SCENE CHANGES (music video composit shots)

It took us three days to shoot our latest music video "All The Mountains", by singer/song write Paul McSherry. The team we have assembled at HEIST Films ( is really coming together well. Although it was a fairly stressful shoot in terms of time, my job as DOP on this particular shoot was made easier knowing that everything else was being looked after by specialized, skilled and passionate people. That sort of support and structure gave me the space to focus on my job, 100%. So anyway, back to the blog :)

There are three visual effects that will be in the final clip which I was really excited to get happening! Visualizing on set is an awesome experience and as I looked at the scene and knew what I had to do. There's an opening shot that the lyrics describe as "...a cold day in November", but as I looked around me, all I could see were warm golden hills on a beautiful summer's afternoon! I squinted and imagined something different.....the director also wanted a shaft of light streaming down from the heavens onto the body! Here's what I came up with :)

It's not the best composit in the world, but I think it works well for the clip. Here's a before and after shot too (below). I originally made the scene super blue and cold, but I tuned it back to a desaturated warmer look....I really like the result. What do you think?

There's a technical note to make about how I shot this too. For those of you who know about the RED Scarlet's capabilities, you'll know that shooting at 4K gives you a 1.6 x crop factor. I wanted this shot to be SUPER wide, so that meant shooting at 11mm...something I don't particularly like doing because of the distortion it gives. If I had a RED Epic, I could have shot this at 5K which would have given me a 1.3 x crop factor...much nicer. That's not possible on a RED Scarlet.....or is it!? Did you know that if you enable "Look Around" in the sub menus, switch to 4K and record the HDSDI out to an Atomos Samurai, you get the full 1.3 x crop of a 5K image down-sampled to 4:2:2 10-bit 1080P! That has totally blown my mind, and now I feel like I have an Epic...hehe....sort of ;) So, this means even higher detail, less apparent noise and sharper images. I'll be writing more about that later.....but in the mean time, check out the Atomos website, their products are awesome :)

Here's the other shot I just completed for the clip...not as dramatic or as cool looking, but it sells the effect enough and is really only a quick. The idea is that our hero is out in the wastelands, where nothing is around...but all of a sudden he sees a hotel in the distance....amongst the nothingness. I'm no composting expert but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

Eventually, I will be creating a tutorial that shows you how I created the first shot in post, so stay tuned and thanks for visiting my blog :)

Posted on February 26, 2013 .