Cinematography for Music Videos | Sean Tracy | Skillshare

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Cinematography for Music Videos

teacher avatar Sean Tracy, Filmmaker

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

18 Lessons (52m)
    • 1. Project Overview

    • 2. Module 1.1 - Project Overview

    • 3. Module 2.1 - Location Scout

    • 4. Module 2.2 - References

    • 5. Module 2.3 - Crew Breakdown

    • 6. Module 3.1 - Camera and Lenses

    • 7. Module 4.1 - Shot Breakdowns

    • 8. Module 4.2 - Shot A

    • 9. Module 4.3 - Shot B

    • 10. Module 4.4 - Shot C

    • 11. Module 4.5 - Shot D

    • 12. Module 4.6 - Shot E, F, and G

    • 13. Module 4.7 - Shot H

    • 14. Module 4.8 - Shot J

    • 15. Module 4.9 - Shot K and L

    • 16. Module 4.10 - The Band

    • 17. Module 5.1 - Your Assignment

    • 18. Thank You

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About This Class

This lighting class was created for beginner to intermediate filmmakers looking to improve their cinematography skills. 

In this class, I'll walk you through each shot of the music video I made for Jessica Lynn's "Run To" which began airing on Country Music Television, Music Choice, and Vevo in June of 2020. You can see the full video here.

I'll show you what camera, lenses, and other equipment I used and show you in-depth breakdowns of the lighting schemes for each shot.

All the lessons are short, easily digestible, and actionable. After watching this course you'll have the confidence to go out and make a great-looking music video.

Meet Your Teacher

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Sean Tracy



Hi, I'm, Sean - I'm a commercial Director, DP, and editor from Poughkeepsie, NY. In 2013, I started MONSTERINTHEDARK, a small production company in upstate NY that specializes in creating videos for businesses. 

My filmmaking journey began in high school but took a detour for several years when I took a job as an elementary school teacher. I miss the classroom so it's great to be able to share what I know about the business of filmmaking and lighting for film with others.

I'm currently teaching five classes on Skillshare so check them out and let me know if what I'm teaching is helping you accomplish your goals:

