Where to start?
This was probably the most fun I have had on a shoot in a long time. Mainly because we got to set things on fire…
Equipment I used to shoot this video:
Canon 550D (Still using this trooper!)
Canon 17-40mmL 4.0
Canon 24mmL 1.4
Canon 50mm 1.4
Samyang 85mm 1.4
Kessler 12ft Crane with K-pod
Kessler 3ft Cineslider with K-pod
Arri Lighting kit – 3 point lighting kit (2X350w & 1X650w) – A range of gels.
ProAim Shoulder mount
Two Multi-purpose interfit reflectors
HD4000 Glidecam (no vest or arm)
Other than my assistant, it was just me and the talent on the shoot which worked out well as it gave us plenty of room to get creative and experiment. That was very much the nature of this shoot. Experimental!
On day 1 we ventured up to check out the location. It was an old car scrap yard located in a secret spot in Grand Cayman (no joke! I was asked not to ever mention the whereabouts by the owner! haha) Due to the uncertainty of Hurricane “ICantRememberWhichOne” we had to postpone the first shoot. Its a shame because the moody sky was exactly what we were going for however with just my self behind the camera and no real crew, i did not want to risk a sudden down poor threatening the life of our equipment! So we headed home and agreed to shoot the following day.
Day two had a good start, we began shooting at around 4:30pm thats when most of the shots of Cotterell walking through the cars were done. As it got darker we started playing with fire… None of us were really sure how the flames were going to turn out, the life of the fuel did not last very long so we had to do quick takes of different parts of the song. We had two versions of the song going; the original and a sped up version that was incredibly funny to watch Cotterell try and sing too (he actually did an amazing job at keeping up with the tempo).
On day 3 we shot the last scene at the dump. These were the performance shots of Cotterell Singing between the two flames. I didn’t have a lighting kit with me that day so was relying entirely on the flames to light Cotterell. In retrospect, I really wish i had a lighting kit on me to throw some highlights on to him and bring out his facial features more. Lesson learned for next time!
Day 4. By far the most fun! We set up in a new location: Mariners Cove seemed like the ideal spot for the last performance shots. everything we had shot so far was relatively tight and i really wanted to mix in some wide shots and make use of the Kessler Crane. We already knew that we wanted more shots of fire as that was the theme of the song. We set up two makeshift bonfires, placed three small Arri lights behind them and positioned Cotterell right in the middle. I used the Canon 24mmL 1.4 mounted on the 7D to get these shots (oh, and the crane!). We had a generator going to run the lights off and for playback so we could sync everything up. Word of advice, dont position the generator too close to the playback or you wont be able to hear much! 😛
That pretty much gave me all the shots i needed, I had also filmed a timelapse in the scrap yard on day 1 but it was never used.
The slowed down shot of the flames and Cotterell were done using Twixtor (fantastic plugin that i hope i didn’t overuse?). This shot was complete chance, one of the fires had a pocket of air which exploded and i happened to be in the right place at the right time. Im glad i was as i feel this shot really breaks up the video nicely and adds some excitement/drama to the video.
Hope you enjoy the video! Leave a comment below if you have any questions and i will be sure to comment back!