Papert goes shallow with Crystal Bowersox video at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Show Your Work

Show Your Work
Let's see what you're doing!


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 18th, 2010, 05:00 PM   #1
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Papert goes shallow with Crystal Bowersox video

After preaching against shooting wide open with DSLR because of the incessant focus hunting that inevitably occurs, I have finally shot a project that embraced that look! Ah, how the might hath fallen.


Also viewable on my site

Meiert Avis of Pusher Media, for whom I have shot six or seven videos this year, won the debut video of American Idol runner-up Crystal Bowersox; he developed a thoughtful, simple treatment and we discussed how to best present it. Since I introduced him to the 1DMKIV he has been an ardent fan. When we started talking about the image of a long strand of yarn unraveling from a sweater, I started to picture stretching it from below the lens to the subject and racking down the length of the yarn with minimal depth of field. Also our exterior location, under the famous 6th St. bridge in downtown LA (where last year I worked with Vincent Laforet on the first 1D video, "Nocturne"), would also benefit from the shallow treatment as it had a lot of construction junk that distracted the eye from the subjects. Largely though, the song is about isolation and distance and this visual approach fit the theme.

I brought in a second camera, a 5D, manned by Gary Hatfield who is now the DP on Community. Gary's nickname is "The Lone Wolf", he loves to go off unsupervised and grab interesting shots. I've used him for this on a number of projects over the years. He has a selection of crazy old lenses for his 5D including some 70's era Sears brand...!

We shot the first half of the day under the bridge; rarely going under a 100mm Zeiss ZE on my 1D (mostly on Steadicam operated by Cedric Martin) and Gary even longer with doublers. I kept the stops down under 2.8, often at f2. My poor AC Markus Mentzer was putting up a brave face trying to hold focus on moving subjects and Steadicam with that little depth of field but he did as well as could be expected.

Later we moved to a room in the Barclay Hotel, an old and largely decrepit residence hotel downtown that is often used for filming. We shot Crystal performing the song on guitar in a few setups in the room. Again, long lenses and wide open stops made for focus challenges galore. Markus groaned when he watched the final video...as for me, I'm still not a fan of searching focus when it's not intentional but it was an interesting exercise.

Lighting on the exterior was a 1200 Par through diffusion for the static shots and a Joker 400 for walking shots to separate the faces and lend a bit of presence. I had thought we were going to crush everything down a bit which would have returned the faces to normal and darkened the environs, but this didn't happen (I wasn't involved in the color correction). For the interior I gave the dingy environs a warm, naturalistic look for the shot with the little boy running into Crystal's arms, which we shot first, but which appears at the end of the video; we then went straight into performance mode without any lighting changes as the director liked the look. I might have softened the key a little for the closeups but with the Steadicam, any given take could range from wide shot to closeup so I had to go with it. I had a 4x4 Kino outside the window to the left as a key, a 650 inside the bathroom to the right, two Dedos above the bed (one pointing down at the pillows, the other as a backlight on Crystal), a Source 4 on the headboard of the bed and another bounced off the carpet in front of her as fill--sometimes I added a piece of showcard if I needed more punch. As we moved throughout the room for other setups I keyed with a 4x4 bounceboard with Source 4 punched into it.

The song seems to be gaining traction so hopefully this video will get some good exposure. It's a strong and emotional piece, certainly not your average pop song.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 18th, 2010, 05:41 PM   #2
Obstreperous Rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
Posts: 26,900
Images: 513
Wow, no kidding, that's serious stuff. Really liked her a lot on
last season's Idol and it's nice to see this piece starting to get
some traction. Well done, Chas, and thanks for sharing this!
__________________
CH

Search DV Info Net | DV Info Net Sponsors | A Decade (+5) of DVi | ...Tuesday is Soylent Green Day!
Chris Hurd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 18th, 2010, 09:39 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Elk Grove CA
Posts: 6,838
Charles.

Loved her on idol, and this music video floored me in terms of the raw emotion you guys brought out in that film. Loved the whole thing. My wife and I watched it, and we both went silent about 10 seconds in, and were captivated for the whole film.
__________________
Chris J. Barcellos
Chris Barcellos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 19th, 2010, 03:15 PM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Novato, CA
Posts: 1,771
Wow Charles, great video and thanks for the details on the setups. It really helps those of us with much less experience appreciate what it takes to get a really great looking end product.

