This past week I delivered my first music video that I produced myself. We started pre-production in September of 2017 and finished filming on New Years Day 2018. I wanted to share my thoughts on filming a music video solo and some of the things I learned or would have done differently.
400MBS ALL-I update
Metabones Ultra Speedbooster .71x
Daniel Peters GH5 LUTS
Rode Videomic Pro
Small HD702 OLED
I met Beta Camp on referral from my good friend Christian Lathers who is also a producer and multi-faceted creative here in Detroit. Check him out here (http://www.christianlathers.com/). They wanted to produce a music video on a smaller budget that follows a story line. At this time, I had not worked with a band on a narrative music video and accepted their request. We chose a plot based around the song's title "Devil On My Shoulder" that followed a male protagonist through internal racing thoughts and a perpetual "Devil" - more on the plot later.
This was the first project I shot exclusively with a Log Profile which had its own short comings. I chose log for the color latitude especially when shooting 10bit at 400mbs ALL-I with the GH5. However, I used a monitor LUT to set exposure. I had my zebras at 60% to target skin tones and important parts of the scene. I ended up second guessing my exposure due to the display on the Small HD. I ended up having some scenes be slightly underexposed. Its important to remember the GH5 is capturing HDR footage and displaying it on a screen that does not display HDR. This can be remedied with the addition of an Atomos Ninja Inferno which does display HDR with its "Atom HDR" mode.
We filmed over two days in a wooded setting and also indoors with limited light. most of the night shots fell within ISO 2500 - 4000.
We had a face to face meeting to discuss visual aesthetic of the video as well as a rough timeline treatment with a shotlist.
What Went Well
- Pre planning made the biggest difference in ensuring I was not wasting time filming something that didn't fit the narrative. I made sure I had the entire video visualized, typed out and distributed to everyone involved to make sure we were all on the same page.
- IBIS in the GH5 made for easy hand held work. All of the video was hand held utilizing the GH5 2.0 firmware IS lock function which made handheld using the 8sinn handle easy. The weight of the SmallHD702 OLED helped stabilize the camera.
- Pulling focus and having zebras on the small HD 702 made framing much easier
- I do believe our final video followed our original treatments
- The GH5 was a trooper with battery life. We used 2 batteries for an entire shoot (10 hours total)
What Could Have Improved
- Exposing for Vlog-L is tricky. A lot of shots were underexposed because I wasnt sure how to expose properly and ended up lifting the levels in post which had less than desirable results
- I didn't shoot enough B roll to enforce the narrative. I asked a few friends of mine if they felt we had captured what the theme was and a majority of them had trouble pin pointing the theme without guidance.
- Using a monitor LUT caused exposure issues due to exposing for the LUT and not for Vlog-L itself
- The story line was simple but the shots could have streamlined the story more instead of being ambiguos.
The GH5 is my dream camera for this type of work. High bitrate codecs, 10 bit color and true cinema 4k coupled with fantastic IBIS made for beautiful images. I've surely learned from this experience and feel free to watch the video and comment below or email me with any questions.
You can find more about Beta Camp here: www.betacampband.com