Just An Fashioned Music Video

Just an old-fashioned music video–sans modern transitions, etc.

In all fairness, I have used some of the modern transitions when appropriate, but I am generally not a fan of the current craze–or any fad for that matter.

But that’s not really the point of this post.

In actual fact, this music video isn’t finished yet. There’s another location shoot to do, but that won’t be until summer’s end, so for the benefit of the singer, we’ve decided to release it as-is and update it later.

The point of this post really is that I used quite a number of plug-ins for this. Probably more than in any other video I’ve produced.

John Belew’s ‘Lens Filter’ pack contains a number of very useful filters, but the one he’s got in there that I don’t think anyone else has is a ‘fog filter’. Strange that it’s so rare. In the early days of Hollywood it was pretty common and used mostly for shooting close-ups of the female stars. To get the effect the cameraman would use vaseline on the lens or stretch a stocking over it. Eventually, Tiffen made a series of fog filters which I used myself on occasion. In this video it is kind of obvious what the fog filter effect is.

For grading I used a combination of Color Finale and the FCPX color board. I often use them together.

One of my most useful tools is Core Melt’s Vignette Shape Mask which you can get free from that link. It’s a powerhouse vignette tool that has infinitely variable parameters. In this video I used it to partially mask some of the background shots so that the slow dissolve transitions to the singer wouldn’t be as jarring.

Everything else was done from within FCPX.

It was shot with a Sony PXW X70 in 4K and output to 1080.

The performance was shot with 2 cameras (Sony X70 and Sony RX10ii) over 3 different takes to obtain the different angles.

Holly (the singer) did an almost flawless lip-synch to her studio recording every time.

The edit was done as a multi-cam edit in FCPX.

Looking forward to completing it early September after a sunset shoot on the rocky coast of southern England.

Comment on Lighting and Grade

Someone asked if I could comment on the lighting in the comments.

Well, it was simple, but also interesting for me this time. By simple, it was an upstage key (flexi LED panel snooted with black foil) and a more or less opposing backlight (also a flexi-LED)  set to create that soft rim on the side of her face. Truthfully that backlight could have been a stop less bright. It was all rather slap-dash. The fill was simply ambient bounce from the room. No supplementary fill needed.

By ‘interesting’, I mean this: I knew it was a white room and I knew I wanted to go for low-key lighting (two things that don’t normally go together well). Fortunately I could shutter the windows and knew that I’ve have to flag the hell out of the key and backlight. In each case I used back foil to create a ‘snoot’ that restricted the light to a very narrow band. Of course that still gives off enough bounce to illuminate the white walls. So in post I just took the mids way down on the FCPX colour board. Nothing fancy. Didn’t affect the highlights and was adequate to considerably darken the white walls which had been reduced to mid-tones due to the flagging off the light sources in the room.

The other thing that was a bit of fun was creating the ‘day-for-night’ look on the exteriors. Again, nothing really fancy, but normally I don’t have any reason to do that (doing corporate videos), so it was fun. I used the FCPX day-for-night effect as a start and adjusted it’s parameters. I then supplemented the effect with Color Finale with which I increased the saturation of and reduced the luminance of the blues.

Incidentally, those exteriors were shot on the RX10ii which I was using for the first time on a production. Bit of a no-no because I never really fully tested it in video mode. Maddeningly I could not get it into total manual in the very brief period of time we had at dusk. As a result, I was getting exposure correction that I didn’t want and, since I couldn’t figure out how to fix it, I was trying to trick the meter. Anyway, it was a disaster, but the main point is that most of those shots were OVER-EXPOSED! Even so, I was able to fix it in post to the look that I wanted.

And now, of course, I know how to put the camera into total manual. Nothing like near-disaster to inspiring one to read the manual a little more carefully.

 

Run ‘n Gun Music Video?

Abi Moore

 

(from the Run and Gun Videography Blog)

Well, normally one wouldn’t promote this sort of thing. After all, it takes quite some time and planning to do a music video…

But, as Abi Moore remarked, ‘if you want something done fast, ask a busy person”.

I’m not always this busy, but in the week before a trip planned to the US, I found myself with 3 scheduled shoots and one edit that absolutely had to be done before I left.

Then Abi messaged me urgently.

She needed a music video by the end of the month (when I would be gone).

She had sent me the song. A very nice song, though a sad Christmas song as it were.

I asked for the lyrics, got them, glanced it over and said, ” Come on over tomorrow. We’ll shoot you singing the whole song whilst driving a few times and then some more at our neighbor’s Steinway piano, a few additional shots in town, throw something together and see if we need anything else to polish it off.

