High School Music Video shot with Letus35 at DVinfo.net
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Old November 19th, 2005, 11:47 AM   #1
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High School Music Video shot with Letus35

Hi guys,
Just want to let you know I've finished my "One Headlight" music video, which was for the most part shot with the Letus35. There is the occassional shot in there that was done with the static adapter but I was happier with the results I got from Quyen's nice little device. You can view it here:


Click on the first video on the page, "One Headlight."

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Old November 19th, 2005, 12:08 PM   #2
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I'm very impressed. Are you in high school? You have a very promising career ahead of you.

What camera was the Letus35 used on? I'm interested in the device. Have seen it refered to here but just now found the web site for it. Amazing price for what it can achieve.

Keep up the good work.
Dave Perry Cinematographer LLC
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Old November 19th, 2005, 12:24 PM   #3
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Ben, you guys are showing some solid chops and it looks really good.

I clicked on the "No BS" section of your website and found it interesting. My freshman (and only) year of film school, I carried the same banner around and rebelled against my professor who was a big avant garde filmmaking fan. I set out to make the ultimate in-your-face avant garde film just to "show them". However it backfired in an unexpected way--what I thought was really outside actually turned out to be pretty cool and suddenly I became the class darling for my efforts! (didn't last long though--my next film I tried harder to be obtuse and succeeded pretty well this time; quit film school thereafter because I realized I was just wasting my time trying to prove a point).

In any event, considering your rallying cry against stilted visual metaphors, imagery and manipulative sentimentality, could the argument not be made that you have represented all of the above in this video? Now I'm not slagging your work here, only the firm stance you took in your mission statement, and please take this in the spirit it was intended that being friendly discourse. But between the lone leaf slowly pirouetting through the air, the "my friend is gone forever" theme, the stark tree, the rolling in and out of focus etc...these may not be weird images for weirdness sake, but perhaps they are cool images for coolness sake (or maybe even trite, in that these were once considered abstract techniques and have since been used and overused).

So perhaps what I am getting at is this: your work is promising and you guys clearly have talent. But by putting such a bold statement on your public website, you are creating a pretty good size glass house for others to throw stones at...
Charles Papert
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Old November 19th, 2005, 12:37 PM   #4
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some shots were super cool. esp, the dolly moves and the slowmo stuff.
i liked the work, in my view if the slowmo was extended to the whole video, it would have looked more cool.

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Old November 19th, 2005, 12:52 PM   #5
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Thank you! It was a lot of fun to make.

We used my Canon GL2 at 1.6f and 1/15000 shutter to get good slo-mo. Talk about lots of light!

Charles: Music videos, by their nature, cannot be concrete, unless their lyrics sing about, say, the color of grass or how hot the sun really is. The Wallflowers wrote "One Headlight" with no actual meaning, as they stated in their interview with MTV. So, by putting actual meaning to the lyrics of the song I believe we're doing quite the opposite of what you're stating. I think you sort of took off with our idea in your mind of what you think we're against--random stuff put together with no meaning--and, because the music video has no dialogue, you might have thought our music video was an abstract collage of images. Keep in mind that every shot in our music video has purpose--either setting a mood or establishing the scene. As music videos go, I personally feel ours is pretty black and white--one person's dead, the other isn't. Do you really think that a girl putting her hand through another person's back and suddenly realizing she's dead is abstract?

The focus pulling in and out, slow motion, exposure bursts, fading in and out, and all those things you speak of are the metaphorical "twiddling the fingers"-type shots for a music video where you're simply looking to entertain the eyes and not the mind. We weren't looking to make the audience ask questions about what they mean, we're simply filling in gaps.

I have to laugh though--that last statement about "sentimental films" is totally hypocritical. I'll be honest, it was specifically aimed at a film on studentfilms.com named "Some Kind of Space" that I thought was absolutely horrible yet was getting rave reviews. Now that I've added this music video about a dead person I'll have to take that comment down. What I really wanted to say there, but can't because it'd just be an irresponsible thing to do, is that any film about a topic like that that isn't approached by its production staff with the same respect it deserves (and therefore turns out amateurish) should be severely lamented and incinerated. I don't mean to be so self-promoting but I know our music video was appropriate and well-done because we approached the topic with a degree of respect about death and what it means to a person. So yea, that comment is coming down. But I wouldn't go so far as to label that music video as 'abstract'--just 'music videoish.' I think of video was far from being composed of 'brain farts.'

