New Music Video I created

KahvehRobinett Posts: 442 Just Starting Out*


I shot this for a friends band recently. I had less than 20 mintues to get the footage, so im pretty happy how it turned out. I edited the entire thing with HitFilm. Any tips for doing future run-and-gun projects like this? Anybody have any experience shooting music videos that can give me tips?


Camera - Nikon D5300


  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,288 Power User

    Honestly, first answer is get another camera and operator. The individual shots are good and the editing... Makes it very obvious (at least to me) you are splicing together shots from different parts of the song, and using a ton of slow motion to fill in footage holes.

    For live action run-and-gun of an event (Band/party/wedding/seminar...anything where you're not just stealing guerrilla footage for a film), that's the best advice. Period. It doesn't matter how great your camera is, how good an operator you are, if you have one camera, you can look at one thing at a time, and to get a different angle, you need to move somewhere or change up your zoom, and you'll have no options in the edit bay other than to steal shots from other times of the event.... and slow-motion them to hide the holes.

    Notice I just said the same thing twice? I'll say it again. Get another camera and operator! ;-). If not two. It's 2015, and every smartphone has a camera on it, so there's zero excuse. If you have to, shoot with you DSLR and two smartphones.

    Now, if you were shooting something like a wedding, you'd ideally want your cameras to match--two Nikon DSLRs will match better than one Nikon and one Canon, or a Nikon DSLR and a Sony camcorder, but, for live band performances these rules are a lot looser--maybe it's a rock thing, I dunno. Point being, you don't need another Nikon D5300, you just need more camera coverage! If you have an old Standard-def Camera, use it! Blow up the footage in post, then add more grain and make it black and white or something and call it a style choice! Hook a Go-Pro to the lead singer's mic stand! (Ooooh, Go-Pro on lead singer's mic stand... that's a fantastic idea for a shot, and I need to remember it!) or a Go-Pro on the drum kit facing the drummer, OR facing out past the band to the audience! It doesn't matter what cameras you get as long as you have other angles for your edit. Use your smartphone! If there are other friends of the band there, try and get a couple of them to shoot with their phones and send you the video! Just one song, beginning to end is all you need, right? (side note, I have a video on my Youtube Channel which is of my 40th birthday party. It's cut together from footage from a Go-Pro, one SD video camera, one point-and-shoot still camera that had video abilities, and four phones---it looks pretty cool!).

    Kaveh, I've seen your other projects on here, and I know you can put together a stylish edit and cool effects, so getting more coverage is the only note I can give you. You already know how to do the editing stuff.

    No, I lie--a few notes on Camera Placement---in general, you need three cameras to properly cover any run and gun live event.

    You need a long shot; for a band this would be something in the back shooting over the audience that covers the entire stage width. This is your boring wide safely shot, but you need something that covers the entire stage, yes? Assume your other cameras are shooting the guitarist soloing his heart out, when the bass player trips over his own cord and falls flat on his face. A single close-up cam just missed that. Your boring wide safety shot got it. Maybe not well, but enough to see the bass player's head pitch forward below the audience. Enough to see something happened. Either way the job of the long shot is to shot the full width of the stage. Long-shot can zoom in, but shouldn't go tighter than a full head-to-toe shot.

    You need a mid shot--this is a camera that's somewhere in the middle of the crowd. Stagger it off to the side , compared to the boring wide. This camera's job is to basically do a waist-up shot of the lead singer, and maybe the guitar/bass/keys solos. This camera can zoom in and out a bit, but should never go tighter than, say, top of head to about nipples.

    Your close up is what you were doing in your video... Get right up against the stage and get the cool shot. Now, if you have your wide and mid, your CU can go crazy--fill the frame with the lead singer's mouth, fill the frame with the guitar player's hand, run around behind the drums and shoot the drummer OTS getting flare from the stage lights! Get arty and creative!

    So this three camera setup is designed to give you a full-wide safety you can always cut away to, a mid shot that's hitting the singer and the solos, so you get the meat of the song, and give you a mid/close "cool" shot to get arty with. Pretty obvious coverage rules. If you can rope in a camera 4, 5, 6, then you can add them anywhere you want because the basic three-cam gives you what you need. If you only get two cameras, then keep a boring wide and a close-up. Or go with two close-up cams, but make sure your camera operators know to glance at each other before making major moves. What I mean by that is (taken from a real-world scenario) I'm standing stage left near the bassist, and my second close-up guy is stage right by guitar/lead singer (my boring wide is on a tripod at the back by the sound board. No operator, it's just running). I kinda want to swing around behind the bassist and shoot over his shoulder past the guitars to see the audience dancing. Before I move, I'm going to glance over at Shaggy Jon, my second camera. If I see that Shaggy isn't moving--and by this I mean he's standing in a spot, and he's obviously got his shot framed--I'm going to move to my new position. On the other hand, Shaggy might want to come around to the front, kneel down, and shoot up past the singer towards that light up there to flare it out like J.J. Abrahms (Abrahms can suck it--I mastered creative lens flare well before 2009). So if *I* walk behind the bassist and Shaggy moves in front of the singer at the same time, I have two close-up cams of us wobbling as we walk and both of us reframing and re-focusing our shots. Well, in that case it's a good thing I have a boring wide, because those close ups are both going to be useless until one of us settles down. So we glance at each other before doing major moves to make certain the OTHER guy isn't in the middle of a major move. I glance over and see Shaggy arcing in front of the lead singer? I'll wait until he's in his new position, then give it a few seconds for him to frame and focus, THEN I walk behind the bassist. He does the same with me.

