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1984-style dystopian Music Video shot on UM4.6KHere's a new music video I directed, shot, graded and edited recently, for the Finnish punk/thrash metal band RiESA (Loosely translates to Burden). It's in Finnish, but I find it quite interesting even if you're not well versed in Finno-ugric languages. Their new album is a concept album, depicting a protectivist, totalitarian state controlled by a single dictator, and led by fear and propaganda. This gave us a nice opportunity to play with some 1984-like imagery and I'm quite happy with the end result. We did the video in essentially two days, with one day spent building the sets (the whole thing was shot in a basement of a local office) and one day of shoot. The interrogation room was mostly lit with practicals, with fluorescent tubes on the background and some IKEA spotlights lighting the posters. Only cinema lights used were two Aputure LED panels with diffusers used as fill lights. The jail cell was lit with one overhead 300W Fresnel and a 650W fresnel right outside the door to give us some heavy volumetric light. The propaganda scene was done simply with a home theatre video projector playing a video loop I prepared beforehand. I shot the whole video using modern EF lenses but with a Cokin P Pastel filter. It's one of my favourite diffusion filters as it gives a gorgeous bloom effect on light sources without eating too much into microcontrast or fine detail. You can see this if you watch the video in 4K, some of the skin detail is pretty astounding imho. And, not to sound like a Blackmagic fanboy, but I have to say the Ursa Mini delivered in spades, again. It's a fine workhorse. Visually the biggest downside is the youtube compression, which introduces banding, even here where the original image has some added film grain. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated, and if you guys have any questions about the production I'm happy to elaborate
Back to basics with a Post apocalyptic music videoSo I just released a project we shot a while ago. My long-time friend and collaborator, Jussi Huhtala, who has done most of the music in my films and other projects for over a decade now, released a post-apocalypse themed dark ambient concept album under his Oneiromancy project name, called Utqiagvik wasteland. Now, I'm a sucker for both post apocalypse and dark ambient tunes, so I decided I wanted to do a small music video/short film for the album, inspired by the title track. This wasn't a professional production, but instead I wanted to do this low-key, and old school. I started out in my parents' backyard, and a lot of my early stuff was pure guerrilla filmmaking. So that's what we did here. No lights or large crew, no protracted production. I picked out the locations, we gathered up some gear and had some corpse props made (These were the work of Minja Tuomisalo, a very talented FX/prop/set design artist), stuffed them all in the car and went our merry way, driving from one location to another and just shot... stuff. There was a vague script, but I intentionally wanted everything to be spontaneous. Too much planning takes the fun out of projects like this, and I wanted to improvise a lot. I shot the movie with an Ursa Mini 4,6K, and the thing performed once again admirably, even in less than optimal lighting conditions. The video spent quite a lot of time in the editing, but mostly because I was working on other projects and didn't have time for it. In the end, I'm happy with how it turned out, I think the music and the images create a nice, desolate atmosphere.
Dependentium - Narttu: FX heavy music video shot on Ursa MiniSo a while ago I was offered to direct and DP a music video for the black metal band Dependentium. They didn't want to go the usual BM "woods and corpse paint" video route, but instead wanted a video that would not include the band themselves and would instead be story based - and extremely bloody. I used this as an opportunity to do a bit of a splatterpunk homage, as it's a literary genre I'm fascinated by but it thematically usually falls on the fringe of acceptability. This time that wasn't an issue, so we went all out. The video is very obviously NSFW - and not for the faint of the heart. For best results I'd suggest watching at 1440p or higher, because on lower resolutions all the film grain disappears and you're left with just a lot of banding. I shot the whole thing with an Ursa Mini 4.6K, in Raw 4:1 4.6K60p. Shooting in mainly slow motion posed a major challenge because outside of the hallway scenes I wanted to stick to very small light sources. We used very little usual cinema lights in this, there was one CCT 650W firestarter in the hallway scene and we had two Aputure Amaran panels as backups on standby but ended up using them in only one shot. Instead we shot everything using a whole bunch of various E14 and E27 light bulbs and led spots, even a bunch of small IKEA clamp spots. I wanted the video to have a dingy and grimy look to it, so we lit with a lot of uneven led bulbs with various unclean tints to get a sickly green look to the torture room. We had an autopole stuck above the set and we hooked a whole bunch of leds on that, then had a few more on stands on the sides to give us a little bit of boost when necessary. We also used real candlelight to paint contrasting warm spots on the background, and boosted that with E27 flame flicker leds. They had a little intense red hue, but other than that the effect is pretty convincing and I was happy with how they worked. We built the lights to essentially work as a 360 degree set. This was due to the fact that we had an extremely tight schedule. We had one day to do the whole video, from setbuilding to wrap, and in that one day there were 80 shots to get - 40 of them physical FX shots that required prep. So we couldn't do shot-specific light for most shots - instead we had the 360 degree set with a few booster lights and a bounce. I think we managed to pull it off. To give the sensor enough light for slow motion, I stuck to large-aperture lenses. I would've loved to shoot completely with vintage glass, but those would've required double the amount of light. So I mainly ended up using the Sigma 30/1.4, Pentax Super-Takumar 50/1.4 (the one with thorium, yay!) and a Samyang 85/1.4. Wide f*ing open, obviously :D I graded the whole thing in Resolve - and on that note, I love how easily the Ursa Mini image grades. Compared to the BMCC it's a bliss to work with. I used a very light film emulation and did the rest by myself, gave the highlights a bit of a glow and softened the image to give it a little bit of an 80's italian gore flick feel. That's all I guess, I'm personally very happy with the end product. I hope you guys like it!
Car demo - Ursa Mini 4.6KHi, this is my short demo shot with Ursa mini 4.6K with canon 16-35 f2.8 L II lens. Graded in resolve 12.5, edited in premiere cc.