Summer Camps and a Music Video

MatthiasClaflin Website User Posts: 674 Just Starting Out
This summer I got the job as a videographer for a local over night summer camp. For those of you who have never gone to camp, it is essentially 5-6 days of ridiculous fun and games with some mediocre (cafeteria quality) food. The kids were given the opportunity, upon registering for camp, to pre-order a camp DVD. It was my job to record all the major/memorable events at camp and put them into a ten minute recap video for Saturday morning.
Backtracking a bit now, at the beginning of the summer I rebuilt my computer, and in doing so replaced everything except my harddrive. Upon booting my computer, after solving all of the issues with windows when you rebuild your computer, I realized my Sony Vegas wasn't working properly. After uninstalling it and reinstalling it and continually having crashing issues, I moved to the Adobe Suite. Needless to say I got real comfortable with it over the crazy 9 weeks I was at camp.
About the 7th week a staff member at camp (who lived in the area) asked if I would be able to make a music video for a local band they knew. I agreed to do what I could, but I'm no expert on music videos. I met with the band, scheduled a date and planned out the video. This week I finished editing it! However, at the moment it can't be released as the artist is still waiting on the copyright certificate for his song. At that point I will post a link for the song.
Until then, here are some stills from the video.
Shot with a Canon T3i + Canon 50mm 1.4
Shot with a Canon T3i + Canon 50mm 1.4
Shot with a Canon T3i + Canon 50mm 1.4
Shot with a Canon T3i + Canon 50mm 1.4

Thanks for reading!
-Matthias Claflin


  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast
    Stills look great - vibrant and sharp. Definitely let us know once the video is viewable. 
    How did you find the experience of working on a music video, given its not something you've specialised in previously?
  • MatthiasClaflin
    MatthiasClaflin Website User Posts: 674 Just Starting Out
    edited August 2013
    Well it was definitely an interesting experience. My only real video experience has been live event video. I decided to treat this project like a short film, as it was meant to tell a story. In this case, like many other songs, is a love story. Since I have never edited together a music video before, when I got back after shooting, I looked at my footage and realized I didn't shoot as much as I thought I did. I found myself wishing I had taken more cutaways, since I didn't realize how short each shot really needed to be. What I anticipated would be a 10 second shot had to be cut to 3-5 seconds because no one wants to watch someone sing for 10 seconds. Also I realized part way in to my day, that no matter what I did, the female character would not follow any direction at all. She would stand where I wanted, and move to where I wanted but it was like pulling teeth to get her to express herself at all, move her hands, or even really sing. I found it downright ugly to watch someone lip sync to a video as opposed to really sing it. The male character, and singer, actually sang all of his parts and it shows. He has passion, she does not. No matter what I said to her, or he said to her, she wouldn't budge.
    Anyway, on a more tecnical aspect of things, I had two pieces of gear on this shoot that I haven't had on any other shoots that has become something I will never leave without. First is a reflector. I bought a small 20" reflector (lost my 36" one a while ago) because that was all I had money for. It was amazing what that little thing could do. Solved a lot of my lighting issues from the very start. I can honestly say I will never shoot another video without it. The other new toy I got to play with was a cheap rack focus rig from D-Focus. It was nothing fancy but easily one of the easiest, most helpful tools I had. It was incredibly easy to use, easy to adjust, and very smooth. I can't imagine having to focus by hand. It would've been a huge pain.
    Another thing that was new to me was the idea of renting gear. I have never lived close to a place that rents, so renting never seemed to be an option to me, but for this project I wanted the best result possible, and I only had access to a T3i, 18-55 kit lens and 1 battery, so I knew I had to get a couple more batteries and a 50 or other prime lens. When I found ATS Rentals I was a little skeptical. However their customer service team was fantastic and everything went just as planned. Couldn't have been happier.
    While we were shooting, I soon realized that playing the song through my phone's speaker, just wasn't enough. When the singer/band was playing/singing it was difficult for them to hear the pace of the song, so I needed something louder, or closer. So lucky for me, my little brother (who assisted me on the shoot), had some earbuds which are almost always in someones ear. It worked out really well. For the shots of the entire band, the drummer would wear the ear buds and set the pace, and when it was a close up, the person being filmed would have the ear buds in. Worked out incredibly well and in the end, I'm very pleased with how it turned out.
    The last thing of note, is lighting. When it came time to shoot the two bathroom shots we needed, I told my brother not to bother bringing my lights (a couple work lights). I figured with the tight space in the bathroom I wouldn't be able to use them. I shot everything in the bathroom with the 18-55 and figured all would be fine. Then I got to editing. The shots looked horrible. I guess I missed something on set, beacuse having that extra light, even if it was just bouncing it off of something, would have helped tremendously. I spent literally hours color correcting those shots to make them look somewhat usable, and I'm still unhappy with the finished product.
    I am very happy overall with how it turned out. Easily the strongest project (technically speaking) but with the way the female lead was acting made it less than pleasing to watch at times, often being cringe worthy for me. I learned a lot on this shoot and can't wait to get the chance to try my hand at this type of thing again.
  • DanielMorgan
    DanielMorgan Website User Posts: 324 Just Starting Out
    Looks very interesting Matthias. Can't wait to see the full video :)
  • JoeyVFX
    JoeyVFX Website User Posts: 38
    I love how this looks!
  • MatthiasClaflin
    MatthiasClaflin Website User Posts: 674 Just Starting Out
    The final video was posted a couple days ago. Here it is:
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