Anyone ever film a music video?

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FowlersFreeTime

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Nov 19, 2020
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A friend from work has a very gifted kid who wrote and performed a song at the age of 8! The kid wants to record a music video in a few weeks, and I kind of want to help since I have all this video gear and I love trying new projects. Does anyone have any pointers for this kind of process? I have asked our little artist to start working on a storyboard and then I will work on a shot-list with her and location scouting with her mom later on.
I'll probably try to film the whole thing with the following gear:
  • A6400
  • Sony 35mm f1.8, Sony 18-135mm, Sigma 16mm
  • Feiyutech G6 Max gimbal
  • Rode Video Micro for environmental sound, but we'll be using an mp3 of her song as the primary audio track
Any pointers?
 
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Jeff A

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Immediately buy $10,000 in camera gear! That's what I would do.

Yea, like I have 10K laying around. Just kidding. Have fun with your project. Besides the satisfaction of completing the project, there are so many things to learn along the way. Good luck!
 

FowlersFreeTime

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Immediately buy $10,000 in camera gear! That's what I would do.

Yea, like I have 10K laying around. Just kidding. Have fun with your project. Besides the satisfaction of completing the project, there are so many things to learn along the way. Good luck!
Hahaha not likely to become a regular endeavor, so no spending spree here. My friend was going to just film her daughter on her cellphone, and I was like "Ummm I can do one better"
 
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garuda

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..... Want to video record a music video....... Any pointers?

There’s a lot to know, too numerous to list here, but here are a few basics:

Whenever panning or tilting, move the gimbal slowly to avoid motion blur or possible rolling shutter. If you’re tracking a subject, motion blur isn’t a problem.
Practice w gimbal in advance to learn how it behaves.
Shoot different angles and heights for interest value.
Careful not to chop heads & feet unless zooming (same as photo).
Decide which/when footage uses Thirds rule.
Remember 180-degree rule: shutter speed should be set to double your frame rate. If 30fps - shutter at 1/60.
In tracking subject, always leave extra space in front of moving target. (same as photo rule).
If you have a remote power zoom feature, smoothly keep zooming in and out periodically to keep things interesting.
If you don't have remote power zoom for gimbal, if it were me I would hand-hold the entire footage, since your cam & tele are light weight.
Talk with subjects in advance to better anticipate actions & movements.
Choose a venue w contrasting background to help cam's AF function better.
When possible, film with 3-5 second handles on front/back of each clip.
Use decent NLE software, or have somebody good edit the footage. (If you don't have access to NLE software, bring a prayer book to photo-shoot).
Pick lenses according shooting space (Dah...) the 18-135 will likely come in handy.
And shoot stills to intersperse in vid footage: for background, intro, splash panels, recap, closing, high points, etc.
Have spare bats & SDs.
I'm not familiar with a64 cam, so can't help you w menu settings for best target acquisition, tracking, & lock-on settings; check user manual.
Lastly, go to Walmart and buy a $19.95 Common Sense Kit. Bring a bottle of Jack just in case.

Good Luck!
 
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FowlersFreeTime

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Bwahaha I love that last reminder, thanks Mike!
A few of those I knew (like the rule of thirds and the 180 degrees rule) but so many good tips! Thankfully this isn't a paying client, and I have yet to talk to our little star to see what her expectations are, so this may be the best chance I get to practice something new without (as much) fear of failure.

Question: Should I bring a small speaker to play the song out loud to make it easier for the talent to lip-sync (and therefore easier for me to sync up in post later)? I plan to sync up the clips to the pre-recorded track, and then remove the audio from my video. Does this sound like the right approach?

Thanks again!
 

garuda

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....Should I bring a small speaker to play the song out loud?
Yes, you can try a speaker, or you can xfer song to an iPhone and hide phone under singer's clothing (or back pocket) and play it for sync. Or use Apple wireless ear buds if she has long hair. It all depends on how skilled client is at sync’g with external audio. This is when an inconspicuous ear piece comes in handy. Also, since you don’t have a clapperboard, you can have client begin each clip using a visual on-camera hand-clap to help you to later sync in post. And use clip handles generously. Sadly, to do these shoots really well, you almost need a 2nd camera and mic system. But try your best anyway. Don’t you have like an old a1 lying around the house you can use as backup?

Without me knowing some of the specifics — what NLE, shot plan, storyboard, song type, etc — it’s hard to suggest specifics on how. On close ups or head shots, the sync must be pretty accurate, as you know. Since this is a small production, I would put a lap-mic (inconspicuous or out of sight) just in case the sync fails. Since this is your first time, it will be a challenge. Depending on client expectations, you may want to plan for multiple shoots. If you’re hoping to achieve professional-grade quality straight out of the box, bring lots of Valium with you.

Being your first, I’d film lots of related supplemental footage to use if the sync’g goes South, then you can cut to a supp so no lip movement is discernible. You can glean shoot technique ideas from watching pro music vids on YT. May want to mention to client that vids are best when singer is a bit animated — you know, video, motion, movement. If singer is shy or nervous at first, shoot w longer lens, not so close to performer’s face.

Without specifics, best advice I can give you is plan multiple shoots. And review each shoot to find mistakes you can correct on next shoot. Yes, I know… tedious stuff.

And worst case psychological scenario — Be prepared to accept the possible post-reality results — that you wished you would have yielded to the original plan… the mother shooting production with an iPhone. Joking! If it were me, during one of the shoots, I’d have the mother shoot w her phone, so long as she knows how to stay behind or apart from your camera and not get into your shot.

Remember, it's your first shoot experience..... pray alot, stock up on Valium, frequent church until end of production, and keep the Jack handy. 😉...... :giggle:
 
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FowlersFreeTime

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Spoken like a Pro Mike! and yes, I will temper my (and the "client's") expectations.
I'll have more to work with when I meet with them to see the storyboard she has put together. Meanwhile her music teacher is editing the song so I'll have an MP3 of the song to work with as a primary audio track. Thanks!
 

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