The making of my NEXT MUSIC VIDEO

anamorphic gh2


Soon after doing the video entitled “L’ AQUILA”, the singer was very pleased with the result and he wanted a new video for the new song in the pipeline.

A totally different looking video. More filmic looking. More dramatic. More story telling. I though this was a great chance to go anamorphic, after all it’s the most cinematic thing I know.
What I usually do is to listen to the song many times and get my mind around the feelings I perceive. It will not necessarily link to the song, its words, its theme.. it’s actually more to do with the gut feeling I get out it.
It might have more to  do with the rhythm or with a particular instrument or the general vibe.

In this case the song in question “Dimmi che cosa resta” (tell me what’s left) gave me a deep sense of loneliness, desolation, coldness. I guess it was arranged just right, because the song its about our world and the the very fact its falling apart.
This year it’s a year of change. You can feel it the air, there is a lot going on. It all seems pretty bad, especially with regards to the global economic crisis, but the required change can turn out to be a good thing. However let’s not digress too much..

As soon as I have some strong images in my mind I start talking to the client. He/she might have some pretty strong ideas of what they want in the video and in that case you have to play along with it; or they might like your work/who you are to the point they completely give you the upper hand. In this case the client had some ideas, he wanted thrill, tension, lots of pathos.. nail biting hot stuff.
There will be a good ending though, so you don’t need to worry… I am not going to say too much right know because I might spoil the surprise.

I know very well the place I live in and pretty much everything you need is within reach: lots of concrete (Montecarlo), seaside, Casinos, woods, hills, castles and .. cannot mention it all. A trip to the mountains was necessary for my pre-production stage. Here are some preliminary shots, although I shot with spherical lenses I just wanted to see how it is going to look. Besides I did not have my Kowa adapter with me, it was still on its way from the US, so there wasn’t even the slightest chance to shoot anamorphic.


music video shooting  music video pre-production

Now I hope that by the the time we get to the actual shooting the snow will still be there, but I do not think it’s gonna happen. That is a real pity, it adds contrast and feels so dramatic.


music video footage  professional music video

Another thing to look will be the time of the time. Best ever it would be to get there very early in the morning, around 6am and get ready to shoot by 7am. Then do some more shots until 10am. After this time I reckon it’s going to be not optimal to shoot, sun will rise up and light will be warmer, although we’re in winter. Besides I would like to give it some shallow depth of field on that long bridge. Planning to shoot on the hacked GH2, the LPOWELL Flowmotion 1.1 hack ported from the old to the new firmware is giving me supreme results. In order to keep the shutter at 180 degrees and shorten the DOF I will have to take my ND filters along. Problem is: will they be enough? I should have o.9 ND, coupled with a 0.6 ND they will reduce light of 4 stops and that should be OK in most situations. Shooting wide angles on a cropped sensor is also a bit of a challenge if you want to shorten the DOF, because there are not so many fast wides or they are dead expensive even when vintage.
Thinking about the Noctor 12mmf.0.95 hyperprime, but you know it’s one of those lenses you will have to sell on if abandoning the m4/3 standard. And with the 5dmkIII at the doorstep, who knows? I rather buy used stuff , buy well and sell it on if I do not need it anymore. Splashing out for some gear and loosing out money down the road it’s not not my thing.. unless I go on a highly paid job.

I have spotted some more cool location not too far away from here.


music video budget  msuic video CGI

Apparently we will have some people around. The protagonist and his girlfriend (in fiction), the singer and 5-6 dancers performing all along. A dance studio has been involved in the production as well and right now they’are planning the best moves for each shot.
I will be assisted by a director of the photography of my choice, he’s a nice chap and does some amazing work. I reckon he will be an asset all the way along. Plus I am hoping that a make up artist jumps on the wagon, so we will have a small and flexible crew to get the best out of the situations.
We will probably do some more shots involving some steadycam.


wide angle music video  music video gh2


If we get permission I am thinking on shooting in a privately owned location as well, it’s a dam belonging the local water authority. It’s got a beautiful artificial lake lost in the wild and this very long, curved bridge which I find so attractive to shoot.

I plan to bring around the Cinemorph filter as well, rom VID-ATLANTIC. It will help to rack focus when needed, as on anamorphic (Kowas) it’s almost impossible to get it right as you have 2 focus two rings at the same time. The important thing is to check on step up rings and make sure I will have myself sorted all the way to 58mm, the size of my filter. LOMOS come in funky front filter sizes and it will be almost impossible to have a neat solution, I might get off the hook with some tape.

Stay tuned.

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