Essential Filmmaking Tool: Apps for Pre-production and Production

Cinematography Techniques for One-Man Band Filmmakers

Freelance Vi... See full profile

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1. Project Overview: you want to shoot music videos that look amazing, that making clients happy that help you get more work? You said yes if you're not in your head. If you're on the edge of your seat right now, hang on. This is the class for you in this course shooting a low budget music video. I'm going to break down each and every shot in this video that I shot country crossover artists. Jessica, I'll show you how I lit it what year are used. And most importantly, I'm going to explain why I used the gear and techniques so you could begin to have a better understanding lighting for film TV. This video is currently racking up the views on vivo, country music television and Music Choice television channels. If you want to become a better cinematographer, learn lighting skills you can use for music videos or commercials or really any type of video. Whether you are shooting interiors or shooting exteriors, this is the class. Don't let the other guy or gal get a leg up on you Start watching today 2. Module 1.1 - Project Overview: relate. I've just been sitting here waiting for you, but you take a seat and we'll get started. My name is Sean, but people call me Monster. Short from Monster in the Dark. That's the name I freelance under. And for the next 17 hours, I'm going to be your teacher. I'm just kidding. It's not 17 hours. It's actually a lot shorter than that in this class. We're going to deconstruct the composition and lighting for this music video run to buy Jessica Lynch, which, as of June 2020 began area on country music television as well as music Choice in Vivo. Now just a disclaimer. I own the rights to the video that I shot, but I have no claim to the music, so you will not hear any of the audio from the music video throughout this class. But if you are curious, I have left a link to the full video in the description if you want to watch it. But sound, this class is for a beginner to intermediate filmmaker who is looking to understand a little bit more about how to light naturally and by naturally I mean we're making scenes that look like real life rather than taking a stylistic approach. You know something I love about shooting music videos is that you can really experiment with different styles of lighting, and you can't really play with those when shooting commercials, which is what I normally do for a living. You can utilize color and shape and texture to get interesting looks. But for this video, the client asked for a natural soft look with lens flares. And if that's what the client wants than first lesson, you'd be wise to make sure that that's what the client gets to prove the point. The client has already booked me again for next music with you. Now I want you to learn a lot by watching this class. The way to get the most out of it is not toe only. Watch the content, but then try and recreate some of these shots. Now I'm not saying you need to go find a farm to shoot on. 75% of this video was shot outdoors. You can go to any park can use your backyard. You can try some of these shots. You can use a garage or any other room in your house to try the lighting that we used for the band The bottom. Linus, Try and recreate some of these shots with the equipment. Natural practicing is how you are going to improve. Here's an insider tip and this is just for you, Nathan, because you're my favorite student. Don't let anyone else know. When I wanted to improve my cinematography, I would go to this site film hyphen grab dot com and I would spend some time selecting stills from some films I love. Then I would try to recreate those shots. This is a great learning method, and I encourage you to try. 3. Module 2.1 - Location Scout: a few days before we film the music video, I met with the artist Jessica and her manager at the farm for a location scout. Now, usually all the department heads are on a scout, so the director will be there. DP production designer So wanted and it's really a good opportunity to look at the space and kind of start a dialogue about the shoot. Start making a plan now on this video because it's low budget. I'm the director and the DP, So I'm having a conversation with myself about what's possible and what's not. As a DP. I'm concerned with the lighting. What does the natural light outside look like? What does it look like inside? How higher the ceilings, how maney windows and doors are there and how will I control them? Is that kind of the primary things that I'm thinking about? If you have a chance to scout your location beforehand, it really is integral to the success of your shoot. I was able to walk around the farm and inside the barn and outside the bar, and I was able to start making a plan for how I could block the scenes because I'm the director and at the same time, I could start making a plan for how I'm gonna light the scenes because I'm also the DP. Now, whenever I go on a location scout, I make sure to bring two things with this small notebook to jot down some notes and my phone. I want to make sure that my phone is fully charged and that I have to APs ready to go the first act by launch the second that I get on the scout. Literally. The second I get out of my car and I'm on. This is called Son Surveyor. Now I'm on an android, but there are many similar APs, both for free and paid on IOS. Now, once son surveyor knows my geographic location, it shows me a live view of the sun and where it will be throughout the day. Why is this helpful? I'm shooting a music video that 70 to 75% exteriors, So I want to shoot those exteriors either at sun up or sundown. And this app is going to show me the exact position of where the sun will rise and set, as well as his position throughout the day. So as I looked through my son surveyor app, I could see that the sun would rise in front of the barn, looking out towards the road that we drove in on. And these pastures where their horses grazing and I also learned that it would set behind the barn and behind the barn is problematic because right behind the barn is one of those big gated communities with all the houses that kind of looked the same, and seeing those houses would essentially ruined the beauty and the charm of the farm scene . So, using the APP son surveyor, I have now decided that I'm going to film all of my exteriors first thing in the morning so that I could put the sun behind or to the side of Jessica, and that my background will always look like green rolling hills or this beautiful lake or some grazing horses. Now, the next app that I like to use is called cataracts je, which is French, and it mimics a traditional directors viewfinder and at the same time allows me to take a reference photos at different focal lanes. This is a paid up. I'm not sure if they're free ones, but there are others both on IOS and Android. But essentially, I can tell this at what camera I'm shooting with Black Magic are so many pro the resolution that I want to capture at and then I can frame of various shots based on whatever focal lengths I want. So I'd use my lenses as reference. So as a result of Location Scout identified, identify all of the areas of the farm we were going to shoot. I was able to jot down an initial shot list in my little notebook and get some reference photos using my phone. I can use all of this information to start building a lighting plan for my exteriors and more, more importantly, now I can start building a leading plan for my interiors. 