A promotional video for Lebanon Family Karate.
Kim Studio Karate is oddly linked to my career as a filmmaker. The first paid work I ever had was a series of instructional videos produced for them, shot on my little Sony Handicam. Later, I captured a black belt promotion test way back in 2009. And here I am again, this time with a 5DM3 and another promotion test.
This was a Mother’s Day Present. My mom shows up every now and then. See if you can spot her.
Making the Music Video
When Lanice London first came to me with the idea for the music video, I knew it was going to offer some unique challenges. We wanted to create an underground party scene in an abandoned warehouse. The aftermath of the party forms the central point of the music video: Lanice goes missing and her friends have to find her before the cops do.
The entire music video was shot in and around Philly, including Love Park. The warehouse was an actual warehouse, which posed some of its own obstacles during filming.
Filming took place over two days. The first day found us in a dark warehouse in Fishtown. Dust and metal shavings covered the floor (and later our bags, jackets and clothing). This was the essence of “underground party”.
The entire scene, plus several passes of the song, were captured in a matter of 5 hours. Our cast and crew deserves a tremendous “thank you” for being on top of their game and totally committed to the process. If it wasn’t for their professionalism, the scenes would have never happened in such a short amount of time.
The second day was more of a walk around day, capturing footage as we moved from Love Park up north Broad Street.
The entire music video was shot on Canon 5D Mark III’s, using a huge variety of lenses (Sam brought twelve himself).
The underground party, which forms the backdrop of the music video, was lit using a Lowel light kit and a set of DJ bar lights, the latter of which was primarily a set piece. We used lots of side lighting to create the flares and signature anamorphic streaks. Exterior scenes were captured using available lighting exclusively.
The video was cut in Adobe Premiere and colored in After Effects, which should come as no surprise to regular readers. The most obvious digital effects shot (superimposing party footage on Pain’s phone at the beginning of the video) was also created exclusively in AE.
We Not Done Yet
In addition to the usual gang, I need to thank Beth, who provided many helps and moral support along the way. She was an incredible producer, which doesn’t even do her justice.
Noah Dickenson and I were back with Sofar Sounds, shooting in the cramped confines of a living room in west Philadelphia. On the bill this month were Alright, Junior, Kingsley Flood, September Call Up and Christopher KP Brown.
This was the first video I shot with my new 5D Mark III. I’m the kind of guy who gets almost immediate buyer’s remorse over big purchases, even if they are necessary ones. At the time, the 5D felt like a splurge, something I didn’t quite need. I mean, my 7D was functioning perfectly, why did I need to upgrade?
Within minutes of the start of the show at Sofar Sounds, the 5D proved its worth. I cranked the ISO up to 2500, a daring move on my previous camera (I could push ISO 2000, but that was my cut off). When we got back and reviewed the footage, the grain was barely visible. I immediately chastised myself for not pushing further.
Check out the videos below. While you’re at it, head over to the last Sofar Sounds show we shot and watch those videos too!