This is my favorite music video that I’ve shot to date. It was my first foray into sound stage cinematography. I had worked on sound stages many times before, but always as just a grip, electrician, or assistant camera. This was my first time getting to completely design the cinematography with very little budget limitations. The director and I collaborated to design a completely custom set which the construction crew built in just two days. We did a pre-light on the evening of the second day before shooting on the third day of production. This allowed us to already be ready to go when the talent arrived for HMU and wardrobe. We used that time to shoot some B-roll of the set pieces and then got all the coverage once the talent was ready.
For the lighting, I used a Mole-Richardson 2k Fresnel into a 4x 1/2 straw gel and an 8x silk diffusion as the key light. I then created a fill with a Mole 1k Fresnel bouncing into a 4x bead board. The rim light was created using a Source Four Leko light with a 50 degree lens and a half CTB gel to act as sunlight. I balanced the camera to daylight so the Leko would be a little blue shifted and the tungsten Moles would be very warm, mimicking fire light or candle light bouncing off the sandstone and gold interior of the room. The rest of the lighting through the windows and the background was done by shining more Mole 1k’s into the white cyc wall with CTB gels. This created the illusion of bright blue-white skies in the background.
I shot on Zeiss CP.2 lenses which have a clean, tack-sharp look that I really love. Combined with the lighting and smooth dolly camera movements, this created a very “flashy”, high-end look that really worked for the style of the music.