Archive for September, 2015

Step two of our weekend of wonder was a music video.

A few months back Chloe was asked to shoot some footage for Gun Hill Riffs, the band of a friend of hers. They had hired a studio space to record some songs and we decided to mainly get footage from two of them to put together two ‘live lounge’ style videos.

Because of a few last-minute changes of plans, we had basically no preparation for the shoot. As we went along we started outlining very rough outlines for each video, but in general the footage was a bit disjointed and without theme. One idea we decided to go with was a slow rotating shot from the middle of the band into which we would then splice some closeups.

With more time to prepare we would have preferred to have a solid plan for each song down early on, so we could better divide the work between us and give each song a distinct look. Hopefully we’ll have another opportunity to give that a go in the future.


The edit itself, our second task of the weekend, did not go as smoothly as the first. I had hauled my iMac to Chloe’s so Chloe could use Final Cut Pro 7 for the editing, but I ended up at the keyboard while we collaborated on the decision process. I felt bad because Chloe had specifically asked to use the programme, but in the long run it did make the actual process faster, which was probably for the best as the creative side was slowing us down. Hopefully we’ll have another chance to collaborate and I can hand over the iMac properly, when we know what we’re trying to achieve a bit better. Chloe had already logged all the footage, which I loved because it’s my least favourite thing to do, and we decided to use one of Chloe’s full rotation shots as a base shot, and choose clips to fade in and out of. Then it was just a case of covering up the bits where the camera didn’t hit the right marks and sliding in other more interesting clips in such a way that they didn’t clash with the base. We had footage from the other songs which we could fall back on in an emergency (I think we only used one in the end).

I was pleased with a lot of the footage I took, once I started leaving the autofocus alone. Some of the shots didn’t come out right, but I could see my intention in them, and I was pleased that I’d spotted them and chosen to try to get them, even if I didn’t succeed at actually capturing them properly. I also managed to nail one or two focus pulls, which I’ve been trying to improve at. I did notice that sometimes the point of focus was not in the right place, so that even though something was in focus, it wasn’t what the eye was trying to focus on, so the effect was lost. For instance when tracking down a close-up of the bass neck, the focus point was too far up the neck, and the middle of the shot (the natural focus point for the eye, I suppose) was out of focus. Hopefully I’ll improve at that over time.

Although the overall process sounds fairly simple, it took us long into the evening and over the next day to finish. Before it got too late we ducked out to make a start on Task 3, then watched “The Runaways” before bed. Maybe after all this we’ll form an all-girl rock band.