View Full Version : First production (music video) - have I missed anything in planning?

07-02-2010, 01:18 PM
Hi guys, great forum. I'm new to video and this place looks ace!

I record music at home and decided to shoot a music video for one of my tracks. I will be using a Canon 7D and have access to AfterEffects and Premiere at work so will be spending long hours in the office during post.

The video I'm looking to do is one continuous shot in first person POV from start to finish, involving the camera walking around several streets occasionally looking at images dotted around the place that will be put in afterwards and motion tracked.

I've found the location I want to film in and have storyboarded the video (stick men and very badly drawn streets) and scanned the images in and placed them in order along with the audio track and I'm happy with how it looks.

What else would you recommend I plan?

I need to check the location at different times of day to check for shadowfall, but I think my biggest problem may be focus. I won't be zooming, so as long as I'm careful with keeping the camera an equal distance from points of interest during the walk do you think I'll need to focus as I go along? Any tips for this?

Many thanks chaps. I'm loving my new toy and can't wait to start playing properly (I keep having to tell myself.... plan boy, plan.... THEN play!).

[Edit: Apologies if this is in the wrong forum!]

07-04-2010, 04:13 AM
If you are going to shoot the whole thing as a single POV clip while you're walking then you will DEFINITELY need a steadicam or similar stabiliser - and you'll need to practice with it lots before you attempt this shot. Renting one for a few days may seem like alot of money but believe me you'll wish you had if you don't.

Use the widest lens you can get your hands on (something like the Tokina 11-16), and again, rent if you need to. The wider lens will make camera shake less noticeable as well as giving you a deeper DoF to work with so you're not constantly re-focusing.

DSLR's are a nightmare to shoot with handheld standing still, let alone while walking. My guess is that on your first attempt, the combination of camera-shake induced motion-blur, rolling shutter wobble/tilting and the shallow focal plane will mean you won't have any decent tracking points to use in AE, so it may be better to print the pictures out and have them appear in the actuall footage rather than compositing them.

One really good trick which can be handy in these situations is a whip pan transition, which uses two clips but makes them look like one continuous one. You film the first part of the clip, and finish it with a very fast whip pan. Then you have a break, drink some coffee between takes, go to the bathroom, review your first clip or whatever it is film directors do between takes. Now film the second clip, starting with another whip pan of the same scene then continuing on. In post you blend the two whip pans together with a dissolve and nobody will even notice you stopped filming. Using this technique you can break up the clip into as many sections as you like, but edit them together so it appears to be one long clip. Segmenting your clip means that each mistake (there will be many!) only means re-doing a 30-second or 10-second clip rather than the whole 4-minute song.

Also I don't know how you plan on using your video but if you're publishing it you'll technically need to get release forms signed by everybody who appears in your video.

07-04-2010, 04:32 AM
Many thanks for the excellent advice! I know I've typically gone for one of the hardest shoots in my video (continuous) but hey, it adds to the fun..... (?)

I did figure that camera shake and focussing would be the biggest of my problems and have been looking at various solutions for this.

Lens wise this is something that, to be honest, I haven't given much thought to so thanks for your input on that. I currently have only the stock EFS 18-135 lens but know a few amateur photographers so will speak with them and maybe look at trying their lenses. I'd probably buy a suitable lens rather than rent as I'm sure I'll probably want to use it again.

Plenty to think about then. Thankfully I don't really have any kind of deadline for this so will be doing lots of practising, both shooting and for anything I'll need to do in post (tracking, grading etc).

Thanks for your input. I'm sure I'll have loads more questions shortly!

07-05-2010, 12:56 AM
Yeah if you can borrow lenses instead of renting that's great. If you have the budget to just buy them, even better!

The best thing for stabilising this kind of shot is a steadicam or glidecam or something similar. Most rental houses have will have them, and they will truly make a world of difference to your shots. With lots and lots of practice you would be able to elmiinate all camera shake/walking motion and have it appear as though the camera is gliding through space on it's own. However, for your purposes you don't really need to elimainate all the movement - a little bit of motion will help to give it the POV look as though he is walking, rather than gliding. A few hours practice should be enough to get the results you need!

Sad Max
07-05-2010, 11:48 AM
It's possible that one or another of the inexpensive DIY stabilizer designs out there (and on the stabilizer forum here) might with practice let you stabilize your shots well enough to work for your purposes. And that would be a useful introduction to some of the principles involved in operating a stabilized camera.