a how-to in the lighting department
entry no. 20
Music videos come in many shapes and forms. Honestly, it’s one of the most creative and unlimited formats of film. You typically have a few minutes to communicate some sort of idea, feeling and establish character. This allows them to be less linear, highlight the best visual aspects and often times be more effective with limited budgets.
NYA was directed our way by a past client and friend. She did her research before even contacting us in determining a lot of what she wanted, keeping ideas and budget in mind and wanted to set up a meeting. All in all, everything we love about a client. Prepared, detail-oriented and the want to establish trust.
She wanted to highlight the emotions and phases of working through a break up essentially. She laid the groundwork of scenes, what they meant and even had a color palette in mind. This lets us hit the ground running and more quickly build out a thorough quote. We had the details necessary to do this, decide what’s possible and even secure a proper location and needed props more quickly.
Another benefit is her being a solo artist, we could use our time more wisely in developing a bigger feeling project. From less lighting to leaner crew we moved it all along much quicker.
Our goal was to play off a moody and elegant sequence of shots to build the film and use red and blues for art direction. These colors spoke to her and they just blend together nicely as complementary colors.
The moody scenes were used to portray reflecting on circumstances, working through it in a healthy way (writing) and some unhealthy (drinking) as well as washing yourself clean (shower) of the feelings. We had 3 minutes to achieve this and wanted this to feel like the viewer got to experience all the phases. It’s hard, relatable and important to the track.
To juxtapose those moody scenes we also filmed in natural daylight in the vibrant brewery district of Columbus. These were to be more upbeat, moving on and seeing brighter days in the future. Life is about learned lessons and not dwelling on the past. We wanted to show her working through the situation, rather than stuck in a depression cycle.
Along with a cool idea, this was NYS’s first music video experience. Our goal in crafting a project is always making it fun, safe and to feel confident. It’s hard being on camera. NYA was super collaborative, trusted us along the way and really got into the emotions of her song, which sold the vibe of the final film. While it’s nice to have a good idea at the front, it was cool seeing this project morph further past our expectations. Most of that came from NYA’s ability to execute.
Alright, now what you came here for. The lighting breakdown. Below I have added stills from a few of our favorite scenes as mentioned in the vlog with key elements to the shots.
Our full lighting kit include two Quasar Rainbow rgb 2', two YongNuo 1200 Daylight LEDs, one Yongnuo 900 Daylight LED, 2x3 solids, silks, single nets and double nets and a 42" octabox + diffusion. Additional efforts were made to set with plastic wrap for window diffusion and the additional of fog for atmosphere.
The final result really looks like a high level pop song with an emphasis on emotional story telling. With all the scenes we crafted we were able to build a dynamic edit. The final film is below.
Ross Theisen | Director + Art
Josh Emerick | DP + Editor
Matty McClelland | Grip + Gaff
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These tips can be applied if you're a large team or small. Even if it's dipping your toes one project at a time, we think this is these are helpful. The best part about these is you'll see the value each time and be able to refine your approach project after project. To help get you started, we've created a downloadable document available here. Download it and tell us how it works on your next project.
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