    So the second key thing with a multi-camera crew, when you aren't connected to a director with headsets is to make sure each camera operator knows his/her shot. Hey, sorry friend 1, you're boring wide, and I know it's boring wide, but it's a really important shot and I need it. Hey, friend 2, Just shoot the lead singer, ok? Now I know I've got that. Hey, friend 3, Go ahead and shoot everything on that side of the stage. If you want to shoot audience reaction, that's cool. Friend 4, you shoot anything you want on the OTHER side of the stage. No, I don't care if you think the backup singer is hot, Friend 3 is shooting that side.... Ugh, fine... Hey, Friend 3? Change of plans, come shoot this side! No, I don't care if YOU think the backup singer is hot, too! Ok, Friend 3 and Friend 4, argue between yourselves, but I just need one of you to shoot this side and one of you to shoot that side! Me? Well, I get cool arty closeup today, because it's my damn gig and I hired y'all and you're all getting dinner/drinks/money from me, so *I* am gonna shoot the backup singer, because, yes, she IS hot.

    Ok, it's not quite like that, but you get the idea, right? Multiple cameras, and define a few shooting rules so you don't have 4 cameras but all of you shooting the exact thing (oh, look, I have four angles of the hot backup singer AND NO GUITAR SOLO!).

    And, of course you can mount cameras elsewhere. In fact, get the band to shoot on their own phones, maybe? Drummer sticks his own phone to his kit or something? Guitar attaches his own phone to the mic stand or something?

    Ah, at this point I'm babbling. Here's the TL/DR. You need more than one camera to have enough coverage. You already know how to edit.

  • KirstieT
    KirstieT Posts: 1,272 Staff

    Whoa - that's a lorra lorra feedback! :) Awesome! @KahvehRobinett let us know how the next project goes too. 

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,288 Power User

    Yeah, well, being me I digressed from a simple "shoot with multiple cameras" through a mini-course on three-camera band shoots. ;-) At least I stayed tangentially on target, and didn't suddenly discuss Doctor Who, or some obscure slider in the particle sim. 

  • KirstieT
    KirstieT Posts: 1,272 Staff
  • Aladdin4d
    Aladdin4d Posts: 2,466 Enthusiast

    @Triem23 pretty well covered the whole 3 camera shoot so I'm just going to add an idea or two about extra cams for gigs like this.

    1. Hang three GoPros (or more or whatever you could beg, borrow or steal) from the lighting truss. With three you can get the stage from left and right and the third dead center facing the crowd for example. If the lighting belongs to the band this shouldn't be a problem. If it belongs to the house it might be a problem but it never hurts to ask. On a side note the less that has to be done to hang a cam the more likely it is you'll be able to do it. If a lift has to be brought in to do it, it's not gonna happen so have a plan B. On the other hand if it can be done with a ladder and you even brought a nice collapsable ladder with you, it can be done or they'll let you do it while the band is setting up.  "J" style pipe hangers can be used creatively to make a cam mount that just slips over the truss pipe.

    2. If you don't have another cam and lens for your wide safety shot from the back of the room see if you can rent one from a local A/V rental company. They always shoot from the back of the room in horrible lighting so they'll have something that'll work. It'll be an ENG style cam set up to do exactly what you need it to do and if you say you can get by with SD or just 720p you might even hear something like "We've got an old JVC you're welcome to use as long as you don't bring it back." True story - I'm now the ambivalent owner of a JVC GY-HD100 because I needed a cam for a wide shot for a dinner seminar and that exact statement. If this happens and it's an SD cam just come back here so @Triem23 gets the opportunity to talk about an obscure slider in the particle sim as he explains how to make something usable out of the footage.

  • KahvehRobinett
    KahvehRobinett Posts: 442 Just Starting Out*
    edited July 2015

    Awesome! thanks so much guys. @Triem23, I actually did use 3 cameras for this shoot haha. The problem was that the band members have switched so many times the drummer didn't actually know 100% how to play the song the same as one on the recording, because he wasn't a band memebr at the time it was recorded. So he was busy adding fills and all kinds of stuff that wasnt actually in the song. Because I did have a big wide shot on a tripod, but it wasnt usable due to his drumming. And since it was already messed up due to that, I just decided id use slow motion filler shots to finish the video. The few shots I do have of the band actually playing the song in synch with the recording I had to add fake camera flashes to hide a few of the drummers fills. I also had a gopro attatched to the bass players bass, but the light in the room was so poor most of it was terrible footage. Thankfully this wasn't a paid gig or anything, I did it for the band for free because they just wanted some footage of themselves playing. And they are all extremely happy with what they got. If it was a paid gig I'd have done things very differen't. But I did indeed have 3 cameras set up :) Anyway thanks for all the advice guys. Does anybody know if the higher end models of gopros do good with low light?

  • StormyKnight
    StormyKnight Posts: 2,618 Ambassador

    Hey, KahvehRobinett !!! How's it going?

    Considering you had 20 mins to work with, you did a great job. And shame on the drummer for not learning the part correctly. When we had to replace a bass player a couple of times in the band I played in long ago, the new guy coming in was told he'd have to learn the bass lines of the songs we already had on an album. It's just easier all the way around for all band members & sound techs. However, I never even considered the visual aspect which obviously had unintended ramifications- thus your video suffers. BUT- you covered it very well and even made it a little artistic. Kudos.

    Now the one critique I would have, most videos make this mistake- even the big time ones- when you're showing a guitar solo or just going in on a close-up of the guitar (or bass) player, show their fingers on the fret board (the neck) rather than the hand that is holding the pick. The fingers on the fret board are much more interesting and show off more of what they can do. Same with keyboard their hands and not the front of the keyboard stand or a side view. Just for future reference. Keep up the great work and I look forward to seeing more from you in the future!