Faking the Robot Camera Move from Kendrick Lamar's 'Humble' Music Video
No robots were harmed in the making of this tutorial—mostly because there were none.
Kendrick Lamar's music video for his hit single "Humble" was one of the most iconic of 2017. That's partly due to the fact that the song itself was also iconic as hell, but much of the credit has to go to co-director Dave Meyers and The Little Homies (Lamar and Dave Free) who managed to pack a crazy amount of cinematic acrobatics into a piece that lasts only three minutes.
If you want to try and replicate the look of the video, well, you're gonna need a lot of expertise and super expensive gear, like one of those giant robotic arms. Sry. But hey, there is a way to kind of fake one of the video's coolest moves—and you won't even need a robot to do it. Jordy Vandeput of Cinecom shows you a pretty simple workaround in the following tutorial.
Just in case you're not sure which robotic camera move I'm talking about, it happens at about the 2-minute mark in the "Humble" music video.
Okay, so it's not perfect, but for not using a mega-expensive high-speed robotic arm, I have to say, it's still pretty damn good. There's a lot to keep in mind while shooting something like this, like making sure that your subject's movements, as well as those of your camera, are slow and precise, but the trick here is to add that all-important motion blur once you're in post. That will be the thing that really sells the effect, not to mention it's a component that is easy to overlook.
Even though the cinematic techniques used in this music video look complicated, many of them actually aren't. In fact, if you want to recreate the jittery "Last Supper" shot, you can do so by capturing the scene with a 3 or 4-camera rig (with each camera spaced a short distance apart) and then splicing footage from each in post.
Or, you know, you could sit back and just bask in the radiance of this music video—humbly, of course.