Micro Budget Music Video

June 26, 2014 5:05 AM

I thought you guys might be interested in this music video I directed for a friend's band, as I think we achieved quite a lot on almost nothing. Details inside.

The whole thing was shot in seven hours from the moment we got access to the venue to the moment we closed the door behind us.

The total cost was under $1000 ($500 of that for crew, the rest for transport, catering and incidentals). We shot nineteen full takes of the song, about half without the audience and half with. The dancers were shot in two takes at the end.

We use a jib with a Canon C300 for the vast majority of the shoot with a C100 filling in a few pickup shots. The set was dressed in simple black backdrop with borrowed old-fashioned Christmas lights. The extras are all fiends of the band were asked to dress up in a kind of retro 1940s style, and we gave them lots of visual references.

I did all the post in Final Cut X.

Happy to answer any questions -- to be honest I was amazed how good the result was given our constraints!

The brief was to give a taste of the band's live performance for them to shop around for festivals, and to feature a wide variety of audience members in a 1940s 'speakeasy' style.

These guys have been winning awards and getting quite a lot of attention recently and hired a publicist. The video is released to accompany their second album, which drops July 8th.
posted by Sportswriters (2 comments total)

Wow! Really impressive quality for the budget (and nicely shot and edited!) It's so amazing what is possible these days; I went to film school in the awkward period when 16mm was on its way out but before digital video editing was widely available (my school got an early Avid system the last year I was there but its capacity was laughably small and it took days to digitize whatever you wanted to edit) so while I learned a lot about production in general, a lot of the specific skills I learned were already pretty much obsolete at the time. Can you imagine what it would have cost to shoot and cut this on 16mm film? Or even analog video, edited linearly on an A/B deck? (I mean, even back in the day when those were the default media!)
posted by usonian at 8:16 AM on July 3, 2014

Yeah, in the old days you'd probably have shot this on Super-8 and desperately tried to sync i tup somehow (been there, done that!). I shot my first films on 16mm in the early 90s and then we too went to Avid but it was still a nightmare (all that digitizing, ye Gods).

Now really all you need is a Canon 5D (though we used a C100 and C300 for this).
posted by Sportswriters at 8:40 AM on July 3, 2014

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