So we did just that one evening.

For the night scenes I used the Sony HXR NX30. All hand-held, of course, though I utilised a bean bag on the car’s dash for most of the car shots.

For the piano scenes I used the NX30 and the X70; X70 on a tripod and the NX30 handheld.

And, for the first time ever, I found it necessary to add stars to a shot using an FCPX generator and FCPX color controls and shape masks to take down the white sky to a darker gray.

Also, for the first time ever, I added snow to a shot, using the Pixelfilmstudios plug-in. Two layers of snow–the foreground layer to which I added yellow as if lit by the foreground yellow light from the doorway. That was surprisingly easy.

Who says you can’t produce a music video in a couple of days cheap as chips?

You’ll be the first to see it as I’m only publishing it here.

(Best to watch in full HD, as it’s a rather sad–and therefore somewhat dark Christmas story.)

Shooting Concerts as a Lone Shooter

(Published originally on the Run and Gun Videography Blog)

World Leaders and Power Seekers still 6

To best understand how to shoot a concert as a lone shooter, let’s consider how a concert would normally be shot.

Typical Multi-Camera Concert Shoot

A live concert is generally shot is with 6-18 cameras and a live cut director. (those numbers are arbitrary, but representative of most of the concerts and live performances I have shot).

Typically one frontal camera is dedicated to close shots of the main performer. Next to it is another frontal camera whose job is to cover anything from long shots of the stage plus audience all the way into medium shots of the performer. With this set-up you’re never without a close shot of the main performer even though other cameras will be shooting close-ups from different angles from time to time.

Then off to the left and right will be another couple of cameras also dedicated to side or 3/4 angles onthe main performer, but can also be assigned to other performers and solos based on the shooting plan.

There will be one or two, even three long shot cameras covering the whole stage and will be variously framed on the stage or stage plus audience and may be zooming in or out at the beginning and end of numbers.

Either additionally, or as part of the long shot camera set-up, there will be a couple cameras (or more) on cranes.

Near the stage there may be a camera set up on a dolly for lateral dolly shots.

And finally there will be 2 or 3 (or more) hand-held cameras on stage or at stage front assigned to dynamic angles, instrument close-ups etc.

That’s a pretty standard set-up and can even be tricked out with steadicam operators, wire cameras (cameras flying on wires), etc.

Ideally there is a full rehearsal with the band at which point the director determines the various camera cues. For example, when there are solos, he’ll know when they are and that he must have a camera on it and ready to go.

If no rehearsal, there will still be a cue sheet used for the same purpose.

All the cameramen will be in communication with the director (mainly for listening) via a comm system. During the show the cameramen, with their various assignments, will generally know what to do throughout the show based on their assignments (so you don’t wind up with 18 cameras all shooting close-ups of the singer), but will be assisted by the director calling out cues in advance of the live cut. For example; “Ready Camera 2 on a close shot push”, then, “Take”.  The “ready’ means you’re about to go live pushing into a close shot.  “Take” means you’re live. This doesn’t mean he’ll cue every single cut. He’ll be looking at all the cameras on his monitors. If he sees a nice shot on camera 6, he may say “ready 6….take”. When he says ‘ready’ that means he’s going to you, so that’s not the time to zoom into a cute girl or pick your nose.

And so it goes.

From the multitude of cameras of varying image sizes and angles makes editing easy, even on a live edit. Any mistakes are easily fixed in post.

Ok, so that’s NOT the scene we’re talking about for a lone shooter.

The Lone Shooter ‘Multi-Cam Shoot’

Why do lone shooters even try to shoot a concert?

Most likely it’s for a friend. And most likely it’s for little money if any at all.  And such is the case with the video samples you will see below.

When it’s a managed band with a budget, even if you are to do the shoot, you’ll be hiring extra crew and equipment–minimum two operators and 3 or 4 cameras for a small budget production and on upwards to the big budget ‘sky is the limit’ productions.

But some shooters will want to do it for a friend, do it for fun, or break into the music video business by offering some ‘starving artists’ an opportunity for better promotion with a music video for little or no money.

So how do you do it?

First of all, let’s be clear: Shooting alone is not the best way to go about it.

Shooting with only one camera is definitely the worst way to go about it.

Having at least three cameras, one of which is ambulatory (your hand-held), can make it appear to be a multi-camera shoot and will be fairly easy to edit.

More than three is even better.

