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Take a look under the hood and see what I'm working on

2016 starting off right: Spirit Animal "Regular world" Music Video

After the holidays in Italy with my lady's family, I got back to work on a Music video for Brooklyn Based band Spirit Animal, for their upcoming single "Regular World". The video was directed by Shal Ngo of Acres New York. It was the second project I'd shoot for him, the first that wasn't a personal project of his. And quite an ambitious one at that. The budget was tight, aren't all music videos, but involved a board room "focus group" scenario where Coop the lead singer humorously takes the group through a "regular world" slides presentation and during the chorus, breaks out into more intensifying levels of ROCK! At the end the walls fall down and they are in a stage/raw space "rock world" setting. 

The Set was planned without any windows so the only possible place to light would be above, and because we were going to be on steadicam AND have to move quick AND wanted to shoot anamorphic to accentuate the gravitas of our rock scenes, I'd need an anamorphic zoom, and the only one that would get us our wides and not be too heavy for steadicam, was the new Angenieux 30-72S and it only opens up to a T4 of course. I knew the only way to light this set would be from above and the source would have to be very powerful.  

I decided an 8x8 soft box with Mole Richardson 9-light fays above the set would be the best way to motivate an above source that still felt soft enough to look like an office but strong enough to get me easily to a 4 and more considering we'd want to do some 48fps as well. After the walls fall the open space would be set like a stage with lines of parcans facing back at the band, and I wanted to be able to flash, dim, and always keep a far side backlight as steadicam moved around.

Gaffer Brad Burke and Key Grip Justin Lee did an incredible job taking my initial plan here and making it a reality, and Justin even brought a wireless dmx controller so he could fade and dim the backlights from his Iphone. 

I settled on about 8 parcans rigged to the balcony of the space and kept a few extras for ground units, fill, and a couple of lekos for some accents and flares. It was a number crunch with Mark Forlenza the producer, because the location determined we'd definitely need a generator for all this light, but we made it work and both the band and everyone involved was thrilled with the final look.

John Schmidt