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March 11, 2013

How to Shoot a Low-Budget 4K Music Video on the Canon 1D C with Philip Bloom

You might know him from his excellent camera reviews, but Philip Bloom also has a large body of work online that consists of music videos, documentaries, and narratives. For his most recent project, Philip has joined forces with one of his frequent collaborators, Olly Knights, to shoot a music video for the main single off Olly's new album Bitten By the Frost. The piece was shot in two days on the Canon 1D C DSLR, and a few great behind the scenes videos have been posted online in addition to the music video. Check out all of them below.

Here was Philip's idea behind the video:

Playing on the mundanity of everyday life that song plays on I wanted the video to show this. My idea that his life is so mundane that we are literally passengers in it and we drift through day with little changing until the whole thing just becomes an endless cycle.

To show this I wanted Olly to stay in the frame in the same position in every single shot. Only the background would change and I needed his performance to be quietly intense but without too much expression as we are going for a mundane life type feel. I also needed real everyday things for hi to drift through. Bed, breakfast, tube, work etc. But with a twist being that things go a little differently on one day…

With Olly being in each frame the sense I wanted to feel like life was passing him by without even noticing it and especially without moving! He would sing the song and as he does it his we run through his whole week . To emphasise this the edits wouldn’t be on line breaks but during words at times creating a really fluid feel as we run through the 7 days.

Here are the terrific behind the scenes videos:

If you look at the way the crew had to move and some of the shots they needed to steal, the 1D C is certainly a logical choice based on the image quality. Philip wanted some room to crop if he needed it, so that's part of the reason for choosing to shoot 4K -- and if you're looking for a small and compact 4K camera that shoots to CF cards -- the 1D C is pretty much your only option.

Since it was a low-budget music video, Philip acted as most of the main roles, which is quite difficult when you consider the number of shots they were doing per day. It's always great to have separate people operating in different positions, but sometimes it's just impossible to have more crew members and you have to make do with what you have. It's great to see how much organization was involved to pull off the production, and for anyone who is going to attempt their own low-budget music video, head on over to Philip's website for an in-depth post about his process and the pre-production involved with the shoot.

You can find a link to the song and album below.

Links:

Your Comment

128 Comments

I can't take a 'low budget' serious, when you see gear like TVLogic and a 1DC.

March 11, 2013

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Sico

The rentals for those items are pretty cheap, probably around $400-$500 total for those two items. Even a few thousand dollars would be considered low-budget for a music video.

But the gear is really beside the point. His process and the way they shot it could produce similar results regardless of the equipment.

March 11, 2013

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director
219

I guess nowadays people don't differentiate low budget and no budget.

March 11, 2013

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fiftybob

Well Philip called it no-budget on his website, because he owns all the gear, but I've never been a huge fan of the term no-budget, because you're spending money somewhere on something.

March 11, 2013

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director
219

It was actually no budget. Everything was done for favours.... unless you count the curry i bought us at the end of the day, then it's low but tasty budget. :)

March 11, 2013

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Haha I'm not disagreeing with the no-budgetness - just saying I prefer the other terms.

March 11, 2013

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director
219

Yeah, and micro-budget, which is between the two, seems to always get lost in the mix.

March 11, 2013

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I just say micro-budget now because I know low budget can be anywhere under like $50,000

March 11, 2013

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Tyler

Micro is smaller then low, that was my point. In Hollywood terms $50k and under is no-budget, for features. In internet/short/music video terms Phillip is definitely correct in saying this is a low or no-budget piece

March 12, 2013

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LOL agree.

March 11, 2013

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maghoxfr

it's low budget if it's my gear and i am not getting paid nor are any of us but doing it for a mate. Just think of it as a rental house gave it to me for free for 2 days except the rental house is me. There we go. Free! :)

March 11, 2013

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The term is relative and it gets thrown around way too much these days. In hollywood terms, "low budget" is anything under, like, 25 million. Drive, for example, was a "low budget" film. So was Black Swan. But in online film blog terms, low budget can refer to something made in 1 weekend on a few hundred dollars of rented gear and copy/credit/meal crew and talent.