4. Module 2.2 - References: any time. I'm the director of DP. I spend time looking at images from other people's work to find reference when I direct I maybe grabbing images that show a certain type of lighting that I can show to my DP. If I'm the DP, I may be doing the same, but I'm also looking for different or interesting compositions or frame. So I'll hop on sites like 500 PX. Some grab YouTube or VIMEO, and I'll start looking for references. And then, depending upon my mood, I'll use one of two tools. The first is a very small, simple app called Pure Ref, which is available for both Windows, Mac and Lennox, and it's free. The second is a Photoshopped red template that I downloaded at and vital elements, and it's called better grids. Using better grids has one extra step for pure ref. You can just drag an image from your browser, and you could drag it right into the pure of app to start creating your mood board. Um, but for better grades, you need to save it first to your PC and then depending upon what you use are what site your viewing you might also need a screen capture tool on issued. I also decided to watch a whole bunch of country music videos because I'm not a country music fan. I don't listen to it. I don't watch it, but I wanted to familiarize myself with that. I wanted to look at videos that were in a similar vein, eso that I knew what I was gonna go into for this shoot kind of what was expected. This is the board that I created for this job. Reference boards are not only good for you as a director or DP just to make for yourself, but they're also good for your crew so they can get a better understanding of what you're visualizing, what you're asking them to do. It's also great to share with your client, so it's a good habit. Start getting into. If you're not already doing, I encourage it 5. Module 2.3 - Crew Breakdown: How many people do you think worked on this music video? The answer is three now is that ideal? Depends. I like working with small crews, but three is a bit smaller than I like now because this low budget I acted as both the director and cinematographer. I operated my own camera. I pulled my own focus. My assistant, Steve, acted as a gaffer in a grip. He got all my lights set up and in place for the interiors and the exteriors. And then, lastly, we had Holly, who was focused on hair and makeup for our account. I handle all of the post work, the editing and the color. Leave a comment and let me know what you think is an ideal crew size for a low budget music video shoot. 6. Module 3.1 - Camera and Lenses: All right, let's talk about gear. I know you're dying to know a camera and lenses we shall with I don't know why that's true , but I know it is. The camera and lenses are just tools. Please remember that if you put the same camera in the hands of someone who doesn't know what they're doing with it, you're not going to get the same result. That's just the truth. What it comes down to is the experience and knowledge of the operator. No more preaching. So we shot with the black Magic design, are so many pro generation one which I own, and I shoot most of my content with. The majority of the video was shot in four K resolution, except for one of the shots at the ends that you're looking at right now, where the letters are falling around Jessica that was shot at 100 and 20 frames per second . This camera can only record 120 frames per second at HD quality. It also severely crops the sensor. The images that were capturing throughout the day are in the Black Magic raw format, or beer Oh, format, which is a type of compressed row. You can edit Be Raw and DaVinci Resolve as well as Premier pro at the time of this recording, the advantage to shooting in this raw format is that we can then go into these raw settings when we're doing our color grading and color correction, and we can make some very serious adjustments to our image. We can drastically alter our white bounce, and we can change our eyes so settings and basically just have more control than we could over a log or rec 79 image I used to lenses for the video, both from Sigma Sigma Stinney 18 to 35 t two and 50 to 100 t to the shot of me you're looking at is being shot with the 50 to 100 millimeter at about 55 millimeters. So in front of these lenses was a four by four tiffin Glimmerglass at the strength of 1/4. This four by four filter is in my clip on Matt Box, and basically it's there just to take a bit of the digital out of the image and make the image a bit softer. The Sigma glasses pretty sharp, so sometimes It's nice just to kind of soften it out of touch for this class. So what you're seeing right now, we do not have a mat box on the camera, because instead I have an iPad teleprompter because I'm getting too old to memorize things . And if I just kind of started ranting, these videos would all be extremely long. Maybe it really would take 17 hours to get through this class. Now throughout the shoot, I'm handheld, but I'm shooting using an easy rig, which is kind of helping me with my posture on my back. So it's attached to the top. Handle the camera, and it kind of makes me look like an idiot. But the general idea here is that this vest allows you to work hand held. Keep the camera out in front of you, and you're not over straining your back muscles. And here's an insider tip and Linda, this is just for you because you're my favorite student. I'd rather look like an idiot than have tremendous back pain. Take it from me. I've been operating cameras handheld shoulder mounted on a gimbal or Steadicam for about 20 years now, and my lower back is a complete mess. Ah, lot of that, of course, is because cameras used to be much bigger and heavier. But please do take caution when operating for an extended period of time. Something like the easy rate can save you from having lots of back pain in the future. 