If you didn't get these, then here you go:
Lost my only friend - shot of friend
cemetary trees - girl in cemetary trees listening
i see the sun coming up... - shot of sun coming up
long broken arm of human law - shot of arm with flower
always had a pretty face - shot of face
hung around this place - shot of cemetery, her hanging around it
better than in the middle - shot of girl in the middle of two graves
me and cinderella - shot of the two of them
one headlight - shot of a headlight
she said its cold - shot of cold rainy day
feels like independence day - shot of calendar with July 4th circled
cant break away from this parade - guy continues to walk in time with music
Opening in front of me - opening to walk
maze of ugliness and greed - shot of cemetery
sun comin up at counter line bridge - shot of sun overtop bridge
run until shes out of breath/nothing left - shot of girl running towards guy
hit the end - time stops
come on try a little - tries to touch guy
nothing is forever - shot of girl who just died, obviously life isn't forever
put it all together - she's realizing she's dead

Thanks though for pointing that out.
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Old November 19th, 2005, 02:43 PM   #6
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This is going off topic.

Nicely done. Gute Arbeit! Quyen will be happy with such results.

About the "Anti-Abstract" statement on your website. Perhaps in a few years, you will have to take back even more words.

Do a quick test. Name one good movie in which the cutting can't be analysed as a musical rythm. Think about it. No matter how concrete a movie is, it also has to work on this level, which is abstract. This is also true for colors and motion and many other things. It is wat makes film a complete medium.

Now, If a film chooses to focus just on these levels, without telling 'a story', how can that be wrong? It's not your first intention, but that doesn't mean it is all meaningless.

Even a good film maker can laugh at all this, but the best feel it in every inch of the body*.

Perhaps you're just refering to bad work people make. But it would be wiser to focus on the good stuff others do. Many people from different levels look at your site. They don't always have the same set of references. They actually might know some good abstract stuff and conclude you're a bit ignorant.

This isn't meant to bring you down, just to give you a perspective. I wouldn't spend my time saying this if i don't believe you have the qualities.

*Note: Of course I don't, but it could have been something I've read.
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Old November 19th, 2005, 03:45 PM   #7
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Perhaps you're just refering to bad work people make.
I am. lol. I'm referring to student filmmakers tendency to try to make their audiences believe there's more going on than there really is, or that there's deep, philosophical meaning behind a shot of a clown flipping pancakes. I respect 'abstract' films that come full circle and present a well-summarized idea, not the ones that put ugly mush on-screen in an attempt to appear intellectual.

I appreciate your comments, and I think you're right that I'll change my mind later on. This is just how I feel now, and I'm mature enough to know that people, including myself, can change.
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Old November 19th, 2005, 04:21 PM   #8
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Very nice Ben. Did you deinterlace or shot frame movie mode? Did you have a steadycam or crane to work with? Looks really nice. Congrats!
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Old November 20th, 2005, 12:05 PM   #9
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Yes, we shot the entire video in frame mode. I have a steadicam JR that helped get the smoother shots. The "crane" shots were really just me with the steadicam. Thanks!
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Old November 20th, 2005, 12:30 PM   #10
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once again a shout out to anyone with real talent! GO ben GO! good work!


don't you jsut HATE how much work it is to keep that letus clean!!! ') LOL

it REALLY sucks when you get hired to shoot with it and you find out ALL your footage has a dirt spec !!
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Old November 20th, 2005, 02:15 PM   #11
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Good job, Ben. Keep it up! Thanks for sharing. Also thanks to Charles Papert for sharing his kind words, about himself, followed by some kind words about you too.

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Old November 20th, 2005, 05:16 PM   #12
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Ben, I like the video very much, but what moved me to tears was Olmstead's work. Thank you for introducing me to this tormented artist.
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 08:35 PM   #13
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Was the pausing moment where the boy wasnt moving, was that just him not moving or something in post? and what program did you use for the leaf? flash?
AIM - N film B
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Old November 29th, 2005, 02:33 PM   #14
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I guess if anyone else wants to know, the guy just didn't move--and I used cinema 4d and after effects for the leaf.
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Old November 30th, 2005, 12:42 AM   #15
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that was nice. i'm working on a dreamy/ghost thing at the moment and your peice solved a few little things for me...like; i understand what's going on though we are jumping around in time and space.

good stuff!
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