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Old October 6th, 2004, 09:08 AM   #1
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Mini-35 XL1s | Music Video, Behind the Scenes Clips, and Article

Hello everyone,

I recently was given permission to post one of our less recent projects online here at DVinfo by Kevin Maistros (Incredibly talented young Director). I have had the pleasure of working as 1st AD on most of Kevin's projects. It's always a great experience. However, this is a unique story of an extremely short notice and low budget production which we took on; it's the most insane situation both of us have ever had brought to us, and I hope you all enjoy it as much as we did making it happen.... in a total of only 5 days from concept in Orlando to wrapping in Miami.

Here are the relevent links, for those that just want to watch the videos.

Music Video:
Production Cost Total: $163.97

Clips and Jokes from BTS:

How it all went down.
Day One:
Getting the job, fighting cancer, and the no money thing. Booking a 2 person crew, finding location, finding equipment. Coming up the idea, finishing it, taking care of paperwork.
Day Two:
Visiting the location, rushing casting, band actors also means bad actors. Getting everyone ready to go.
Day Three:
The roadtrip to Miami. Confirming for the shoot. Taking care of details.
Day Four:
If you don't have a crew, all hell breaks loose. The setup. Shooting the storyline within 5 hours.
Day Five:
Another early morning. Bring in the extras, finish the party. Cat fights and applejuice. Shooting the band with only one possible camera location, and the closest we could get. Ghetto rigging playback, homeless walk ons, and a run in with the railroad police. (Who knew they even had that?!) - It's wrapped, we're going home.

Day One:
Kevin Maistros (19) had recieved a phonecall early in the afternoon from friend/band manager, Ben (BSR Entertainment). He and Kevin had talked plenty before and Ben had thought to propose a situation to Kevin. He was very unaware of the normal processes of making a music video so I'm sure it didn't register as an outlandish idea to Ben. The band he manages, Atomic Tangerine, has a pretty extensive history. The group had been together since the beginning of their highschool years and are now in their early to mid-twenties. However, the lead singer, Josh, has been batteling Cancer. Even while on initial treatments they still played shows, then toured afterwards once they felt they had taken care of all of it. Then more recently Josh had gone for a check up and they found more. This slotted him to be hospital bound for roughly 4 months. Ben felt, it would be valuable to the band to have something to use and promote them with while the band was out of activity till Josh's hopefull recovery. This posed a problem, though. Ben felt it was worth a shot. So, after he brought up the idea of making a video for AT and roughly explaining the situation the process went roughly like this;

- Ben: So how soon would it be possible to make a music video? How long do they take to make?
- Kevin: Had any sort of specific time frame in mind to get it done by? Production usually takes one or two, sometimes three days but it depends on the complexity of the treatment.
- Ben: Well, Josh goes into the hospital next week. So about 5 or 6 days. Is that even possible?
- Kevin: Uhh.. Did you have a budget in mind for it?
- Ben: Well, to spend as little as possible but probably under $500 for the whole thing. We're still independent.
- Kevin: Alright so no label means it's out of pocket for you guys. Does the band have distribution?
- Ben: We're working something out with BMG right now. They will by the time the video's done I'm guessing.
- Kevin: Alright, so at least besides plastering it all over the internet and sending DVD copies of it with album sales do you think it will air at all?
- Ben: It could, we have a few friends at Fuse and Mtv and if distribution picks up we'd probably get it aired.
- Kevin: Alright so then for it to have any sort of impact promotionally it needs to look as best as possible for as little money possible. (Thinks for a minute, remembers the Jerry Sienfeld shoot)
- Ben: Any ideas?
- Kevin: Yeah there's this new thing called the Mini35, it's pretty rad.
- Ben: Oh yeah? Tell me about it.

So then after shooting back and forth about the advantages of using it in this situation, and what it would take to do it. They moved onto discussing ideas for the concept of the video and how it could possibly be done under budget. Kevin made sure to point out that it had to limit locations to limit the timeframe. Also that since it was to be the band's first music video that it would do their image best to include a lot of the band playing. (Also easing production requirements)

"It's good for their fan base to see them play. It helps their image stick in the minds of the viewer. Lets them know they're listening to a real band that plays their music instead of a lot of these manufactured artists. In the end it helps them sell their image as a band (The people) a lot easier." - Kevin on the phone explaining to Ben the reason a majority of bands' first music videos are performance based. He goes on: "But it's also important to show that there's a bit more depth to the group than just "rocking out". I think a mix of something that will grab their (The viewer) attention, make them think, and showcase the energy of the band would be the best recipe for this."

Then they started discussing the fine points of what that would be. Through the course of this, they had arrived to a basic idea of what it would be. Ben said he would call the band and make sure they clear their schedule for the week. He also scheduled a meeting with Kevin for that night to meet and talk with the band. Dinner and discussion was the menu for the night. Right away though, Kevin knew he would have to get cracking on this.