7. Module 4.1 - Shot Breakdowns: and this module, we are finally going to get to the heart of what this course is really about. The cinematography of each shot in the video. You might have just skipped all the other stuff and you just might be here. I'm gonna move through these shots in the order that we shot them throughout the day so that you can see how the sons ever changing position affects our lighting scenarios. Now, if you watch through the earlier modules, you would know that we shot this without the re person crew. And I was doing double duty as both the director and the DP. So I'm gonna be honest. There are not a lot of BTS photos or videos to show there are few, but I will do my best diagramming delighting for each shot and showing you a top down lighting schematic. Just remember, this isn't about the gear that was used. I will tell you all the gear that was used, but it's really about the technique that we used to get the look that we wanted in the amount of time that we had. You can substitute any of this gear with something else and get a similar results so you can get results like this with some of the gear you own at home. We met at the location before sunrise, which gave me in my assistant Steve Time to set up the camera and some lights, specifically the aperture 300 demarche to because it has enough power, especially when use it with a friend. Amount to provide some light on your subject and an exterior seven. And it turns out that that's one of the things that we needed to do on standby. We also had a four by eight floppy If we need a negative Phil. And once again, I am wearing an easy rig, which is attached to my first of many pros. Top handle. The camera itself is powered by idee XB Mount Batteries. I have a small HD monitor mounted to the camera. I'm switching back and forth between two lenses to sigma 18 to 35 50 to 100 I have a bright tangerine misfit Adam Matt box that screws onto my lens, and it's holding four by four Tiffin Glimmerglass at 1/4 string. All right, so that's the basic year that we're using. Let's start breaking down the shots 8. Module 4.2 - Shot A: you're looking at the first take of the day playing out before I break down each shot, I'm gonna ask you to look at the shot. I'm gonna ask you to pause the video, and I want you to write down how you think this shot was. But then, in the comments below, you can let everyone know how you did in this first shot. We are putting Jessica right up against this barn to recreate the cover art for this song single. So she met with the photographer, and this is kind of a shot that they used. The sun should be rising directly behind her. Unfortunately, our day has started out overcast, and our son is behind some clubs. This happens. You can see that there is very little detail in this guy behind her, as it's basically quite overcast at the moment that we're shooting this and it's very great . So in order to make Jessica pop more out of the scene I have Steve placed my aperture 300 demarche to just at a frame and behind Jessica. This light is at 100% of its intensity, and it's hitting the back of Jessica's head and shoulders. So when you look at this image, you can see that this light is providing this highlight to her hair on the left side of her body as well as the top of her head. And it's also slightly wrapping her left cheek. It's also giving her a little highlight on the back of her right arm that it's against the barn. It's catching a little of her hair on the right, and it's also causing this soft shadow on the bar. I am exposing for her face here in this shot so that the highlights on her hair a little bit brighter and my background is moving a little bit towards clipping. Clipping is bad thing. Clipping is when something is so white or so dark that there is no actual detail left in the image. It's just clipped white or it's clipped black. This is bad. You avoid clipping your image by looking at your false color or your way form, or you're history graham on your camera, and you make sure that your images safe both in the blacks and in the highlights. If you notice that your clipping either your blacks or whites, you're gonna want to make an adjustment to prevent that from happening now, I could have added more light to Jessica's face by using a bounce card, and then I could have adjusted that exposure. And I could have probably saved a little bit more detail in the clouds behind her. But like I said, they were all there already pretty blown out. You know, when you have a limited time and limited crews, sometimes you just need to make quick decisions. Bouncing light back into someone's face in an outdoor setting can also cause them to squint . And we do not want that. The artist Jessica asked for a very soft look with lens flares, so I'm shooting wide open on my lens. That means that on this particular lens, I'm shooting at a T two, my lenses wide open as it can be. And I'm kind of swaying back and forth and you can see that I'm getting some flaring from the 300 D that is just off screen. If you watch the right edge of the frame, you can even see the light pop in every now and then. This is why you know, I think it's great to test lenses before you make a big purchase. And I did test these lenses, but I didn't buy them for their because of how they flare. You contest flares, though. You could test the breathing. You contest how sharp lenses and could decide if this is, you know, a good lens for you. This is very good lens. Both of them are. But this lens flare is quite ugly. So how did you do? Did you guess? To set up correctly? Let me know in the comments. And in the next video, we're gonna take a look at the very next shot that we did that morning. 9. Module 4.3 - Shot B: you're looking at the second shot of the day. It's about 40 feet away from our previous shot that we were just looking at. And we're just moving farther away from the Barnes towards this fenced in section where there are some horses actual therefore forces eso I'm gonna let it play through for a bit. I want you to pause the video and write down your guests as to how this was okay. After a few takes of the previous set up by the bar, the sun broke out from the clouds, which is what we wanted. And it's hitting this pond in the background and it looks really spectacular. So we kind of stopped everything we're doing. We ran over to the spot, started rolling right away. Now, one thing to note and this is important because even though I said gear is not as important as technique, having the right gear or the necessary gear is important. So I bought this Matt box. It's a clip on Matt box by right, tangerine. But I did not purchase the top flag for this man box. This is another matter box that I own. I don't like it. I'm just going to use it for demonstration purposes. But this is the top flag, so the top flag is very useful for eliminating flaring that you don't want kind of just push it down further. And I think it would have been helpful in the shot, especially to control some of the flaring and the brightness towards the top of the frame. So when you have a light above the lens and it's hitting or pinging the lens, it will cause a flare. You can lower your top flag to prevent that from happening. In fact, some of these matchboxes allow the flags to completely kind of close to protect the lens. Another thing that would have been super useful toe have, but I didn't have on hand would have been a circular, polarizing or a linear, polarizing filter. They sit in front of your glass, and they helped reduce glare Hayes and they also helped cut out about a stop to stop and 1/2 of light, depending upon the brand that you're using. So right here in this scene, I'm just holding a four by four circular polarizer in front of the lens, and you can see that it's greatly increasing the saturation in the visibility in the sky and bring the