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Lo-Fi Music Video shot with GH4 + a single Nikon lens
  • So in keeping with this week's "Less is more discussion" - Gab's song "White Room" got licensed to be used in the opening titles of Lifetime's "Killer Crush" and they told us initially that we had until the end of April before it would be released. We wanted to know when it would go public so we could coordinate releasing a music video for the song. We had a cool concept, and were planning out the logistics and budget for the shoot, when they called us and said, "Hey, we decided to release the film this weekend instead." So we scrapped our initial idea and scrambled to get a video shot, which we literally made up as we went. Trying to piece together a music video in 2 days with whatever time we could steal away from our work schedules was a nice challenge. Runnin' and Gunnin' - super lo-fi. Shooting in Gab's garage after work that night, then hitting the metro and shooting in spots around the city, and then trying to catch the sunrise in a parking structure in Burbank the next morning, taking a nap and shooting the opening guitar shot before heading home to edit. Cutting it all together and grading it for today's release.

    Other than my buddy driving the truck while I shot out the back for one shot, this was a one man crew. Which I will probably never do again, cuz it's exhausting, and I really prefer to pre-plan my shots so I get better composition. Making stuff up on the spot in available light is fun, but then I get into the edit, and start berating myself... "Why the hell didn't you get a shot from THIS ANGLE OVER HERE, YOU IDIOT???" And without metering; when I go to grade I'm hating myself. I was hoping for a triumph in low budget shooting, instead... it is what it is.

    Shot for $50 [Gaff tape, black wrap, a new monitor cable, and 2 fares on the metro.] in available light.

    [except] - The garage stuff was lit, and it was improvised using:

    which had one of these inside on a dimmer image and I just set it on a music stand locked into the flat position.


    • A fogger I bought at Party City 5 years ago that they don't make anymore so I can't find you a link. But it was $30.

    ....all of which I already owned.

    The practical lights in the garage were already there. Just an Ikea nightstand light on the piano with a CFL bulb (the aged paper cover gave it that yellow glow). And a little nook light on the shelf. WB on the camera was @ 4100k

    No lights in the metro, or on the streets, or the parking structure.

    The whole thing was shot with a single lens.


    • GH4
    • UHD 24
    • internal codec
    • [CineD (-5, -2,-5,-5,0) Contrast curve (S+2, H-2)]
    • Graded with ColorGHear Pro

    Fullscreen for best presentation - white page embeds make it look too dark, and certain things that don't actually have moire pick it up when squeezed into small form.

  • 12 Replies sorted by
  • One man army

    That quote was invented for something.

    Very good work. You dont need much stuff to make grate footage.

    Congrats shian.

  • Like what I said before, if you don't have your work to show for what you claim you can do or "give advise on", seat down and shut up!

    Great stuff @shian. Was there any vignetting with the metabones and wide angle adapter?

  • No Vignetting. It's a great setup. Just one lens and either backing up or walking in to change the framing... super simple.

    2:55pm Pacific - I revised the grade and re-uploaded the file just now... I was noticing a lot of ugly magenta and red tones here and there in the online version... not there in the prores... must have shifted during conversion. And now the mp4 is available for download.

  • Looks good mate! Great work for a one man shoot, and there are plenty of nice shots.

    Interested to know why your WB was 4100k? I'm noticing i'm getting much better colours by doing all exterior shooting at 4400k because 5600k is incredibly warm.

  • @nobbystylus Shooting at 4100 - 4300k is just something I picked up a few years ago. I first discovered it while shooting on the RED. I had a scene that I had designed in the computer, and after I had it lit and was looking at the monitor, it didn't quite sing to me. I was going to adjust the curves, but the selector had been bumped to WB, so when I grabbed the knob and twisted it the WB went crazy. I realized my mistake pretty quickly and tried to put it back to where it was. And if you've ever used the RED u know there's a delay. So I had to wait for the onboard computer to catch-up before trying to put it back, and it landed on 4300k. I stopped cuz I loved the way it looked. Went in and made my curves adjustment. And to this day, it's one of my favorite looks. Started using it on the GH2 after that, and it's kinda been my fallback position ever since. I use it indoors and out.

    The Shot at :16 seconds with Katee Sackhoff in the diner is the shot that started it all.

  • @shian are you using the canon W58 with a Matte Box or have you found a way to attach filters? I like the look of the Nikon primes, and use them myself quite often, it would be good to get the 50mm a bit wider, thanks :)

  • @matthere No matte box. I don't even own one. There are times I wanna kick myself for not getting one, but the "less is more" approach is one I preach, and I'm a believer. I can't run a film school telling people you can get great results with cheap gear and not back it up. You can ask @vicharris who's shot with me several times how shocked he was that I really do have the simplest kit for indie shoots. For the daylight stuff I just used standard Tiffen 58mm screw-on ND filters between the lens and W58 adapter.

  • Thanks @shian I'm trying to avoid a matte box too, I just picked up the W58 and didn't even think about behind the wide converter for ND, much appreciated :)

  • Oh, I forgot. Since I keep getting PM's about what I used for the opening shot of the guitar in the White Room video, and my other slider and dolly shots in this video-

    Affordable, flexible. And awesome.

    940 x 420 - 55K
    940 x 420 - 84K
  • @shian Question, do you calibrate your monitor? I've been looking at calibration tools and also calibrated monitors so I thought I'd ask.

  • If I used one anymore.... yes. But operating as a Director/DP I haven't used a monitor in over a year. I don't even know where in the GH4 menu the color bars generator even is. But when using a monitor, I'll calibrate using bars and pluge -

    Between the in-cam meter and my handheld meter, there's really nothing I need a monitor, an evf or lcd for except framing and focus. And with focus assist, that's getting even easier. Obviously when working on bigger projects I use a monitor, cuz of all the people that wanna look-in, but we have video assist people for that.

  • Ok thanks alot man! I wanted to ask given your expertise in color correction and grading.