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The making of this video

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Another guest post on the making of this video from Cardiac Kid Productions:

I was asked to shoot and edit a music video for the Island/Def Jam band Parachute. It was to be a concert style music video for a song called “What I Know” off of their forthcoming (and since released) 2nd full length studio album “The Way It Was”. The band was on the tour with the Plain White T's at the time and they were playing at The Pageant in St. Louis, MO. The small budget and requests from the venue to not bring in a camera “larger than a baby's head” pointed me towards my Nikon D7000.

I had never done a live concert music video before. I had taped many live concerts, but never with the focus being on getting footage for one studio track. Normally when I shoot a performance based music video, the shoot takes a full day and we do 20+ takes of the song.

The bulk of the video was going to be the band performing the song from stage, with some b-roll of the band loading in their gear and hanging out backstage. For this video I had to shoot the takes of the band performing the song during the sound check. I had about twenty five minutes to work with and we got through the song a total of four times. The first time was mainly a practice to see where I could be on stage and how I would move around without bumping into the band members. I was using a Steadicam Merlin on all four takes. The lighting for this first take had a different look than the other three takes. The colored stage lights were off and the white house lights were turned on.

The other three takes were done with the house lights still up, but the stage lights on. The stage lights were mostly reds with some blues in there. I used a Nikkor 12-24mm f4 for the sound check takes. I shot the live concert footage with a modified Letus shoulder rig a Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8. I used the full Letus shoulder rig and the 17-55mm lens for all the off stage b-roll. I also used a Letus Hawk viewfinder for all the non-Steadicam work. I couldn't have shot the outside footage without it. All of the concert footage was shot wide open. I was at 800 ISO for the sound check footage and 1250 ISO for the live concert footage. I shot all the footage in 1080p/24fps in the “high quality” setting. I shot in the “Standard” picture control mode and with the sharpness turned down.

All of the b-roll was shot documentary style. My experience in shooting weddings with my D90 helped there. You have to see a moment about to happen and then capture it as it's happening.
A good example of this is the guitar player Nate taking the lid off of his pedal board at :31 in. It's cool to capture those shots naturally, as opposed to asking the talent to try to do it a couple times so you can get your shot. Sometimes your focus isn't razor sharp, but capturing that action with a little x axis movement is cooler, in my opinion.

Since I was shooting on my D7000 I had to add some time-lapses to the video. I'm bad at keeping track of and writing down my intervals, but I think the crowd coming into the venue was one shot every five seconds. There were some VIPs that were let into the venue early. So I watched how long it took the average person to get from the door to the floor and it was about ten seconds, so I figured five sounded like a good interval. I let the time-lapse go for over an hour, but the portion used in the video was about twenty minutes in real time.

I edited the video in Adobe Premiere CS5. I did all the color correction in Premiere. The main challenge there was getting the sound check takes to look at pink and purple as the live take. The production company that I was working with did some After Effects work (blurring out signs) for legal reasons. Overall, it was a fun experience. I think next time I will try to shoot with multiple cameras during the live set.

People have told me that you can't use an HDSLR for “professional” video work. Everybody likes to mention that one episode of “House”. “See look what you can do with an HDSLR!” I'm guilty of it too. I put it on my iPhone so I can stick it in the face of the naysayers. But at the end of the day, most of us don't shoot for network television, and we are shooting with an HDSLR not because it's artsy and were trying to fit into tight spaces, because we don't have the budget to rent a RED or an AF-100.

When I'm not shooting music videos, I'm shooting web commercials for small businesses and I use my D7000 on 99% of those shoots. These are the real world applications of the HDSLRS. I needed to buy an HD camera and $1200 for a D7000 body sounded better than $5000 for an HD video camera. I think it will be interesting to see how Nikon moves forward now that they are...like it or not...a digital motion picture camera company.

Equipment used: Letus & Steadicam Merlin.

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  • http://thejordancollective.com CaryTheLabelGuy [NR]

    Great work! I think the D7000 has stellar 1080 24p video quality. In most ways, I prefer it over the Canon HDSLRs. It’s very cinematic/dramatic.