Better still is having a second operator for one of the cameras…

And so on.

Ok, let’s start with a lone shooter and three cameras.

Camera Setup

Where do you set them up?

First of all, your main camera will be your hand-held and that’s the one that’s going to be getting all the close shots of the main performer. You must realise that if there is any fan-base at all, they’ll be wanting to see close shots and close-ups of their idol. They really don’t care much about cool shots of guitar strings and all that kind of fluff. Give them what they want, not what you think might be ‘artistic’.

Your locked off cameras must be necessarily on the wide side because you can not control the various changes that happen on stage while you’re running around with the hand-held, so you minimally have to cover all the performers on stage with your frontal locked off cameras.

One of the locked off cameras should be a tight shot of the main performing area of the stage.  If the stage is full, then it’s the whole stage and all the performers. If the performers occupy a portion of the stage, then it’s a loose shot of the whole grouping of performers, rather than the whole stage.

The other is on a medium shot of the main performing area from a different angle.

Balconies are a good place for these two cameras (one on either side).

I think the side angles are more interesting than a dead-on center shot, but if you have another camera, you can put it next to the sound booth or whatever center position you can occupy.

If you have a fourth camera, put it backstage shooting past the performers at the audience. It will give you nice relief shots with some nice flare off the spotlights.

Setting Exposure

You must set your static cameras to manual exposure using the highest light level of the key spot light on the main performer. (Just ask the lighting guy to give you that level and set it on someone standing in the performers position). If you don’t do that, your cameras will try to give you an exposure to the overall long or medium shot of the stage (which, on an interior stage is usually mostly black) and that will result in the main performers face being blown-out most of the time.

If you use a GoPro, just let it do it’s automatic thing. It’s pretty good about auto-exposure.

On your hand-held camera my advice–if your camera is intelligent in its auto modes like the Sony cameras I use–keep it on full intelligent auto. You’ll be all over the stage at different angles, but your shots are mainly going to be closer shots. Your camera (especially if it has facial recognition) will be able to give you good auto exposures most of the time–or at least close enough to fix in post. You just won’t have time to be fiddling with settings as you’ve got too much work to do keeping that camera’s shot useful as much as you can.

The Hand-Held Camera

The hand-held camera is the one that does all the hard work.

Because you’re ambulatory, you can get all kinds of different angles: frontal, side frontal, from the wings of the stage, and even from backstage.

Add all these angles to your static cameras and you’ll wind up with something a bit closer to a multi-camera shoot and W A Y better than a single camera zooming in and out all night long.

Be Quick But Be Patient

The trick to the hand-held camera is to hold a shot up to and slightly past what you know will be an edit point. For example, let them finish a line of lyrics or chorus and add a beat or two before changing frame. If you don’t, you’ll find out the hard way that the cut to another camera may seem awkward if you suddenly decide to reframe your hand-held camera at the wrong moment—and you’ll have no choice but to cut to another camera, because your hand-held is useless as you’re moving position and re-framing.

Once you’ve reached an edit point, you move and re-frame as fast as you can. Ideally start with a different image size. While you’re moving and re-framing, you’re covered by any one of your other cameras. But the interesting shots will be the hand-held ones, so you move as fast as lightning. All your static cameras will be shooting the same thing all night, so they’ll start to appear rather repetitive. Use them as relief, or as openers and end shots and the rest of the time run your butt off getting as many different shots as you can from different angles with your hand-held.

I mentioned above having a second operator on one of your cameras. Even if you assign him to a fixed position on a tripod, at least now he can be zooming in or out, changing static image sizes, covering a solo, etc., so now of your 3 or 4 cameras, only 1 or two are completely static. You use them lightly and give the main work to your hand-held and your other manned camera. Now it can really start looking like a professional concert shoot—even with only two cameramen.

“But I only have one camera…”

Well–borrow one or two. By hook or by crook, get at least two or three additional cameras. Fortunately most video cameras these days are HD quality. Even iPhones and iPads and the Android equivalents shoot HD.

In the samples below I had 4 completely different cameras. A Canon DSLR, a Canon XHA1, a GoPro and a Sony HXR NX30.  To say they didn’t match up would be an understatement.

I now have another Sony camera (X70), so next time I’ll be better off.

The particular show in the samples below was 1 hour and 40 minutes long. I knew it would happen eventually, and sure enough, toward the end of the show the GoPro and DSLR batteries died (even though I changed them during intermission) leaving me with only two live cameras. (That gives me the opportunity to show you what can be done with two cameras in a pinch).