exposure to where it should be for this shot. If you wrote down on your piece of paper natural sunlight, you're correct. This is 100% natural life. We look to shoot at sunrise or sunset because the sunlight that we get creates a nice, long, soft shadow. I usually look beautiful as it hits hair, and in this case it looks really nice on her hair, and it's kind of separating her from the background. We're both moving around in this spot, so we have the sun coming at her directly from the back of the back life and three quarterback light and then as a sidelight, which you can see here. So I tried toe, acknowledge my mistakes when I make them, and I make notes on what I could have done better. So I learned for next time ah lot. It comes down to working with your F or in this case, the T stop of your lands and the nd or neutral density that you have available to you. So if you're not familiar with neutral density filters, they provide a way to reduce the amount of light hitting your lens, and their strength is usually measured in the number of stops of light that they take away . You're neutral. Density filter can either be internal, which means that it is behind your lens but directly in front of the sensor. And most cinematographers I know prefer this over neutral density in front of their lens. You can buy neutral density in varying strengths, and they slide right into your map box. Or you can buy what's called a variable nd filter, and that screws onto your lens and then you rotate them, which makes them cut out more or less light. The variable Andy filters. I think they're the worst kind of neutral density filter. You know, the ones that are of lower quality can add these unwanted color cast to your footage. My camera, which is the Black Magic, are submitted. Pro has 24 and six stops of neutral density built into the camera. So there, behind the lens, your camera may not have any Andy, which could force you to shoot a scene like this on a much higher stop, which would create a very deep depth of field. I shot this scene at T two. So Jessica and the fence you standing up against our in focus and everything behind her is falling off soft. So that's what we call a shallow depth of field. Those horses in the background are just little horse blobs, and the house behind is even softer in terms of focus. Now, if I didn't have any neutral density, I would have to shoot this with my lens closed down at something like a T 22. And that means the image would have a very deep depth of field. So not only would Jessica B and focus, but so with the field behind her, and then the horses would look less like blobs and they would look more like horses. A lot of this also comes down to the dynamic range of your camera. So if you're not familiar with dynamic range, it refers to the lightest and darkest parts of an image that your camera can see. At the same time, this camera has fairly good dynamic range. Um, this shot is a good example. Jessica is wearing a very dark black dress, and this guy behind her is very bright. It's almost white, and they're still detail in both the darkest portions and the lightest portions of this image. So that's the dynamic range. If you're using a less expensive camera or DSLR camera that doesn't have this high dynamic range, then you would start to lose detail and the darks or the white areas faster. So that's our second shot. Let me know in the comments, if you guess natural light, or if you thought there was something more complicated going on here. 10. Module 4.4 - Shot C: Okay, This is our next shot. We have moved over to a different bar, which were using as a leading line towards Jessica like you to pause the video and write down. How do you think? Really office. So at this point, our son is really starting to get higher in the sky. We are kind of running out of time to get our shots. And when the sun starts to reach its zenith, you know, the shadows that it creates get very defined and hard. And we don't want that. You know, we don't want the raccoon eyes. So the sun and the shot is coming in towards Jessica. From a 3/4 backlight angle. You can see it really highlighting her hair around her hairline, especially on the right side. It's hitting the top of her head, and it's cresting both of her shoulders. That's nice to kind of pull her out of the background. It's also hitting my lens, causing some flaring towards the top of the frame. So this is one of those cases where that top flag would have come in handy. The lens, in this case is the Sigma Cindy, 50 to 100 millimeter mice isn't Steve has a white collapsible reflector camera left, and he is bouncing the sunlight back towards her face and her body to get us a proper exposure. So without that light bouncing back towards her, her face and body would be too dark, would be under exposed against the bright background of the sun. Now, if we had more time, we had more money. Bigger crew. What could we have done to make this shot better? Well, there are a few ways to shape and control sunlight. Ah, very common way is to use silks or fabrics on a frame. These frames come in various sizes, but common sizes are four by four or four feet long by four feet wide. Six by 68 by 8 12 by 12 20 by 20 On set, you would just say four by eight by 12. By so here is an eight by. You can put different regs, which is the film slang for the fabric that's put on the frame. You can put a fabric on this frame that will bounce light back toward something, or you can use a transparent fabric that will allow, like to transmit through it. And the idea is that just like you know, are neutral density filters. The fabric that's on the frame will reduce the amount of light that's hitting the subject, and it will also soften the light. The bigger the source, the soft of the light. So a light coming through an eight by eight will be softer than a late coming through a smaller four by four. So putting a frame like this between the sun and Jessica would have helped control the amount of light and flattering on her. So did you guess natural light with some bounce? Let me know in the comments, and let's move along toe a shot that probably looks a little bit familiar because it's the second time or shooting it because he did it already. What? We're gonna do it again because that's what happens 11. Module 4.5 - Shot D: we ran back to our first location of the day to get this shot again. But this time we are going to use a different lens. We're gonna be on the Sigma Cindy 50 to 100 millimeter. So this by Jessica's warmed up. She's gotten loose because she's performed some many, many times at this point and she wants a few more takes here. And yes, I am gonna have you pause this and tell me how I shot just for reference. This is being shot roughly an hour and 1/2 to 2 hours after the first time we were. Do you think we let this shot the same way twice The first time we use the 300 market D as its recorder light back angle. And when you look at these side by side, you can tell that they are different and not just because of the change and focal length and this shot. We have just good performing with her back