Get My Cut - Music Video Breakdown - Part 2
Onward to Day 2!
You're on Part 2 of this music video breakdown, click here for Part 1.
The Finished Product
After a successful first shoot day, everyone headed home to dump footage, charge batteries, and get some sleep.
We started the day at 8am with a minimal crew to shoot the scene of Brian bleeding in the back of the car.
The car bleed-out was a simply shot, made most difficult by the lack of space. We didn't really have any options to light the car, so we were going to deal with natural light. In order to get the frame that I wanted, I needed the camera basically behind my head. Last year I was shooting in a Lamborghini Aventador (link to final spot here), and found myself in a similar situation. The key is to strip the camera down as far as possible, and then slide it back into/out of the window while on your shoulder. I took off the top handle, 702, and left just the 5" touch to pull focus off of. I ended up living all the way at the 15.5mm end of our zoom to get the framing I wanted. We took 2 laps in the car with Brian and Chandler screaming at each other, then called a wrap on that scene.
Funny little bonus: The red flares you see in the final video are from fake blood flying off Brian's hand and onto the lens.
After that scene, we headed to our warehouse location for 10:30am. We would be spending the rest of the day here, so we front loaded all our problem-solving, lighting, etc. The room we wanted to shoot in had a few big pros and cons to it that we immediately had to work through.
PROS: Looks eerily similar to Reservoir Dogs warehouse.
No bad light.
Lots of room.
CONS: Literally no light.
Only 2 walls look cool.
Thankfully we had an abundance of long stingers, so we were able to run power from a few rooms down. The lack of any ambient room meant we had total control, but had to try to make it feel somewhat believable even though it was all "movie lights". The funniest problem was the only 2 walls part. The building was being renovated, so we had 2 vintage looking warehouse walls, and 2 brand new sheetrock looking walls. This left us in a funny situation as far as coverage, but Brian came up with a pretty genius way to fix it.
The solution was to shoot all of our coverage that would be towards "The front" of the room first - with the ramp and door in the frame. Then we would do a company move to the right side, shooting against the same wall, and flip the lighting and characters to shoot all the reverses against a different part of the same wall.
Lighting The Warehouse
Once we had figured out a coverage solution, we had to figure out a lighting solution. I always start lighting after I have a sense of where the camera is going to be, otherwise we're wasting our time lighting angles that we'll never see.
I decided I wanted to build everything off the premise off a window to the right of our main door, so I started with a Joker 800 through 6x6 Silk behind our talent, pretty high, camera right. To balance that out I added a 4ft Kino diffused in the opposite corner of the room. Then to kill a little of the shadow in the middle we added a Lowell Caselite camera right. When we switched to shoot the reverses we mirrored all our lighting relative to the hostage chair, to try and keep continuity. The only thing we added for the reverses was a little bounce behind the camera frame right, to fill in that spot where previously we had the window over the ramp.
Time to Shoot!
Once we had all those base-level problems figured out, it was time to start shooting. As a DP my biggest job was to frame up shots and operate, everything else was relatively smooth sailing from then on. We shot probably 85% of the day on the Easyrig, with the remaining 15% taking place on the Kessler Shuttle Dolly. To cover the scenes we'd usually briefly go over an "optimal take" for myself and the actors to run, and then once we felt good with that we'd go back and pick up a couple quick inserts depending on the scene. I found myself living around 35mm most of the time for our general coverage, and I'd punch in or go wider for special shots.
We basically spent all day on the 15.5-47mm CN-E Zoom from LensProToGo.com. I was running SDI from my Scarlet-W to my SmallHD 702, which was applying a Lutify.me LUT to our footage, and sending that signal out of my 702 (with the lut) to our Osee directors monitor.
There honestly isn't much that sticks out to me about shooting the first couple scenes in the warehouse, what you see is what you get. We added a little bounce for fill on Chandlers face when they pulled guns on each other, but other than that it was simple coverage.
We did have one short scene to take care of outside the warehouse, and that was the hostage in the car. By outside the warehouse, I mean literally right outside the door. We pulled Cory's car into the shade so we would have good light, and I climbed into the trunk to get our POV shot as the hostage. I had to live all the way on the wide end of our zoom, and framing was difficult with how tight the space was. After getting that shot, we put our hostage in the trunk, and I threw the easyrig back on to shoot the reverse.
Bonus Funny Note: None of the zoom pushes were done in-camera. Those were all added in post.
Next up was time to beat up our hostage. It's important to note again that we were only shooting all the "front of room" shots at this point, all the reverses were picked up at the end of the day when we flipped the room. Cory kept a list of the reverses we would need. We decided to shoot both Nathan and the Hostage in the chair on the Kessler Shuttle Dolly - we wanted those shots to stick out a little from everything else, and be moments of revelation for the viewer. The Shuttle Dolly is very similar to a Dana Dolly, but honestly better in just about every little way possible. It's a perfect tool for when you need a bigger move than a regular slider allows, but you don't have the time/money/space for a full size dolly.
Once Nathan had taped up our hostage, it was time to flip the room and shoot all the reverses, and the dancing/shootout scenes. The actual swap was relatively easy - make sure everything stays the same relative to the hostage and it all works out. We added some ultra bounce as fill camera right and started rolling away. The one other change that we ended up making was the 4t kino got cheated a little closer to the camera than it was before, so that we could have the right wall in the frame without seeing a light, but we would still have that edge light that Tarantino loves.
That's a wrap
That's pretty much it - I'm sure there are things I forgot, but check out the gallery and ask any questions in the comments below! This was a super fun shoot, way outside my normal style of shooting. Hopefully you guys learned something by getting a peek behind the curtain! Big thanks to Kessler, LensProToGo, OffHollywood, and all the crew who came out and made it possible!