Take Advantage of Breaks and Intermissions

Between songs the performers sometimes (not always) chat with the audience. There’s your chance to grab some water or make your way to an interesting new angle from the wings of the stage or wherever.

Obviously it’s best to have your static cameras on AC power, but you may need to change cards (or tape) and that you can do during an intermission or break. You can even re-frame your static cameras during a long break or intermission.

If no intermission, you’ll have no choice but to do it during one of those chats with the audience between songs. You may risk not being ready by the time they start up again, but it’s better to have that camera up and running as soon as possible than to have it dead. You’ll simply have to rely on one of your other fixed cameras while you’re tending to all that.

Of course I’m really talking about the L O N E shooter to the nth degree here. If you can get an assistant to deal with those things, all the better.

You take your sound off the house mix board. That could be run by cable to one of your static cameras, but if the cameras are too far away from the mixboard, you can simply use a digital recorder to take the audio and sync it up later. I use the Zoom H2 which I’ve had for years and which never lets me down.

Matching Disparate Cameras

Since I had 4 completely different cameras that handled color and light differently, in order to smooth it out a bit I added a ‘look’ after manually balancing the color and exposure as best I could. In this case the looks were from a Pixel Film Studios plug-in. Now I have Color Finale which, like Divinci Resolve, allows me to create any look I want.  Since this was a concert with weird concert lighting anyway, the addition of a ‘look’ just added to the whole concert thing. But mainly it served to smooth out the differences between all the cameras to some degree.

The singer sat beside me and I scrolled through the various looks I have from Pixel Film Studios. By clicking on each filter it would give me an instant live preview in the preview window. We picked one she liked and put it on the whole song. (I used a couple different looks for various of the songs). Since the stage lighting was so crappy, one good thing the looks did was crush the blacks which also served to hide the different grain levels of the different cameras.

The GoPro isn’t good at low light levels, so on the darker scenes the grain was as big as golf balls. For those few Go Pro shots that I had to employ in the edit, I used Neat Video, a pretty good piece of software for removing grain. When the grain is extreme, the result is rather severe, but, in this case it was worse with the grain. For light grain, Neat Video is brilliant at removing it rather seamlessly.

All this is unnecessary, of course, if you have closely matching cameras. That’s not to say you couldn’t add a look anyway.

Concert Video Samples

In this case, I saw no rehearsals. I was seeing it for the first time live and had no choice but to think on my feet and do the best I could under the circumstances. If nothing else, it’s a good exercise even if it doesn’t all come out the way you hoped it would. The next good exercise in that case, is figuring out how to fix it all in post. And that can be fun and rewarding too—but only if you have multiple cameras to work with—or, as I had near the end of the show, only two.

Also, in this case, I was alone. I had no assistant. So the samples below are meant to give an idea of what a lone shooter can accomplish. I don’t offer it as anywhere near ideal–or indeed what I would want if it was my band, but still, for the money, it was a pretty good promo for this particular band. And it was fun and a good exercise for me. Next one will be better, for after all, it’s from things like this that we learn.

Let’s start with one when all 4 cameras were working. (after that are samples with 2 and 3 cameras)

As the show went on, and since I didn’t have an assistant, I would start losing cameras to either dead batteries or cards filling up. I dealt with that as best I could between songs, and of course, during intermission. Nevertheless, toward the end of the show I lost one camera permanently and later lost the GoPro as well when it’s short-lived battery died.

I know all this is rather stupid–even amateur, but at least it gives me the opportunity to show what you can do with 3 cameras and 2 cameras.

The following video is comprised of 3 different excerpts from the end of the concert starting with a 3 camera shoot and ending with two different samples of 2 camera shoots.

Post Lip Sync

And finally there’s the matter of syncing a performance to a studio recording.

This is fairly doable if the performer has performed the song many times after having done a studio recording. It’s surprising how close they can be in sync to a studio version while performing a live gig.

The samples you saw above were all multi-track recordings which were subsequently mixed by the band and forwarded on to me. That’s why the sound is so good.

This was their final performance after a year on the road.

I also filmed the first performance, a year earlier, which was not multi-tracked and was so bad a live mix that the singer asked if I could sync their live performance to the studio recording.

Turned out to be not as hard as I thought it would be.

When lining up the studio recording with the live performance we found that there were only three parts of the song that drifted out of sync a few frames. So we synced up the live performance to the three sections that were in sync, and in the three sections where the sync had drifted off a few frames we used a reverse angle to cover the cheat.