against the barn. And the contrast here looks a lot better than our first shot because we're at a longer focal length, 100 millimeters. The background is also looking nice and creamy, so This is natural life. The sun is coming in from a 3/4 to almost a sidelight, and it's catching the whole left side of her face and her hair. The barn she's leaning against is white, and it's acting as a bounce for the right side of her face. So the light is bouncing off the barn and coming back to indirectly, lighter face. I condemn Oh, this by holding up this white card next to my face just to show you this inaction. Mikey is coming from the right of camera or my left. So this side of my face, the right side is in shadow. And then when I hold or bring this white card in, the key light is hitting it, and it's bouncing back to fill in the shadow on my face, the face that only a mother could love. I've been told. Okay, back to the shot. The sun is not hitting my lens in the shot, so you're not seeing any flaring here. And that's one of the reasons why are contrast is looking a lot better in this shot than in the 1st 1 12. Module 4.6 - Shot E, F, and G: all right, I'm gonna lump these three b roll shots together since they're so similar in terms of how we shot them. So here they are, three shots back to back to back. Take a look. Pause the video and write down your guess as to how each was. So we shot the bureau in slow motion at 50 frames per second For this video. This first shot is natural light. I'm using the pole this fence to do small reveal, create a bit of parallax. And basically, at this point, the sun is right in front of Jessica. It's hitting her. It's still relatively low in the sky, so the light is nice and soft. If it wasn't, we could put something in front of her and just off camera to kind of soften it out. And if we look carefully, we could see that the fence is actually doing a nice thing for us here. Specifically, this board of the fence, by preventing some of the sun from reaching her, it's giving her, you know, some really nice shape. In contrast to her arms. This next shot eyes very similar. We're basically using the exact same section on the fence that we were just at. But now we're running and I'm just running handheld, still wearing the easier rigged to support my back. Our son is a sidelight now because of her position to it, and it's hitting the left side of her body, highlighting her hair. And my assistant, Steve is running alongside her camera, right, and he's trying to stay out of my frame and he's holding a large collapsible reflectors. This final shot here is all natural light. She's running straight up the road towards the sun, but at this point it's a bit overcast. So I'm trying to stay about two strides behind Jessica, so she has to look back over her shoulder towards me, and we have for giving us this very serious look while her hair is whipping around. It's very dramatic. I guess. It's very country. So three B roll shots, all natural light with a little bounce on one, just to add light to her side. Did you guess? Right? I think you did. Especially you, Gary, my favorite student. Do people still name their kids, Gary. Anyway, let me know how you did in the comments 13. Module 4.7 - Shot H: okay, We have now reached the point in our day where the shadows from the sun are. They're starting to get harder, sharper than more defined, and that's not what we want. So when that happens, it's time to move inside. So you're looking at the opening shots of the video where Jessica walks into frame inside this barn. She has a seat. She opens this little box and she starts reading these love letters, which featured, you know, what their future. So take a look at the shot. Was video taken educated? Guess as to how, When I did my scout the week before we shot, I saw this corner of the barn that had this one little window and the light coming in through the window looked beautiful. The wall has all this horse tack and stuff, and it looks like we had a really great art director when all we really did was just come in and steal something that already exists and maybe try to enhance it a little bit, which is exactly what we're doing. The angle and intensity of the sunlight coming in through this window when we want to shoot was not what we wanted. It was to sharp. It was too high. So what we're going to do is modify it to make it work for us. Outside this window, which is camera right, Stevens placed a C stand that is holding things big floppy and under that floppy he has placed the aperture 300 d mark two with the friend Elma. So he is effectively creating a little dark tent for us to put our light in. And at the same time, he's greatly reducing any of the direct sunlight that this window is receiving. Basically, what we're trying to do is we're replacing the natural sunlight that's coming through the window because of the angle that the sunlight is that is incorrect for what we want. So the sun is too high and in the angle is too sharp. We want the light to reach further into the room so that it makes it towards a little box and lights. Jessica. We also have a fog machine, just kind of off screen camera, right, and before each take, we're pushing some smoke out into that corner, and then Steve is using the smaller to buy three tow Watch that smoke and try to make it look more uniform and disperse rather than kind of just letting it sit there and curl around. I shot this bureau, seen from multiple angles, and I used both of the signals city lenses. Then we had Jessica change positions and standing this light so she could do some twirls, because I guess that's what you do in a country music video. Now when I'm operating, I'm always looking for some foreground elements that I can play with, like in this shot. I stood in one of the horse stalls and I just kind of moved the camera out from behind the wall to reveal Jessica. If you add layers, you know, adding layers for depth can really help a shot come to life. So having something in the foreground, mid ground background, how did you do? Did you guess that there is only light one light in this scene coming from this window? Let me know in the comments and the next module, we're going to go upstairs to the hayloft for some more interiors. Exciting 14. Module 4.8 - Shot J: you're looking at a take from a shot that was used pretty sparingly in the video. I think this particular shot was really only used for the second verse. So I'm gonna let this once again playing for a few seconds, you can pause and write down how you think it was. So this is the upstairs hail off which was full of hay and gave the room a really beautiful golden look. We do have a window to the right of the frame, and that's just natural daylight coming through completely unaffected were on the second story of the barn and, you know, because we have a minimal crew, a tight budget. We don't have anything that we can use to treat that window from the outside. But we are going to use that window for what's called motivation. This is a good time to talk about the direction of light. Uh, and when you look at the shot, you