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Back to basics with a Post apocalyptic music video


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So 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.



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That was sooo good! Beautifully shot and I loved the use of static shots... it definitely added to the isolation feel. I could totally see this as a strange, surreal prologue for a feature where you go back in time and show us how we got there.

I recently got one of the biggest compliments I could ask for... somebody who isn’t into filmmaking saw one of my clips and said, “wow, that looks like a real movie,” and I can pass that onto you, without a doubt this looks like a film I would see in a theatre or streaming on Netflix.

It’s a shame more forum members don’t visit this section, I’d much rather discuss your process then why Canon sucks. 

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Thank you for the kind words. - And I agree, I find people's work methods a much more interesting subject than the neverending Canon bashing.

I think one thing to take away from this one is how important it is to just let loose every once in a while. It really helps to revitalize the fun in filmmaking. And also that the URSA Mini just keeps continually amazing me with how versatile it is. I can't really exaggerate how impressed I was with its performance. Sometimes it's hard to get a grungy/gritty look right, in that it's dirty but still aesthetically pleasing, but the Mini made it a breeze - although I obviously have to also credit the wardrobe and our locations, especially the factory location was awe-inspiring IRL.

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Yes. That location was fantastic. And the corpses were wicked. I loved how surreal it looked hanging from the warehouse’s rafter. Such a great shot. And yes, I love how some cameras actually make your job easier. I’ve been shooting Raw with the 5D3 for the past year and I get starstruck every time I bring the footage into the computer.

What lenses did you use? And was this all shot with available lights, or did you have some small LEDs for soft light?

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I had the same kind of experiences with 5D mk2 ML RAW, loved that thing. Probably would still be using it if I hadn't picked up the Ursa Mini.

I shot this one with pretty much my run 'n gun setup, as far as lenses go. I keep two sets of lenses, one set of fast, modern(ish) primes, and one set of vintage stuff for more cinematic shoots where we have time to light accordingly. Here I used the modern ones, Canon 35/2 IS for the handheld shots, and Samyang 24/1.4, Sigma 30/1.4, Pentax Super-Takumar 50/1.4 and Samyang 85/1.4 for the rest. No filters except a Genustech Eclipse Vari-ND for daytime shots.

I used strictly available light here. That was sort of a self-imposed rule, I love shooting with natural light - and watching things shot in natural light. I'm a bit of a grognard in that sense, the more raw and less processed cinema is, the more real it feels to me. Which is why I think something like Aguirre - Zorn des gottes and The Sorcerer are the pinnacle of filmmaking. So the only "artificial" light here were the torches carried by the main character.

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