"The idea of putting together a production of what needed to be a decent scale result with only a timeframe of 5 days was a bit intimidating. Especially with virtually no budget for equipment, insurance, much less a crew to make it all work. I believed I could pull it off, though. I figured the Mini35 adapter from PS Tech was the best option for them but making it all happen by myself was going to prove to be a more than just a challenge; I knew this would through us all for a loop. I was determined to make it work though, they really needed it. Those guys had been through a lot and really deserved to have a tool like this. A lot of bands these days don't take full advantage of technology or the internet and really it's their greatest asset. These guys were asking for it."

Kevin gave me a call as soon as he was off the phone with Ben. I have worked with him on most of his projects to date as his 1st AD and we have become quite good friends because of this. He knew he could count on me to help. He explained the whole thing and asked me to come to the meeting with him that night. Free dinner and a quick start on a new music video sounded like a fine time to me. We discussed details, met up before the meeting and went over rental houses in FL that even had the Mini35. We hopped online over to to have a look at the rental house list Mizel Wilson had put together from keeping track of sales. (Guessing) We had found CINE VIDEO TECH in Miami. This, given Josh's situation proved to be the best option. It was said that right after the video wrapped Josh would be having to go down to Miami the very next day to check into the hospital and begin his treatments. Kevin gave a call down to CVT and spoke with Emmy award winning Cinematographer, Egon Stephan (CVT CEO) and explained what was being brought onto his plate. Egon got a kick out of it but explained that without production insurance it simply just couldn't happen. He suggested finding someone to put it on their production company's insurance. This wasn't an option at such short notice. When Egon was explaining to Kevin the insurance catch he mentioned that they only have coverage on their own property. So that if one of their workers or someone dropped something or damaged it in their own facilities that it would be covered. I think I remember Kevin's eyes lighting up and the next words from his mouth being "So Egon, what are your facilities like?".

After more discussion, between Egon and Kevin they had found the right ways to work around the roadblocks. Egon had his number 2, Rick Porvan send over the needed paperwork for their records. Kevin called Ben and let him know that they would have to go down to Miami and meet with Egon and Rick the following day to have a look at the place and figure out where and how to shoot it. Then come dinner time, we headed over and discussed the details of what was going on, the process of how music videos normally work and why this production was going to be so "special". Great home cooked meal by the band's publicist, Rachel. Discussion of travel and lodging took place. We also finished the details of the treatment there. Kevin and I returned home. He was going to type everything up and get all the paperwork ready for the next day. I typed up and posted a casting call in a few places I knew I would get a response from swiftly. Posted them, and called it a night.

(Will post Day Two and Three soon, then Four and Five - busy day today, can't type it all just yet. If anyone wants to mirror this article on any DV websites let me know and I'll finish the article a little faster - it really is a fun and crazy story.)
Holly Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 6th, 2004, 04:25 PM   #2
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Very violent...The camera thrashing helped with this effect. Great production value, the band must be extreemely happy with what you've all accomplished. Great work!
The only thing worse than quitting is being afraid to start. Get off your bum and go shoot something!
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Old October 6th, 2004, 09:34 PM   #3
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Great video! I liked the lighting, coloring, use of DOF on mini35.. the song although repetitive was not that bad either.

Watching it I wished there were some close ups of the band members rather then just the medium and long shots. I don't recall even one close up of the drummer either... every video has at least "one" close up of the drummer ;)

Still amazing work - especially considering the budget!
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Old October 6th, 2004, 10:28 PM   #4
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Day Five would explain that we got as close as we could to the band, we were using 180mm from a little ledge doorway out to the traintracks yard. We had to shoot from the warehouse property for insurance coverage. If we took it past that little ledge it would have not been covered.

Thanks, though!

Holly Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 7th, 2004, 06:54 AM   #5
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Okay, I have some questions:

Do you know if it was shot in frame mode, or 60i?
What lenses were used? (you mentioned the 180mm, but what other ones?)
What kind of lights? (HMI, home brew, etc..)
What was used to gauge exposure levels in the XL1s?

Many thanks! Also I just watched the making of it and thought that was really cool too!!
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Old October 8th, 2004, 02:15 PM   #6
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I believe I remembered correctly but I asked Kevin just to be sure.

- 60i, deinterlaced in post.
- Zeiss/Arri t1.3 (We had a full set, 180mm being highest)
- Arri HMI
- XL-1s viewfinder lightmeter, but stopped down two wheel clicks for it's tendency to read hot.
Holly Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 8th, 2004, 02:47 PM   #7
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Wicked, thanks!
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Old October 18th, 2004, 09:45 AM   #8
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I love this video, nice work... That girl can really throw a great right hook....
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Old October 23rd, 2004, 05:07 PM   #9
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Hey Holly -- I've been dying a slow death waiting to read your journal for days two to five!

I love that you took time to give us all the shoot info'... the experience is a wonderful story... I hope to read more.

Too bad for me I don't have broadband, so watching any of the video is a tedious stop, start affair. Love your work, and look forward to more.
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