March 11, 2013

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john jeffreys

Really love Philip's passion for sharing. I have followed him since I 1st picked up a DSLR. It's a pity that he often has to deal with trolls too. Keep up the good work Bloom Boy, and that is a very cool video too. : )

March 11, 2013

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fiftybob

When I started I ran into an interview on youtube with him about DSLR filmmaking and I was sold.

March 11, 2013

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Tyler

Word!!!

March 11, 2013

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appreciate it enormously! :)

March 11, 2013

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I love alost all Philip's shots.. But I do not like in this video the singer all the time in the center of the frame...

March 11, 2013

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Sergey

If you read you'll see that this was done on purpose....he wouldn't have done it If wasn't a reason for it

March 11, 2013

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Kendrick

that's the whole point...he is matched in every frame...please read my blog post if you want to know more

March 11, 2013

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Mr. Bloom is GREAT!!!....so glad to see him sticking with Canon and not being a ship jumper to the "RAW" madness that's going around.....lmao we still haven't seen a steady flow of the new RAW cam that I won't name....but Canon and Nikon just deliver.....remember it's just a tool.....the artist does the painting, the tool doesn't do it

March 11, 2013

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Kendrick

Ship jumping RAW madness huh? Seing as he just shot one of his recent projects on the EPIC, and another on the BMCC, I'd say the only madness around here is this comment.

March 11, 2013

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Clayton Arnall

if only ther was a like button....

March 11, 2013

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jesuan

agree with Jesuan,

March 11, 2013

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kuban

These comments are getting odder and odder. Look, who gives a crap what camera you shoot on.

The last time I shot EPIC was in late 2011 BTW

March 11, 2013

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woops... sorry I saw your tweet entitled “Host My first drama shot on the RED Epic now online" and thought that meant you were shooting EPIC again. Missed the date on that.

March 11, 2013

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Clayton Arnall

thats ok Clayton...that was shot ages ago. Director Danny Lacey only just put it online. Miss that camera. Did lovely stuff!

March 11, 2013

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"The artists does the painting, the tool doesn't do it."

This argument has got to be the most incorrect cliche when it comes to discussing filmmaking, and in particular, cinematography.

There is a reason the world's best cinematographers choose to shoot on Alexa's and 35mm film. The tool IS IMPORTANT. I'm sick of people writing off the importance of the camera/film-stock. Further, it is also equally important to choose an "inferior" camera in order to generate mood and atmosphere, i.e. Canon XL1s on "28 Days Later".

And you're glad Bloom is "sticking to Canon"? Way do be vendor agnostic...

So long as Canon charges $10,000+ for 8-bit cameras, financially sensible filmmakers everywhere will not take them seriously. The skintones and overall gradation in this video alone is enough to make any financially sensible filmmaker turn away from Canon. $12,000...give me a break.

March 11, 2013

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Voltaire

Agree with that too

March 11, 2013

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kuban

thats your opinion....you're mad cause he makes his work look nice on Canon

March 11, 2013

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Cheryll

It's called grading. If you don't like my very stylised look then I am sorry for that and for the compression you have to see whilst watching it.

March 11, 2013

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You should watch more Kendy videos, he uses a cheap Canon and a simple sigma lens. Everything else is skill and talent. One of the main reasons to use Alexa's is time. "They use such and such because" is assuming far too many things, you either know from personal experience or you don't. If you don't know, don't pretend you do by pointing at others. Alexa's are very forgiving and you can spend less time lighting, it's great because it fits all the 35mm stuff most crews are used to. But it is just as easy to screw up a shoot with an Alexa.

March 11, 2013

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nerdo

I agree with everything you're saying. Actually it's quite easy to make 35mm or an Arri Alexa look terrible if you don't know know how to light the set. It's all about light really. If you're good on that you really can make any camera look good. It's not really about 8-bit or 12-bit. A light sensitive sensor (like 1DC) makes it possible to use less light and that can be a real good thing. And sometimes it's better to use more light and that works better with film or, for exemple, Red.

