Breaking Down the Cinematography in Justin Bieber's 'What Do You Mean' Music Video
The day has finally come, as I assumed it would, that we, your trusty arbiters of indie film, are going to write an article centered on none other than -- Justin Bieber.
Okay, okay -- this post isn't necessarily centered on him, but rather the cinematography used in his music video for "What Do You Mean", directed by Brad Furman and shot by Joshua Reis. Matt Workman of Cinematography Database breaks down two different setups from the music video, highlighting some of the innovative techniques used by Reis that gave the video its distinct look. Check it out below:
And here's the original music video:
Matt focuses on the lighting and camerawork in two different setups: the exterior hotel scene at the beginning of the video and the interior hotel scene.
Cinematographer Joshua Reis uses some traditional high end lighting techniques to light a night exterior and some new innovative techniques using LEDs to light a small practical Motel room. Both scenes are visually tied together by a designed color theme.
Reis does some beautifully intriguing things with light and color in the music video -- the harsh shadows and the neon greens and reds create what Matt describes as a "modern film noir" look. But not only does it look good, it serves the story by connecting the subjects within the shot, as well as each scene to form a well-integrated piece.
Matt also mentions that Reis shot in an actual hotel room, which means that the look he created within that 12'x12' room was done practically. In other words, it wasn't shot in a studio where he could have complete control of the space, but in a pre-existing location with lighting limitations and obstacles he had to overcome. (Sound familiar?)
To get an idea of the lighting setup and the camerawork, check out this BTS featurette of the shoot:
Matt was actually able to chat with Joshua Reis about shooting the music video, as well as a feature he shot with Furman, so if you're interested in learning more, Matt will have him on his Modern Cinematographer podcast later on this year.