Lucky – Latest video + production notes

Right then, here’s the latest video – another one for Lost In Audio – this time a lovely little acoustic number called ‘Lucky’. This features just two people, the lead singer and songwriter for the band – Joe Hendry and a local, very talented actress, Fran Pattinson. The idea behind the video was to play on the ambiguity of the lyrics and that the reality of any break-up song, is that there are two sides to every story. Usually it’s only the songwriter who gets to say their piece, however, listening to the song many times over, I was struck by the fact the lyrics could actually be spoken by either side, regardless of gender, perspective or point of view. So, in essence we have two people each singing the same words, each hurting and each desperate to say what they need to say as a form of release and finality. That’s the concept – here’s the nuts and bolts:

Working Footage : I didn’t take any notes for this but I’d hazard a guess at around 32Gb. Although right after reviewing all the clips I binned about 16Gb immediately. Why? Well, these were shots that actually looked quite good, but they involved the characters moving in the frame. Quite normal of course, but next to the shots that simply had Joe and Fran standing opposite each other, they looked both weak and also diminished the impact of the face to face shots. So they went.

Cut Ratio : Absolutely lethargic! 19 cuts in 180 seconds or around 1 edit every 10 seconds. Obviously the song doesn’t suit quick cutting and mad angled editing popular with Italian TV – it’s simple, sparse and slightly elegiac, hence it gets cut to match. Also after binning half my footage, perhaps I didn’t have too much to play with 🙂

Clips : Around 10-11 complete takes of the song.

Capture Time : Quite long (for me) actually, probably around six hours. Two reasons for this – it was absolutely freezing (notice the breath) and people needed to warm up between takes, secondly, we were using a working artists studio (thanks to Zuzana Gibb of Kerdova Design for this) and had to be careful of course, but also because the lighting took time to setup between scenes. I should also add we had something to eat halfway through. It was a rare luxury to have time for the shoot and not feel rushed – usually people have to dash off or I can only get a location for a few hours, but this time it was completed, when I felt it was completed. None of that awful feeling that you’ve had to wrap too early because of circumstances and your slightly unsure you’ve got enough footage.

Editing Time : Super quick, 3 hours.

Preparation Time : Listened to the song around 200 times…Shot list around 4 hours.

Video Treatment : As described in the opening para. Decided to put a bit 2.39:1 either end of the HD aspect footage to give it a sense of story, depth and intrigue.

Camera’s : Canons all the way – 5DII, usually fitted with the 70-200 and the XF100 for the slight jerky dolly shots.

Camera Picture Profile : 5DII = Cinestyle, XF = Custom profile based on the BBC dude’s settings.

Workflow : All raw footage converted to ProRes LT @ 1080. Delivered to YouTube as 1080P H264 / Max bitrate = 5000Kbs.

Lighting : Ambient + trusty dedo-lights.

NLE : Final Cut Pro 7 + Magic Bullet Looks

Other Kit : Sachtler Ace Tripod and a bit of model railway track for the dolly moves (really! – hence the jerkiness)

What did I learn : Simple is good.

Here it is:


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