March 11, 2013

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MartinK

Content is king mate - Searching for Sugarman is partly shot on an iphone yet won an oscar. Many people make awful films with great cameras. Yes the tool is important, but just like any other piece of hardware or technology, the person/people using it will determine the outcome, you can't deny that pal.

March 11, 2013

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That comment was @Voltaire

March 11, 2013

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Big fat "WHATEVER". Tools are bullshit and are secondary. I would rather see Deakins or Khondji shoot something on a phone than most amateurs shooting in 15-perf 65mm. And Picasso and just about every other famous painter did amazing sketches with pieces of charcoal.

The top cinematographers have access and budgets to the best materials (cameras, higher wattages for more light control with better lighting instruments...blahblahblah)...but this is not what makes their work great. And this is why good up and coming cinematographers always can make their crappy compressed h.264 8-bit whatever look pretty damned good (& make the other side of the Internet bitchers claim, man, screw the $85k cameras...so and so did this amazing thing on a hacked GH2...etc...).

Good cinematography is good cinematography, regardless of format.

March 27, 2013

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Daniel Mimura

Professional race car drivers drive very expensive cars...that's a field where the top professionals are in an even more technical field than filmmaking is (or has become). I remember my dad taking a racing class when I was a kid and most of the people had 911's and other higher end cars...and the race instructor drove an old automatic station wagon and beat every single one of them. Never confuse the skills with the tools.

March 27, 2013

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Daniel Mimura

It could have been shot on a GH2, great idea and great realization.

March 11, 2013

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Tulio

Cool concept and well shot.

8-bit unfortunately rears its ugly head yet again though, especially in the skin-tones. That's what kills me about the 1DC - minus the resolution, anything shot on it looks like it could have been done with virtually any other DSLR on the market at the moment.

March 11, 2013

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Voltaire

Sorry guys but this footage is MILES ahead of 5D/7D

March 11, 2013

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carlos

ummm...no one is saying it isn't. And for 4 the price, it better damn well be far ahead of the 5D.

March 11, 2013

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Swested

Looks a bit too video-ish to me. Anyone agree? Maybe I've been watching too much BMCC footage...

March 11, 2013

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Robert

Except at 1:41, that's pretty nice.

March 11, 2013

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Robert

Get over that whole "film" BS. The footage looks better than film considering the modern day environment.

March 11, 2013

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lmao.....have they ever started shipping in a decent scale yet....nope so watch is all you might do while u can go get this now....and edit in 2 days...do that with that bmc

March 11, 2013

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james

There's plenty of BMCCs out there. And I'd rather wait to shoot on something decent, rather than a Canon. I'm not alone on this.

March 11, 2013

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Robert

Actually, I could rent one right now, if I wanted to..

March 11, 2013

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Robert

Mine actually comes in tomorrow. Can't wait =)

March 11, 2013

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TrevorR

I love the 1DC but this isn't its best work. I agree you could have shot this with other DSLRs.
And I've not liked any of the clips he's made on whatever he shot them on.
As a micro budget clip its ok though. And its good he's passionate about it.

The key takeout - there's no reason not to just get out there and do it.

March 11, 2013

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marklondon

One thing I don't entirely understand -- when you shoot in 4K intending to reframe in post, does that mean that, at time of shootng, you're intentionally composing with extra space bordering the image you really want? Are there frame lines (or gaffer tape) on your monitor to help you?

I suspect some people actually do do this! Dimly recall reading something about Girl With A Dragon Tattoo in ASC Magazine to this effect.

If Philip is not doing this, then does shooting 4K really give him any reframing ability, given the strict framing requirements of this project?

Haven't inspected the video closely, but reframing could be useful in the train shots (for stabilisation) and in the fridge shot (in case you can't quite get that thing level on the bag).

March 11, 2013

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because Olly had to be exactly matched in frame and even though we had film over the monitor with an outline i needed a bit of leeway hence the ability to crop in without loss of resolution could have been useful. In the end I needed to crop in by around just 5-6%. James got it pretty damn close.

March 11, 2013

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