can clearly see that the window is there and because we see that window registers in our mind that our light source is coming from that window or that it should be coming from the direction of that window, so the window light is motivating the rest of the lighting for this scene. So if I put Jessica's key light on camera left the opposite direction from the window, that would break the illusion that this scene is being motivated by the window, the light would seem that it was coming from the wrong direction. Now can you do that? Of course you can do whatever you want and, you know, especially on a music video, you can really get away with those kind of things. But for my purposes, I want to use that windows motivation for my scene. So I want my key to come from the same direction as the window now, at the moment when I get there and I looked through the viewfinder that that window is behind Jessica s. Oh, she's in silhouette, so we need to get some exposure on her by adding a light for we need to get her key like, but the space is very tight. So what we did was we had my assistant, Steve, take the collapsible reflector that we've seen him use several times before and stand up against the wall next to the window and directly to the side of Jessica. Then we placed my light panels Gemini to buy one, which is an RGB w light on. And that means that it's both by color, so it's daylight or tungsten. But you can also color call up any other color that you want, and you can see this light, uh, basically behind me and every shot that Syria's. It's my back light. And if you've been paying attention, you probably noticed, like the spill around my shoulder and here on the table has been changing color. So this light is going to bounce off of the reflector that's against the wall. The reflector will then become the new light source. It's gonna come back nice and soft, like Jessica. So why will the light become soft? Have you been paying attention? Are we looking at Facebook on your phone? Oh, that's right. The bigger the light source, the softer the light. The reflector is a bigger source than this life panel, so it will be softer. I decided to dial in an amber color that was very close to matching the color of the hay to give the shot a really warm feel and I think it makes Jessica skin look really golden and beautiful. So did you guess that we bounced turkey lighting? Let me know in the comments and get ready to head back outside for the final shots of Day one. 15. Module 4.9 - Shot K and L: on the same farm we're filming at. There is a small cluster of roughly 20 trees, 10 per side, and they create this nice little alley between them of shade. And it's really quite charming, kind of like a good place to go and read a book on. We're using this particular shot on Lee for the third verse of the song. So, as usual, I'm gonna let the shop play through as well as the slow motion shot which we grab at the same time. I think it was maybe even in the exact same spot or a very similar spot, and I'll let you look carefully and tell me how this I'm gonna give you a big hand. It's not just naturally so because we're in the shade of the trees, the background behind Jessica, the sky in those rolling hills that are behind her outside the trees there, much brighter than she is. And that means that she needs some light. If we don't like her, then she's just a silhouette we could expose for her. And then what would happen is the background behind her would be much brighter, so it would be clipped. What is clipping to remember Angela. See me after class. Just getting clipping is when we lose all the detail and information and either are blacks or whites. Clipping is bad. We do not want to clip All right back to the shop. We have no light to bounce here, so we can't do it. We're in the shade of the trees. There's no light coming through them to bounce. So what we need to do is bring in a light for the shot, and the light is actually four lights. It's this four bank of Quasar T eights that I built onto this two by four. I think it's a two by four. These lights are not battery powered, but they do draw very little power. So what we did was we ran 100 foot extension cord over to Holly, the makeup artist car, because her car had a power outlet and that was the only power available to us. So while I'm filming, Steve is holding or Hollywood ing the light Hollywood ing. A light means that it's being handheld rather than placed on the stand and these quasar ta . It's our daily balanced to match our color temperature outside on their fairly soft as well . So Jessica has a nice, soft kind of shadows look on her face. We used the exact same set up for the second to last shot. Where we tying these letters that we've seen are holding throughout the video. So while Steve continues to Hollywood, the quays ours camera left. There are people standing just out of frame on either site. Some of the other bandmates, the manager, things like that. And when I call action, they're just throwing the letters up in the air above her, letting them fall down. We needed a few takes to get it right. But at 120 frames per second, it looks pretty sweet. So how did you do? Let me know in the comments and get ready for the next video where we tackle the second day of the shoot, which is the big band set up 16. Module 4.10 - The Band: you're looking at a quick montage of some of the band footage we shot on the second day of a shoot. This is in a very small room on the side of the main barn that we shot. I didn't take exact measurements, but the room is roughly 18 by 18. Ceiling is about 20 feet at its highest point, but then it slopes downwards towards where I had the camera at an angle towards about nine feet high, and we're lighting a seven piece band in a tight space. So take a careful look and see if you can figure out where all the light sources are in this shot. Some of them are visible, so we're very compressed in this room. So in this wide shot, I'm shooting at 18 millimeters on the Sigma 18 to 35 I'm at T four on the same camera. The Black Magic Earth. So many pro, which has a Super 35 sensor. This leads opens up to a T, too, but this will be the first time for this whole video where I don't shoot right open because I don't want it quite as shallow. Since there's multiple planes of people performing. Now we have a total of six lights and play all artificial lady. We're going to add a special seventh light for the guitar solo. That's at the request of the artist. Personally, I hate it, but I'll explain that later. Uh, all the barn doors and when I say barn doors, I'm referring to the actual barn doors, not barn doors on the lights. They are closed. We want to negate any of the outside light coming in because we're going to be here for a while, shooting with the band roughly yet knew. And where is when we're shooting this? Renewed Noonan on. So we want full control here. We don't want any light spilling in from the outside. So the first thing we thought about one kind of deciding how to light this set up is how we're gonna light a seven piece band. And in such a tight space, obviously, the