Our productions are a nice balance between crafting the perfect project, working our asses off and having a great time all along the way. The key thing in this is, that it’s a group effort with every project and that’s the main reason our projects turn out the way they do. Each person has their own tasks, skillsets and flavor they bring to the table. We feel this is a key reason for why people love working with us. The "Still" project we did for Denihilist is a great example of what we like to do and the video showcases how we made everything happen. The work that went into changing a boring living room into a black void, the way we lit everything to create our mood, how we interact with the talent to get our best shots and the teamwork we all put in.
THE MAKING OF STILL | FILMED BY DREW HILES
Between planning a project, actually shooting it and working it in post-production, you have to try to keep as consistent of a vision as possible, even when all those task require different mindsets. This project was one that truly felt gratifying for us to see it come to life and it be everything we wanted it to be. Still incorporated the look we set out to achieve, the shock factor we intended and was so fun to make for us.
We knew we had little time to work the production with the band due to studio time coming up, so we chose to shoot each member individually. This made the lighting a lot easier to manage and allowed us to focus more on the set design, adding a wireless follow focus and monitor for better cinematography and sharpness. This set up really allowed us to have fun with the shoot and be effective with our time. We changed the room by making a quick run to Midwest Photo Exchange and grabbing some seamless black photo-paper and blacking out our walls. Lucky enough the room was just over 9’ tall so their roll worked out perfectly for us.
The lighting is something that we all really loved about this project. It was our first time working with the new ARRI Skypanels and those lights just make everything really easy. They have an already soft yet extremely bright look and dialing in the color hue is so simple. We chose these lights to again save time from gelling our standard ARRI’s and they also run way cooler temperature wise because they are LED instead of Tungsten. That factor alone kept our set nice and cool so our talent would be more comfortable and we could do more takes quickly. Our overall set up was lit from above with a large white bounce and we cut any other spill off as much as we could with left over black paper and trash bags (Forgot the black wrap for this one). Our biggest goal was to light this very dramatically. We did bounce some light back up into our shadows to give more room in post for color grading.
DENIHILIST | STILL TEASER 1 OF 3
Before starting this project we knew we wanted it to be quite a big step up from our previous project for this band, their song "It that Betrays", so we teamed our rental package up with the amazing team at Ohio HD. Having some extra tools in our hands helped us do things differently, control camera quality and most importantly the wireless follow focus allowed AC Gage to control sharpness even with the hectic camera work. Our camera choice for this production, was the Canon c300mkii and that really brought the right feel to life. Pairing the c300mkii with the Zeiss ZE lensing made this an even sweeter combination. We were able to get beautiful footage at a fairly flat color profile and pull a lot of information back out of the footage in post-production. As well our lensing was really sharp and easy to work with. You see in the story footage we grabbed the Zeiss 100mm lens which really became the workhorse for most of those shots. This was one of those shoots that having some really nice gear to work with played a really big role with quality control.
We hope you enjoyed this project and all the goodies we were able to create and only hope to craft more projects of this level in the future. For us it is all about growing our skillsets, accepting new challenges and keeping our work fresh and forward thinking.