"Running Man" music video shot on DSLR - Cameras/Camerawork


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<p><em>Hannu Aukia shares a little behind-the-scenes information on shooting the music video, "Running Man," for the Helsinki/Finland-based, 15 Minutes Before the Dive.</em></p>
<p><strong>RIGS:</strong><br />
<strong>Hannu Aukia:</strong> This was shot mainly on tripod and with the 'multi-cam' rig we had made for the video. I wanted to see if we could shoot with the multi-cam rig hand-held as well, so we put these handles on it. That worked really well, as it gives another dimension to the movement of the cameras. It's a two-man job to move that setup around. As it is really quite heavy, it's kind of a stabilizer itself. In a way, the principle of the rig is just like a 3D camera rig – you just have 12 cameras instead of 2! </p>
<p><strong>LENSES:</strong><br />
<strong>Hannu Aukia: </strong>On our stop motion and single camera scenes, we used Canon L Series, mostly 35mm lenses, if recall correctly. I like to use fixed focal lenses because those make you to actually move the camera around to achieve the best composition, and that can lead to happy accidents. Also on edit the fixed focals tend to work together better.</p>
<p>On the multiple cameras' scenes, we had to use the infamous 18-55mm kit lens. We got our cameras from Finnish camera retailer, Rajala, and had to settle for the kit lenses because that was the only one they got for almost every camera. There were some Sigmas there as well, as we just couldn't get enough of the same kind of lenses in Finland! But with that technique, it didn't really matter that much as there is so much more happening in the scene. Bigger problem was that the cameras actually differ a lot from another, so two 7Ds side by side look quite different. That was a huge pain in post and limited quite a lot of what we could do in grade, as the DSLR codec can't take a lot of grading until it starts to break down.</p>
<p><strong>CAMERA TO POST WORKFLOW:</strong><br />
<strong>Hannu Aukia: </strong>That was really a pain. The most important thing is to keep every camera in the same place [in the rig] and every memory card is always at the same camera. So when you place the clips to your timeline, they are always in the right order. If you mess that up, you have a really hard time during post! This was my second video I edited on Premiere Pro, which helped a lot because I didn't have to convert the files to process, but I could edit natively on H264. </p>
<p>So how do you edit this kind of project? You take a scene, find the right clip from every camera and place them on top of each other in the right order. So, for example, number 1 is on the most bottom video track, and 12 at the top. Then you have to sync each camera, and this is something plug-ins like Plural Eyes can't do well enough for you. That's because each camera was operated independently, so they were not synced on location, so you have these small 'lapses' between the frames of every camera shooting at 25fps. So each camera saw just a little bit different point in time. So I edited these 25fps clips on a 50fps timeline – another great feature on Premiere Pro – which gave me a possibility to cut and edit between the frames. It was all really time-consuming and confusing, but that's something you have to do.</p>
<p><strong>INSPIRATION:</strong><br />
<strong>Hannu Aukia: </strong>If you can afford, do calibrate each camera so that their picture profile is as close to each other as possible. It helps a lot. Also, syncing the cameras on location is a huge time saver, but the program that does that is very expensive, and we couldn't afford that.</p>
<p>Also, work on each scene independently and get them done before you start editing the whole thing. You will do some extra work, but then you can edit more freely, as you can just try things out and not wait for hours for it to render and all that. In the end, gimmicks do you no good, if you can't capture the vibe and the energy of the song or whatever you're working on.</p>
<p>Editing a video like this is a huge and very monotonic task to do. So the moment you start to cut corners, hurry things up and so on, stop and take a break. I think that is the most important thing when animating [in a sense this is really animating] stop motion or whatever: the moment you start to slip, take a break. I also just had a lot of coffee, and edited the whole thing in a week! </p>
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Great job! Music videos shot in abandoned factories usually get me tired, but with the stop motion and multiple camera "tricks" you managed to obtain something original. I share your taste for fixed focals, also when taking photographs.
Thanks for the useful insights on your work, it must have been a pain to edit the whole footage!