singer is the most important. It's our band eso we were going to expose for her, and if everyone else is 1/2 stop to a full stop or more under, then I think that's OK. The lead guitar player. He's also important. He's got a big solo is a young guy with a lot of energy. I think he's the singer's husband, so we want him to pop a little, too. So what we did was re strung up the biggest silk that we had above the band, which was an eight by eight Ultra bounce, and the singer will be right underneath it. So when we talked about rags earlier in a module, we talked about two choices. We can choose, Ah, fabric that will let light pass through it. Or we can choose one that will let let light bounce off of it. Ultra bounce and the word bounces in its name is very reflective, and it's used for bouncing light off of it. So that's what we strung up above the band on. We did that using some fish hooks and some wire, and it's probably about 2.5 feet above Jessica's head. The idea is to bounce light off this highly reflective material, ultra bounce and have it come back down as a big soft source from the top. So in terms of lighting, we took an aperture 1 20 d and an aperture 1 20 demarche to so two lights that are daylight balanced and replaced them at the front. Two corners of the silk. They both have their reflector dishes on and they're angled up into the middle of the silk . So the light from these two pictures is going to go up into the silk and then the silk becomes the light source. It's eight feet by eight feet of light coming back down onto our band. And what do we remember? The bigger the source, the software, the light. You have heard me say this before. Do you remember hearing me say that, Adam? Or were you playing PS four while you're watching this Gezira? So my source went from being too small angle lights to taking on the source of an eight by That gives us our first layer of illumination. And by the way, Adam, you don't really get us here because there's no grades. Next, we took an aperture Lightstorm and an aperture Lightstorm half, and we placed them in the right and left corners behind the band. One is hitting the back of the lead guitarists right shoulder and his head, and it's kind of giving him a nice edge and kind of pulling him out of the background, and the other is wrapping around the keyboard player, who also happens to be the singer's mother. Neither of these lights are doing a very good job of reaching our singer toe edge her back later. So we set up in aperture 300 demarche to the one we use a lot outside. We put that in the barn behind the drummer with the friend L Dome on it, and we're kicking that through this large fan towards the back of her head. And that Light is doing a great job of kind of edging her hair on her shoulders and pulling her out to separate her from the rest of the band. It's also doing a nice thing, as it kind of comes through the fog that we're pushing into the scene from behind the trump . So Steve is back there while I'm shooting, and he's constantly pushing this Foggin. So that's five lights, and those lights are doing most of the work, and you can see that the drummer, percussionist, the bass player bass players, the singer's dad and the steel guitar player. These four musicians are not directly under our eight by eight, so they're not getting the same amount of light as the singer. The light on them is roughly stop, stop and 1/2 under, and that's okay because we did not come to see these guys. We came to see the singer. So as we're doing our last looks, I'm looking at the lighting on the singer and the way it's falling on her face. The top light can be tricky. It's not the most flattering light, because what it can do is place shadows under your nose and under the chin. And what want to do is just kind of flatten that out a bit on her face and get rid of those shadows. So what I did was I wanted to put something soft in front of her and what we what we had on call was this lithium iron powered, two foot quasar on a C stand that we put above her an out in front of her. So the angle of this light is still the same, still coming from above, but it's closer to her, and it's out in front of her kind of coming frontally towards her face, and it's just kind of making her skin tones look a little softer and filling in any shadows for her close up. Nothing's really changed. I'm just swapping to the 50 to 100 millimeter and I'm shooting her with that. And then at the same time, I went around and I got takes off all the other band members playing in case I need that. I mentioned earlier that I hate this part, but they wanted a special light for Steve the guitarist for his big soul. So I had Steve, my assistant, Hollywood, the Gemini to buy one Set the purple and, you know, he just let it rip for Steve the guitarist Solo, Um, I think it's super cheesy, but, you know, you make your client happy and you get hired back again so you can do this at home. You can take a white tablecloth as long as it's not to share material. You know something that's gonna be reflective. You could string it up and you could bounce some lights and see kind of how that light falls down nice and soft on you. Try it right now. What are you waiting for? You want to watch more of me? I get it. I get the appeal. But practice it's more important 17. Module 5.1 - Your Assignment: a Z. We made our way through the different shot breakdowns. I asked you to pause each video, study the image and making educated guess of how the shop was lit. You know, once I learned how to light, it really changed the way I started to watch TV and films, and I would I still dio I'd find myself really trying to kind of quickly study each shot and identify where the key the fill back lights replaced. You know, if you get stuck watching something with a significant other or a family member that you don't find interesting, then this is something you could focus on, you know, study it, look at the lighting. It's a good learning tool. So your assignment, as I stated way back in our first model is to practice, is to try and recreate some of the shots in this video. So some of that means grabbing friend or family member, you know, getting up early and trying to get some of these shots as the sun is rising. You can also get a similar look at sunset if you don't like getting up early. If you have a light like an aperture 300 demarche to you can try to create an artificial light, but don't skip this step. Practice is really the only way to improve your cinematography skills. Just watching. Watching this is not is not enough. If you do this assignment, I'd love for you to share it with me. I'm always happy to connect with other filmmakers, and I'll definitely provide feedback. 18. Thank You: Thank you for watching the Siri's. I thank you. My beard. Thank you. If you liked it. Ah, positive review would be great. And please share it with other filmmakers you think may learn something from it. If there was something you thought could be better, Um, you know, like some actual behind the scenes videos and photos. And I'm working on that for future courses, Let me know.