That was only a 3 camera shoot: Here’s the result:

Don’t Try This At Home

How to Shoot a Live Concert with One Cameraman

First off, I’m not bragging about this piece as it’s flawed. That said, for the one-man-band and small production companies, there are some things worth sharing.

The video above was a live concert. It was, in fact, an album release event and this was the first time these songs were performed live in front of an audience.

And as I shot it, it was the first time for me too.

The trick was to shoot a live concert with only one manned camera and have it appear as a multi-camera shoot. This can be achieved pretty effectively with two cameramen and two or three unmanned cameras, but budget didn’t allow, so I had to pull it off the best I could with me, myself and I (one manned camera hand-held, two un-manned).

The Cameras

I used three disparate cameras: The Canon XHA1 (tape driven), the GoPro III Black Edition and the Sony HXR NX30. The Sony saved my bacon, despite the fact that I made a fundamental error with it. But more on that later on the “Things Not To Do” list. I could have (and should have) added a fourth–my Canon 600D, but that was assigned to still photographs.

In order to edit, it is necessary to cut between angles which are significantly different either in image size or angle or both. Preferably both. So the first task was to find camera locations where the locked off cameras would be safe and out-of-the-way. So the Canon was relegated to a balcony rail. Framing it was a “best guess” and I only had one shot. Turned out ok. Due to the extreme low frontal lighting level and due to the fact that the Canon is not particularly good at low light levels (unlike the Sony), at the editing stage I pretty much had to leave the image size alone. Zooming it in digitally would have betrayed a lot of grain.

The GoPro was placed at the back of the stage for two main reasons: 1) it is a completely different angle and so easy to cut to (and also dramatic due to the stage lights appearing in frame) and, 2) that rear angle can often be used to cover faults that would be revealed by frontal cameras (which can be anything including the performer having to swat a fly, scratch a nose–or, as happened in this case, sync manipulation). And when shooting a live event that hasn’t be rehearsed, it’s good to have a built-in fall back. As it turned out, it became a vital camera because we didn’t wind up using the live mix. Instead I synced the studio recording to the live event and that required some sliding of picture track here and there which then created gaps in the live camera edit that couldn’t be used. So the rear shots covered those momentary lapses of sync.

The Sony was the hand-held camera and here the task was to not only get the close-up camera coverage, but to run around like mad and obtain as many different angles as possible (to give some variation to the edit). You can imagine that 3 static cameras would give a very repetitive and boring edit. So the hand-held had to do the work of two or 3 other nonexistent cameras.

Sound was taken off the house mix board to a Zoom H2 recorder. Unfortunately it was not a good live mix and it was not a multi-track recording (so couldn’t be mixed in post) which is why it was decided to try to sync the studio recording to the live show.

I mentioned that the Sony saved my bacon. If you haven’t watched it, see the review I did on the Sony HXR NX30. It was the image stabilization and intelligent auto that did most of the work. As far as the “What Not To Do List” is concerned, I should have set it on “spotlight mode” since that camera was mainly shooting close shots of the singer in a spotlight against a dark or black background. That would have given me better exposure control in editing (if even needed). Not having done so gave me over-exposure to the degree that highlights were completely lost and unrecoverable. I could only mitigate it to some degree in editing. Nothing you can do when there’s no picture information there to adjust.

The Game Plan

With the two un-manned cameras and Zoom H2 set, through hard experience I knew that I’d have to start them all well before the show started. Shows rarely start on time, so don’t count on that. The trick is to start soon enough before the actual show start to give you a chance to get ready with the hand-held camera without your heart pounding from running all over the auditorium, but not so soon that batteries or tape will run out before the first act is over. (thank god for card-based cameras)

Also, through hard experience, I knew the value of closer reverse shots on the main performer (remember, the Go Pro is super wide). So I had to plan my route onto stage in order to get there and back as quick as possible. I knew that a reverse shot of the singer (playing guitar, for example) could be used to cover an edit ANY song where she was playing guitar. And sure enough, I needed it for this one–as little did I know at the time that I would be syncing the live performance to a studio recording! I only wish I had done at least one more different reverse with that hand-held.

Finally (also learned the hard way), when shooting hand-held close shots of the performer, you have to resist the temptation to dive out to another angle until an appropriate edit point. If she’s singing a note, let her finish it! Then dive. Re-framing as fast as possible and from as different an angle as possible, is the trick, but not so often that you wind up with only short usable bits. Its the main singer people want to see. Nothing wrong with holding on a close shot for a little while. It will usually be evident when a good point comes to be able to change to a new angle, knowing that while you’re doing that you’ll be cutting to the main frontal wide camera or the reverse.

