Were You Listening To The Dude’s Story?

A couple of weeks ago I shot and edited an interview with the band YACHT for DC music blog All Things Go. Their post is here. This post is about the production aspects from my point of view.

Location And Talent

I shot the band on the patio at Standard beer garden on 14th Street. The location was perfect for YACHT since they were performing just a few buildings away at the Black Cat later in the evening.

They had been doing interviews all day including one with NPR’s All Songs Considered. ATG’s Stephen and Will were a bit nervous the band would be tired, or worse – not into doing the interview. Our fears were allayed when Jonah and Claire arrived and proved to be very passionate about their projects and a pleasure to work with.

Production

The set up was pretty simple. My 5d Mark II and, Canon 50mm f1.4, and VideoRode Shotgun Mic on the hotshoe. No lights, but since were shooting outside at magic hour I didn’t think we’d need any anyway. Since I was solo I decided to experiment a bit and use my newly purchased FlyCam Nano camera stabilizer.

I wanted to give the interview a bit of a floating feeling as I felt it would compliment YACHT’s (it’s always all caps) image. I also wanted to experiment with the focus. I tried to keep one member of YACHT out of focus at all times, with differing degrees of shallowness.

I haven’t perfected the balance on the Fly Cam Nano, but I was pretty close. What really gave me problems was attempting to manually focus. Yes, I know you’re not supposed to be pulling focus when using a camera stabilizer like the FlyCam Nano, but this was experimentation.

Post Production

I shot using Philip Bloom’s old recommended neutral picture profile. This was just before Technicolor released their CineStyle picture profile for the 5d. This shoot was so basic I decided to keep the edit that way too – I only used L-cuts during the interview.

The grade was finished in Apple Color. I’ve been working with this program for several years and I often hear it referred to as the stick shift of affordable grading programs. It’s true, the learning curve is steep and I’ve only recently begun to feel that I’m starting to wrap my head around it. The complete control of the image that it offers the Colorist is really nice. I did two different primary grades and a max of two secondaries for each shot. Some shots also received a primary out as well. I gave the image a filmic look and saturated the image a bit. I really like the skin tones, but I think I’ll desaturate those just a bit in the future.

Conclusion

It felt great to film musicians again and I hope to be doing more of these with All Things Go. Thanks for the opportunity guys! Special thanks to Sebastien Tobler for getting me involved with ATG.

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