zouk Nation "In honor of the song’s eighth anniversary, D. Lopes has gone and remixed the song and is currently planning to create a new music video. This will be the official video for the song which will be submitted to MTV and other music channels with the winner having their footage be included in the MTV music video". You can find more information here.
I instantly knew there were some key factors to keep in mind in the making of this video if we were to achieve our goal. Absolutely the focus of the video had to be kept on the dancers and not fancy editing. I had to make the video "get out of the way" and allow me to show casing the talent of the dancers that hired me but still be visually interesting.
A couple more things that sprang to mind instantly was i wanted to incorporate a story (and was happy that my clients were up for the extra challenge) and shoot multi angle to show to the competition judges that i had lots of footage to work with. Lastly i wanted to combine everything i just mentioned and not make an audition video but a full music video, as i felt that would be more interesting.
I was happy to find that my dancers where excited to act out a small story when i proposed the idea and immediently roughed out the concept on paper with my not so artistic stick figures to help kicking around some ideas.
- Consistent back drop to help keep the focus on the dancers
- Not over editing the sequence and minimal use of effects
- Dancers that could repeat the same routine and hit the beats very consistently. I knew i wanted to cut between the separate sequences and capture different angles using multi cam (more later) without actually using more than one camera, so timing was critical or i would have to do lots of editing, which thankfully was not the case!
- Lastly i knew i was creating another challenge for the dancers by expecting them to be able to dance to the same abilities in the sand, with minimal practise.
- Canon 7D with Tamron 28-75mm, focus straight off the lens (no follow focus).
- Cinestyle picture style (absolute god send in the the harsh sun light)
- Fader ND filter
- Handheld Zacuto DSLR Rig
The shoot was cancelled 3 times and we got one last shot (pun intended) at it on the last weekend i was available to produce the video. It was shot between 2pm and 5.30pm on a suburban beach in Perth Western Australia. As it was a Friday afternoon i was lucky to have one assistant (my Dad) to help me where necessary. Overall i knew light was always the key factor in the shoot and that i had to roll with what nature has given us to work with and shoot scenes in any order to work with the ever changing sun light.
By design (as it was closer to the final look i was chasing) i ended up shooting 1.5 stops over exposed to reduce the shadows on the dancers faces as much as i could without distroying anything else. I used an external monitor during most of the set shots to aid judging exposure with the false colour setting.
There was a steady stream of on lookers and plenty of dogs running into the scene or plain old almost bowling me and camera over! lol
The craziest thing is that the last routine at sunset was planned but i did not expect to use as much of that footage in the final video as i did. In the end i think around half the video is from that one sequence alone. You have to adapt and work with the best you have and i was very happy with that sequence. Just goes to show some time you get more than u expect!
I knew all along that i wanted to try doing a multicam shoot but with only one camera. This meant using CS5 Premier Pro multicam feature to sync up 4 sequences of separate dance routines shot at different times to one music track and end up with everything in sync. I knew this would be a challenge but it was far too tempting to not go for it! So we set about making sure the camera audio captured the on set music (ipod) and clapped as we pressed play to give me a sync point. This worked well for all bar one track where the wind was too bad and didn't not allow me to hear the clap. After a small adjustment i have 4 routines synced to the same music track.
As i mentioned before i wanted to limit editing to angle changes and colour correction to appeal more to the judging panel as a sort of "blank slate" if they where to choose the video for use with their MTV video. The footage was captured in a mixture of 1080 30p and 720 60p (for sequences were i though i might use slow-motion). The advantage of 1080 30p was being able to zoom in on the wide shots (deliberately shot wider than i wanted) so i could introduce linear horizontal motion in the edit). The final sequence was rendered to 720p.
Lastly the only little effect used was the fade in and out (of the dancers) at beginning of the song which was deliberately shot to allow this in post and created by using masks in adobe after effects.
In line with being open about what it takes to make a video i am going to share a few un-edited behind the scene snipets that show a little of the fun we had making the video and just plain old made me laugh while i was finishing this video off. The footage is straight out of the camera.
Unfortunately still no word on the competition as of yet as the closing date was extended to the 21st of June. Despite this the video we produced has received a great response in the dance community and has been posted on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-B7L-I6EoIE obtaining close to 1000 hits so far!