The song and video is wonderful. Any idea if it's headed for any of the music video channels? I don't watch them much but it would be great to see something of substance on them other than the hip hop/pop cookie cutter stuff they normally show.

-Garrett
__________________
Garrett Low
www.GLowMediaProductions.com
Garrett Low is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 20th, 2010, 02:12 AM   #5
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Everything depends on popularity--if a song cracks the charts, the video will surely follow...
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 20th, 2010, 06:42 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cambridge UK
Posts: 2,835
In the UK we can't see this latest work of yours Charles - on YouTube - all I get is this :-(

So I watched it directly on your site - lovely stuff!
Attached Thumbnails
Papert goes shallow with Crystal Bowersox video-youtube-blocking-notice-uk.png  
__________________
Andy K Wilkinson - http://www.shootingimage.co.uk
Cambridge (UK) Corporate Video Production
Andy Wilkinson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 20th, 2010, 08:37 AM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Advance, NC
Posts: 153
Excellent all the way around, Charles. I loved her on Idol. I'm happy to see her getting a good chance with a great music video. Shallow is great when it works!
Denise Wall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 6th, 2011, 11:18 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Asheville NC
Posts: 426
Charles, thanks for posting. I've been shooting some music videos around town and I have to say my hats off. The lighting. The framing. It's all there. More importantly the video moved me. Seeing the girl in crutches with the line about telling the highschool she had fallen down the stairs gave me goose bumps.

I'm dying of curiousity to know what, approximately was that video's approximate budget. Or for that matter what is the typical budget for a music video in your parts.
Matt Buys is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 6th, 2011, 05:53 PM   #9
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Thanks all. I agree Matt (and others), the message behind this one is powerful--starts in the song and reflects in the video. The shot on crutches gets to me too--it's intense the way Crystal hits the lyrics at that point in the song.

I don't know the actual numbers on that one but I think it safe to say that it was well under $50K. All the videos I've been doing this year (and all for major-label artists) have been in that range. While that seems like a lot of money if you are shooting an indie project, that doesn't go very far with this sort of thing--locations fees, permitting, police detail, catering etc.

Our next video is for Social Distortion--a lot less money and a two day shoot with 30's period wardrobe and props--it's going to be next to impossible, but naturally we will find a way!
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 6th, 2011, 08:09 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Sydney.
Posts: 2,569
Thanks Charles, we enjoyed it on Vimeo down here too. To quote Matt .. 'it's all there' and beautifully balanced in the right proportions.

Cheers.
__________________
30+ years with our own audio and visual production company and studios.
Allan Black is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 7th, 2011, 09:51 AM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Advance, NC
Posts: 153
I really enjoyed the yarn theme. Well done.
Denise Wall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 7th, 2011, 12:19 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Asheville NC
Posts: 426
Thanks, I can't wait to see the Social Distortion video. I mean that. Having shot a few videos now, I would not use a narrow DOF for those guys because they're such a wide open band. But I'm guessing you will shoot it in away I can't conceive right now and it will look great. Anxious to see what you come up with.
Matt Buys is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 7th, 2011, 08:11 PM   #13
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Don't worry, I'm back to my normal mode of shooting! I don't expect to be going extra shallow again any time soon...
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 7th, 2011, 08:16 PM   #14
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Posts: 1,538
Charles,

PLEASE stop working with people who understand the value of storytelling as a part of work like this!

The industry was nearly convinced that "music videos" are best when they show the world that conspicuous consumption and shiny cars and surgically enhanced females will forever be highest form of modern "artistic" expression.

Now you and your fellow "pros" have to come along and find an artist with actual talent and do something as subversive as finding a visual representation of an abstract idea (unraveling) that both reflects and enhances the emotional content of that artists clearly superior work.

If THAT becomes the freekin' standard, you're going to make it VERY difficult for all the "producers" who earned their title by marrying someone connected to someone powerful in the industry.

THEN where would the industry be???





Oh, seriously. The flaws you see with your experienced eyes are WAY more than lost in the overall excellence of the entire effort. Don't sweat what's not perfect. Revel in being able to create that which is outstanding.
(bravo)
__________________
Classroom editing instructor? Check out www.starteditingnow.com
Turnkey editor training content including licensed training footage for classroom use.
Bill Davis is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Show Your Work

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:47 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network