Lesson Learnt by The Macanoes

I shot and edited this music video using a Canon 550D, all with a 50mm Prime lens in manual focus. Here’s a handful of issues I ran across. Bearing in mind this wasn’t a pre-planned event. It just kind of happened over a period of a couple of days…

Firstly, time is a major factor in Production. Things always take longer than expected. Factor in kit failures, traffic jams, weather, permissions, stock, etc. So something that felt like it should only take an hour became two and a half.

Secondly, ‘coverage’ became an issue in the Edit. I found that although I took multiple takes of the song and I filmed “every section”, when I went to put it all together I found there were holes. Somehow I had managed to miss some bits. These literally became black holes in the Edit timeline until I could find a way to patch them. The answer came when I heard The Macanoes were playing at The Monto Water Rats In London. I filmed the song at their gig and slotted that footage into the video. Look out for the gig shot!

The third major issue was ‘rolling shutter’. This is a side effect from using a D-SLR camera for filming video in HD. High Definition television is created differently to old-fashioned SD. Basically one still image in SD is captured all in one go. So something moving very fast across the screen looks fine as it’s captured all in one go. A single frame in HD is scanned pixel by pixel, line by line, from top left to bottom right over a period of 1/25th of a second (sort of). This effectively means that something moving fast across the screen may be in the correct place at the top of the image but over the period of time it took to make the image, the object is further over at the bottom. Therefore it can become distorted. Like this:

This problem occurred during the use of strobe lighting. Some frames would have bands of light on them, with some strobe flash being captured half way through the recording of the frame, but the strobe being off by the end of the capture. This looks terrible when played back. The answer was to replace the problem frames with black. You don’t notice it as much on playback.

Overall, the experience of capturing all the footage was the fun part. The Edit was somewhat of a nightmare!

As a personal project taken on purely as an experiment into what’s required from a single person, i think it came out rather good. What do you think?

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About Mercian Media

My name is Alex, and I work in the Film and TV industry. I work freelance for various employers on several shows including Big Brother, Celebrity Big Brother, Sky News, Sky Sports, London Live, Bloomberg and QVC. All views are my own.

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