    Again, great job! Show us some more pro D7K video work!

  • http://davidjpcd.blogspot.com/ long david

    wow. inspring.

  • Been there guy

    So we all should start a garage video production company now?

  • http://www.seanieblue.com seanie blue

    Surprised nothing came about the hot pixels in low light. When the finished product is as small as this, it’s hard to see, but on a true 1920p screen the popping pixels ruin any effort to use this camera for video when light is compromised. I have the D7000 and the D700; the latter is so much better a camera for too many reasons to list here, and the terrible digitization of the D7000 force me to shoot with the SONY XDCAM instead, even though I too would like to strip down in size and weight. Don’t know how the h.264 footage acts in Premier, but it absolutely sucks in FCP: the best route of compressing video into prores 422 beforehand results in files 6 times larger then the originals. And if you don’t compress beforehand into a different codec, the stuff coming off the D7000 in FCP makes editing a 100% nightmare. Nobody reading this article should ignore the pitfalls of this camera!

    • http://www.banisauskas.com Tomas

      what about firmware update which fixes the hot pixel problem? http://www.engadget.com/2010/12/22/nikon-d7000-firmware-update-released-cools-down-hot-pixels/

    • http://www.thejordancollective.com CaryTheLabelGuy [NR]

      We own and use 2 D7000s and have zero issues with hot pixels in video capture. The latest firmware fixed any and all hot pixel issues. If you’re having hot pixel issues, upgrade to the newest firmware. If you’re already running the latest firmware, run the update again after you’re warmed the sensor up. If you’re still having issues, you need to send the body back to Nikon for repair.

    • http://www.modernstills.com pablo

      Seanie Blue – have heard some of the criticisms you are repeating here…. but this has not been my experience and as a mater a fact you can see the video highlighted in this blog entry in pretty glorious 1080 HD with no obvious hot pixel issues. So not sure what you are referring to with:

      “When the finished product is as small as this, it’s hard to see, but on a true 1920p screen the popping pixels ruin any effort to use this camera for video when light is compromised”

      Maybe things only get bad when you go to 1920p Also, regardless of what a nice camera it is, last time I checked the D700 is not video capable (without some serious hacking), so I’m not sure where you are going with your comparison..

      Read more on NikonRumors.com: http://nikonrumors.com/2011/11/05/the-making-of-this-video.aspx/#ixzz1d5TbdgOK

    • ShaoLynx

      I watched it on an Eizo CG243W which is 1920×1200. Is that enough true 1920p for ya? And the video really looks pristene to me.
      Really well done video, great mixing, too.

  • Eric

    The video isn’t available in Germany :(

  • Mock Kenwell

    Can’t see the video.

  • http://Andrew-Stone-Photography.com Andrew

    Wow, fantastic job. Impressive given the amount of time you had. Amazing to hear what talented people like yourself are doing with their cameras.

    • Been there guy

      The guy is a video guy, not a STILL photographer, he just brought the wrong tool for the moose shit job.

  • KyleSTL

    Respresent St Louis. The Pageant is walking distance from my house. Makes me proud.

  • JD

    Great article, very interesting read!

    • Been there guy

      Egghead like that gave Nikon a reason to charge the upcoming D800 $4,000. The $1,500 video moose shit has absolute no use for pure still photographers!

      You want video? Get a video camera! That’s what they are for.

      • Rob Ueberfeldt

        Where you been?

      • grow-up

        Don’t be an idiot! The guy did great work andwrote a great article about so accept it. Where’s your great video work?

  • Martin

    The video is blocked by youtube in German because of potential copyright questions. Is there any other way to see it?

  • http://www.robertash.com Robert Ash

    Very, very well done. Nice song, too :) That helps a lot.

    I think the closing of this guest post is gripping and very thought-provoking:

    “I needed to buy an HD camera and $1200 for a D7000 body sounded better than $5000 for an HD video camera. I think it will be interesting to see how Nikon moves forward now that they are…like it or not…a digital motion picture camera company.”

