For Fury, we took an extra step in creativity and making something more unique than usual. Our previous project for Post Modern, A Haunting, was received very well, so I personally felt this project had to be a step up. This project was a combination of creative ideas, team work, a great light design, good usage of talent and hard work. A lot of time was spent in pre-production planning and prepping, as much as the effort we put in for a 16 hour day of production.
It’s hard to decide which was the more important factor in this video, the light design or the cinematography? I’ll start with cinematography. I wanted something that could be done in camera verses in post-production that would also produce a wow factor. Our previous project was very heavy in post-production and it took time more time to edit. This project had a shorter turn-around time. So I figured in camera had to be the option. Part of planning these projects is figuring out an appropriate timeline for the project and the client, we roughly had three weeks after production to have a final version ready.
So this had me thinking about how I could make the cinematography unique. Years ago I made a purchase for a few prisms and never used them. The week leading up to this project I was digging through some old gear and came across them and thought this would be the perfect project to use them. The prisms combined with Lens whacking made up our look for the music video. While using these effects I learned that they were fairly unpredictable for the most part, but I think that’s what we all loved most about it. Outside of this I wanted to shoot most of this project as still as possible and let the prism and lens whacking create the energy to the frames.
So lighting was another challenge that we all were pleased about. Fury is what I would describe as an elegant song and part of the video I wanted in a white void with soft light. To do this we create a 6’x6’ silk and fired two 1000w ARRI’s through it. In addition we put a poster board covered in foil to bounce back on our subjects. To top it off we brought two white bounces in on both sides. The lighting looked good at this point but not exactly what we wanted. We decided we really wanted the subject to be extra glamorous. So we brought in a small 600 LED over top of the poster board and bounced it right into the foil. This was the last piece of the puzzle.
You can watch FURY | The Making of a Music Video below. Filmed by Drew Hiles
Moving on through the night we had to figure out how we were going to light everything and mix fire into the equation. Lighting outside is always somewhat difficult but mixing it with something as unpredictable as fire creates even more challenges. For performance we used a simple 45 degree light set up with the two ARRI’s and a rim light from the back with that LED and a blue gel to mimic moonlight. This all mixed with the fire create a really nice and even light design. The downside was keeping everything powered because the generator could barely handle all the power output.
This production in specific was a great opportunity for everyone on my crew to grow. Most productions everyone tends to overlap into other jobs but for the most part we had specific roles. I was able to be a director and DP and more or less and let JR and Drew build our light designs and Gage control the fire. As well I let Drew have free reign on behind the scenes with that being his main focus. I think he did a killer job covering the right content throughout the day. Gage’s main job was controlling the fire and keeping it as consistent and safe as possible. We did a shoot a few years ago and had an outside person do fire control and it went terrible, so this time around we really wanted control and that’s exactly what we got. JR was my main camera assistant and controlled the prism for all of the outdoor shots as well as helped move each take along faster. I always love having an extra set of eyes on the screen to make sure what I’m doing/seeing is actually good. It’s a good way to hold yourself accountable. I mean after all, two heads are better than one.
Looking at this production I would say my highlights are that this cinematography is totally different and unique to the JECP video catalog. Our light design was really fun to set up and a great learning experience for all of us. Seeing it in post-production has only made me more excited. This project was also really great because the guys in Post Modern gave me little guidelines and let me do my thing. The other thing is how great it was working with someone as natural as Maria. She had a talent for creating a fierce yet inviting look, especially in her eyes. They just draw you in. I always get excited when we bring in outside talent from the artist and things come together just right. Below is a teaser for the song. The video releases March 18th through Substream.