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Divine Secret Colour Test - Canon 5d

Divine Secret Colour Test - Canon 5d

Over the past weekend I was filming a music video for upcoming band The Divine Secret, they're an awesome rock band from Cheltenham in Gloucester with a singer who, in true Wayne's World style, can really wail.

We had planned a full weekend shoot doing two videos, where the story flows from one video to the next. We actually ended up doing THREE! but more on that later heh.

The story is basically that the singer of the band acts more out of control, all the while a backroom scientist is making a puppet version of him to replace him. At the end of the first video this replacement is complete and the puppet takes over the band. In the second video the reverse happens, the singer realises the setup and the puppet acts out of control and the singer returns to defeat the puppet and reclaim his role in the band!

I often like to take some clips from my shoots and colour them, firstly as a stress test to see what they can handle, but also so I know what I'm working with and where I can take it. As such, these are just random clips I've coloured, not final versions or anything like that, so be kind heh.

Oh and I did all of this on my own, I should mention that, I didn't have a crew or anything because I had to travel from Hertfordshire, just North of London, to Cheltenham, which is in the West, in order to shoot this. Funnily enough my friends who sometimes chip in on my shoots didn't want to give up their weekend to go to the West Country! The band did chip in though, especially in swapping puppet operating duties as their arms got too tired!

I edited the original H.264 30P files themselves, although for editing the video proper I will convert to ProRes 422 in MPEG Streamclip. I've used Compressor in the past but MPEG Streamclip is a lot faster and the results are pretty similar. I also left the original audio on there for comparison, so you can once or twice hear my lame direction or the band etc, none of which will make the final video!

I pulled the clips together in FCP and layed on some music by the band themselves as a 'soundtrack' (funny how even though it's just a test clip I still like to add music heh). The colouring was done in Magic Bullets, mostly just picking various looks and tweaking them so they looks good, warming/cooling as appropriate etc.

There's also a bit of an unsharpen mask and some Fading from Misfire. I shoot a lot of live music and have a standard set of filters I whack on and those are included, it just soften things a little.

The 5d was really useful for this shoot b/c we shot a lot in a small basement and although I would have loved a 7d or even the new 550D or T2i as it's called for slow-mo, the wider full frame was very useful as it meant I could get a decently wide image.

I'm going to look closely at the 550D when it comes out though as a B-camera. At times I used my EX1, stock, for slow-mo but the combo was too unweidly and presents issues when mixing formats, although a lot of that is down to the 5d's 30 frames per second. For example, if I were to convert the XDCAM footage to be compatible w/the the 5D I'd convert both to ProRes 422, well that just happens to be what I'll convert the 5D footage too anyway.

Still it's a lot easier to keep things the same from the point of view of colour matching and just generally having the same sort of 'look' to things. I've found in the past where I've used both cameras together, the EX1's colour re-production was off on the Red channel which creates Colour Correction issues, I suppose that's why they brought out the EX1-R w/it's new CMOS sensor.

Lenses used were the Canon 28mm f1.8, 50mm f1.4, 85m f1.8, although I mostly used the 50mm for situations where I could and the 28mm for when it was too close, I can't think of many shots where I used the 85mm. I shot at either f4 or f2.8 depending on light, f4 was my preference.

All in all the 5D performed fantastically, it kind of stunned me really how great it did, especially since I could never have gotten this footage with my EX1/Letus combo as it would be too unwieldy and heavy, let alone the inherent crop of using the 35mm adapter technology.

It was also the first time I used some of my recently acquired gear. Firstly for the night shoots, the party shoots and basically any situation that needed a bit of a fill, I used my new Litepanels MicroPro led light. Although it doesn't flood a room, it's still nice and bright and does a great job at accentuating the light where it's needed.

For example, the shot of Aaron, who performs as Rufio Summers, and has collaborated with The Divine Secret a lot before, using the blow torch you can see the litepanels reflection. I like that, it gives an interesting addition to the image.

Likewise the show of the static camera with the band playing (which was an impromptu THIRD video we did, one shot, no movement) was done when we were done with the party shoot and about to clean up. I left the lights where they were and just put the Litepanels on the camera to light the singer, Joe, as he moved to the mic. Easy, job done. I think I used the diffusion filter and the CTO filter that came with the light too.

I shot this on Neutral Picture Profile, with the popular -4, -4, -2 combo. I was going to do Superflat or Marvel's Cine but having read that it doesn't give you more latitude, it just compresses the gamma, I thought I'd stay back until I could do more testing.

I also used the Glidetrack for lots of shots, although fewer as time went on and I got too tired heh, it did a good job although since we shot one of the performances in a warehouse it got so dirty that it wasn't quite as smooth as could be, although when clean it was great (w/a bit of WD-40)

I had planned to use a Glidecam HD-2000 too, although that didn't come in time, alas! I also had a Liliput monitor going on but that broken a few hours in! Going to have to email them about that. Same with a Genus Mattebox, I had just picked up the French Flag but that also broke straight away, which wasn't great. So I started the shoot with a monitor and Matte Box and ended it with neither, oh well!

I had planned to use Magic Lantern but didn't in the end as I didn't want AGC turned off as I couldn't be bothered to burn batteries using sync sound for a video that is syncing to a studio track anyway! I realise on reflection I could've just turned the AGC back ON in the ML menu, but didn't remember that at the time!

As mentioned at the start, these are just come clips I through together and quickly CC'd for effect, nothing definitive or anything, so don't judge too harshly heh. I'm starting editing next week so will have that to look forwards too, yikes!

myspace.com/thedivinesecret

by Andy at Frarl.com

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