    I’m certain Nikon is aware of that reality and will embrace it – as Nikon does everything it’s serious about – with true excellence.

  • http://www.theartoftylerjordan.com Graphicnatured

    Seanie blue, I’ve edited plenty of D7000 footage in Premiere Pro CS5 and it handles it very well. No need for ProRes. I’ve read that 5.5 may have issues, but I haven’t experienced them in 5.

    I feel bad for some of the other comments on here. Too bad there’s so many haters. We’re all on the same team. This Nikon shoots HD so let people who want to use this feature do so without your awful criticism.

    • http://www.robertash.com Robert Ash

      Agreed.

  • http://rado.bg rado

    N should read this… and eventually bring 1080p25 / proper video AF / etc. to D7000.

  • http://www.noregt.com noregt

    Inspiring article, I get the question to shoot video as well more and more. Lately I shoot the stills with a D700 and the video with the D7000. It’s a different way of thinking so great to hear how you organise a video shoot like this, Thanks!

  • Beijing Shmoe

    Nice work. I have a D7000 (in addition to both a D3s and D700) and use it for video all the time. After shooting at least a hundred hours of video shot, not a single hot pixel has raised its ugly head. If you can make good quality stuff and save a bit of money, why not do it? In this economy, only a TOOL would pay more than he absolutely must to get the job done well. Can’t wait to see what the D800 is capable of.

  • Zim

    Nice video.

  • http://www.modernstills.com Pablo

    Seanie Blue – have heard some of the criticisms you are repeating here…. but this has not been my experience and as a mater a fact you can see the video highlighted in this blog entry in pretty glorious 1080 HD with no obvious hot pixel issues. So not sure what you are referring to with:

    “When the finished product is as small as this, it’s hard to see, but on a true 1920p screen the popping pixels ruin any effort to use this camera for video when light is compromised”

    Maybe things only get bad when you go to 1920p ;-) Also, regardless of what a nice camera it is, last time I checked the D700 is not video capable (without some serious hacking), so I’m not sure where you are going with your comparison..

  • silmasan

    Hmm, I wonder why posts presenting actual work like this are very popular to [NR] followers… I mean, less than three days and we already have more than twenty comments! ;)

    Anyway, the author did an excellent job showing that the D7000 can actually deliver good video. I don’t think it’s the right place to discus its shortcomings, but suffice it to say that I like it much better than small sensor “pro” DV cams costing thousands (of course few here would want to accept anything less than the D8**…)

  • http://www.theartoftylerjordan.com Graphicnatured

    I just think it’s an honest post written from the right perspective. There is no “me” here. This is what a lot of the internet should be. I welcome posts like this openly and hope more of us share this way. We all learn more the more we share our experiences without a lot of ego to try and wade through. To bash this is ridiculous.

  • big eater

    To me what’s cool is that this is one of the first times I’ve heard someone write about what lenses they used. I’m very impressed by the shots from the 12-24, the lens gives the video a really unique look. Rock those Nikkors!

  • baked bananas

    Nice video. You and the Cary cable Guy inspire me. Let the haters hate.

  • http://www.thejordancollective.com CaryTheLabelGuy [NR]

    “Haters make the world go ’round” – Dr. Concussion of Fusebox Funk

    Seriously, thanks for the awesome comment. I’m sure the creator of this video thanks you as well.

    Much love.

  • JC

    How did you got around the limitation of not been able to change aperture while recording and the lack of an expose meter on live view, I’m asking because I have the camera and would really like the inside from a pro.

    • CardiacKid

      JC,

      I shot everything as wide open as the lens would allow me to. I would ISO up or down when needed. But most of the time, I was going up, not down. Having a viewfinder loupe (I used a Letus Hawk VF) helps a lot. With a loupe, you’re seeing the image at about 2.5 magnification and that helps you judge your exposure better. I am a video guy, so I’m use to just turning an exposure wheel on a camera, right before I take a shot. The only time I really needed to change the exposure was for the outside gear loading shots, which you know means you have to exit out of live mode, stop down and then go back into live mode. If you are using manual lenses, then you can stay in live mode and just click up or down.

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