We decided to sponsor a fashion show on campus, and happen to have our best mirrorless camera with us to take pictures and video for fun. They had their own camera at the end of the runway and college kids were operating that camera. Their camera looked a bit older and the operators looked under experienced. That got our adrenaline going. We were thinking, "Hmmm, we could probably get their footage and mix it with ours, and create something spectacular." That's always a turn on!
The footage they had was not the best. Which is quite a challenge. But one that we love! We love being handed a bunch of SD cards full of video and being told, "See what you can come up with." Of course, we always turn it into something spectacular and professional. It's our passion and provides us with eternal joy!
The "other" camera had over exposed highlights, high noise, and they didn't catch everything. But they did catch about 90% of the show. We filmed everything from a side view of the runway with professional precision! We were dialing the ISO up and down on the fly while filming! It was lots of fun. The models were fun too! The guys and girls were very laid back and created some very funny memorable moments.
Our camera of choice was the Canon Eos M3, straight from Japan. It's not coming to the US as of now. It sports Canon's newest APS-C sensor with extreme low light sensitivity and great picture quality. The lens was the 22mm f2.0 that comes with it. It's a very sharp lens with no aberration or other optical issues. It's one of the best ranked lenses on DXOMark. The advantage of this camera is that it is small. No one thought we were doing anything other than screwing around with a consumer camera. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth! We had a shot list (at least in our own minds) and were shooting with a purpose.
Shooting from the side of the runway gave us a better view and caught the models as they came out and gave us some great close ups of some of the funnier things they did. The video was shot in a picture style called Technicolor Cinestyle which produces a very flat picture profile. The camera does not add sharpness, contrast, or saturation. It focuses on getting a great picture in the shadows as well as highlights and gives you more dynamic range. In post-production, you can add back as much saturation, contrast, and sharpness as you'd like. Creates much better video with a more film look and feel.
It was dark, other than the spotlights. This provided quite a challenge. When the actor was standing by the MC getting ready to walk up the runway, the picture was very bright due to the spotlights being right on them. But once they started walking up the runway, you had darker images because the spotlights missed and we had more of a side view, with not as much light on the sides. But once they hit the end of the runway, the lights were back on them brightly in shooting right at our camera providing lots of lens flare (which actually looked pretty nice). So you had bright, darker, bright. How do you expose this properly?
We decided that the majority of the shot was them walking past us and towards the end of the runway, so we set the ISO to 160 as they walked by. We were also able to dial it down a bit to 100 when they were standing by the MC and about to start when they appeared much brighter. This work flow worked fairly well, but was cumbersome. You'll notice that we didn't dial it down every time, and hence some of the actors are over exposed when they first come out.
If we had a lens designed for cinema, like the Rokinon Cine DS style lenses, a wheel on the outside of the lens can open up or close the aperture on the fly without manually without having to play with dials or wheel. And there is no clicking! It's perfectly de-clicked! This would have been really nice. We never really adjusted focus after we set it, so we would just have to play with exposure. We could leave the ISO at 100 and just turn the ring on the lens to adjust exposure. How cool is that?
A two camera event is always better. It just feels more dynamic and more realistic. You feel like you are really there. Cutting back and forth between the shots was fun. Shooting any live event with two angles is much better. Once again, this proves the old adage that you don't need newer or more expensive equipment to create a great looking film. You just need to know how to work with what you have.
Take a look at the 34 minute video below:
The computer graphics, intros, outros, were all done with After Effects from some templates that we had previously. This makes your workflow faster if you have something you can re-use.
Stay tuned for before and after footage of the color correction and the shot matching we had to do to make the older, poorer camera look better. You'll learn a lot!