Syncing Live Performance to Studio Recording

This is how I did it in FCPX:

1) laid down the main frontal camera on the time line
2) added the studio recording track
3) manually found a sync point. Played until it went out of sync and then cut the picture track. Then nudged the picture track left or right until the next portion was in sync. And so on. In this particular case there were about 4 points of sync correction, each of which gave me a 2-6 frame gap in the picture track.
4) Added the next camera track and found a starting sync point.
5) Then went to the exact edit points in the main picture track and made the same cut and shift in the next camera track–essentially creating an identical gap.
6) repeat 4 and 5 for the last camera.
7) If any of the above left a gap at the beginning (by reason of shifting any track to the right) I added slugging to the beginning so that all tracks have the exact same starting sync point.
8) Now I made each of the 4 tracks into a New Compound Clip, naming each one.
9) Then selected each of the new Compound Clips in the browser and created a multi-cam clip.
10) Edited the multi-cam clip in the usual way producing a rough cut of the show.
11) This, of course, left me with about 4 or 5 black flashes where the gaps were which I was forced to cover using my generic reverse angle of the singer or by cheating the GoPro reverse shot. (if the drummer showed enough to betray the sync, I cropped the GoPro shot to exclude the drummer).
12) Added a beginning and end title sequence.
13) Colour balanced.

That’s it.

This next song was a bit more complicated in that there were 8 different points of sync correction. Once it was all fixed up as in points 10-13 above we reviewed the whole thing and determined there were just too many reverse shots for “no apparent reason”. Of course we knew the reason and it was a mechanical one, not an artistic one. Fortunately there was some studio footage taken during the album recording, so we sucked that in and strung it out from a natural break in the song for about a minute.That took care of most of the sync correction edits seamlessly.

Now, the reason for the title “Don’t Try This At Home”, is that to really make it come across as professional (besides not making stupid errors like I did), is simply to have at least one more cameraman doing hand-held work. Better still, add a third static camera at a different angle (and so on). Now you can really start making it look like a large multi-cam shoot. I’m talking low budget high value here.

(I’ve done 14 camera live shoots too, but that’s a whole different ball game and price range!)

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Call me a Sucker

In my past life, amongst many other things, I was privileged to be a cameraman on multi-camera shoots for several concerts with extremely talented musicians. It was one of my great pleasures as a cameraman.

When I started the Video Whisperer, the first thing I did was a music video. For free. It so happens that it was that shoot that obtained the name “Video Whisperer”. While the young artist doesn’t want me to show the video anymore, it was (believe it or not) shot at night in the middle of a snow storm in our front yard in Montana. I had put an old piano out there the day before. It was on a trailer. I covered the wheel wells and protruding hitch with pine boughs which were then completely covered by an 8″ snowfall thus completely disguising the trailer. It just looked like a piano was sitting out in the middle of the forest. Then, on shoot day (night), I put a couple spot lights dimly on the pine forest in the background so it wouldn’t go completely black and lit the entire piano scene with a bunch of candles. The singer bundled up and, with an electric heater hidden under her coat, she performed a single take of an original song in –14C temperature. The next day in the bright warmth of just below zero we did some daylight rehearsals for a couple other songs. A few of our local deer (who we knew well) showed up to listen and that gave me some precious B roll for the performance the night before which I inter-cut with the song video. Later, some friends were watching this rather extraordinary performance, complete with wild deer in attendance, and I overheard one say to the other, “the video whisperer”.

Truth be told, I have no idea of what the context of the statement was. Nevertheless, I always prided myself in being “invisible” as a cameraman…not calling attention to myself, my camera or my craft; rather using my craft to hopefully catch life as it happens in a candid fashion, an art form in itself.

Needless to say I quickly searched Google to find if anyone already had the name. No one did.

Moving up to the present, though I mainly do business videos now, I was recently approached to shoot a gig for a young singer/songwriter who needed a video for submission to a university. I did it for cheap. And then did a music video for her for free. It was fun and a nice break from corporate videos.

So I’ve decided to offer the service to local (Grantham, Newark, Lincoln, Nottingham, Leicester, Peterborough–UK) talent for cheap. Recording sessions, gigs, and music videos. Way cheap. Anyone interested can go to this link for my site or comment here.

Maybe somewhere along the line I’ll help someone make the Big Time. And then, in a way, so will I.

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