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Stay Dark

Managing time and power

entry no. 07

"Subjective Morality" is a heavy hitter track. From the start we knew the edit needed to carry an immense amount of energy. Designing the look, we created an edgy, dark and energetic performance to lay the ground work and mixed in subliminal messaging. While all of this happened, we had two big production challenges to overcome. We had a short timeline with only having the night to film and NO ACTIVE POWER to the location. Lighting was the most difficult obstacle for this project. We wanted to spread our lighting around the room and not be afraid to see it in shots. On top of this, the factor of no electricity, made us step back and make sure we chose the right lighting. We had to balance power evenly and not just throw lights wherever. Our primary lighting was KinoFlo double fixtures from above and quasar light tubes on the ground. We could run the KinoFlo’s to four banks and make sure enough light hit all five members, while being power conscience. We used one Kino four bank as a floating fill for singular shots. This helped add extra detail. When we switched to the storyline shots we killed the top lights, only used the fill and arranged the Quasars in the cross shape.

Another plus to choosing the KinoFlo lighting, is we could easily grip the lighting from above, run power cables neatly and the lighting itself goes up fast. This stayed in line with our short production timeline. We were able to get lights up quick, make adjustments to light spill and angles, as well as control the power from the 4-bank ballast on the ground. The Quasars worked pretty similarly, but we also hooked them up to dimmers, so we could add an extra “Holy Spirit” element to the lighting and dramatics that fit well with the Returning His Crowns message.

Looking at the project skin deep, it’s a typical metal music video, but we spent time really getting the performances we wanted out of the RHC guys. We wanted to be sure the final product felt chaotic. We felt this could help them market for the experience of live shows. Between each take we would discuss what each shot should emphasize. This made each take that much more epic. Most instances we can fly through performance and focus more on the story, but we wanted the band shots to be entertaining the whole way through.

End results proved this to be a good call.

Consistent color grade and good dynamic range in the shadows was a must for this project. Knowing we would have limited light, we felt the Canon 1dxmkii was the perfect camera for this project. It’s 24fps MOV format is great to work with in post, plus a C-log hack in the color profile is great. Mix this with the 120fps slow motion and the ability to push it to 5000 ISO with little unwanted artifacts in the shadows and you have a recipe for success and quickly moving through production. We feel like this camera gets overlooked a lot due to its DSLR form, but it really is a top contender for us and keeps our artists budgets a bit lower when needed. Moving into post production, we had a lot of variety in performance to work with and the cut made itself between full band multi-cams, the singular shots of vocalist Jimmy, and the creative b-roll. Once the basic cut was laid out, we got more creative with the slow-motion time remapping, time jitters we created for an "overtaking" effect (Holy Spirit) and then mixing in the b-roll of the skull. All in all, the edit felt energized and really just fell into place fast.

This project was one of our favorites. We felt less pressure to use the craziest gear and focused more on our direction and personally interacting with the RHC guys. They allowed us to come in and make something epic with simple solid tools. Hope you enjoyed!


Josh Emerick | Cinematographer + Editor + VFX

Taylor Tigner | AC + DIT

Drew Hiles | G&E + Gaffer + PA

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