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Getting the High End Look on a Budget

Back in September I came across “Tellin You Y” music video for James the Mormon, which was directed and shot by Cameron Gade, director and filmmaker from California and based out of Utah. Naturally, I reached out to Cameron to learn how this video was created.

Cameron was kind enough to share with me some behind the scenes insights from his work and the process behind creating this music video, for which he used our LUTs in the color grading process.

Ever since then I wanted to share this video here on our blog, as it’s truly awesome, but something always stepped in the way. To cut a long story short, unfortunately I’m sharing this video only now. But, I guess better late than never. Sorry Cameron…

First, things first, here’s the music video “Tellin You Y”:

Could you share with us some technical details for this video?

“Sure thing. Everything was shot on the A7s II in S-Log3, S-Gamut3. We used available light only. There was zero lighting done other than the stadium lights being on. This was a run and gun shoot because we didn’t have a budget for it.”

However, with coloring I was able to make it look pretty good.

Which software did you use for the color grade?

“Grading was all done in Davinci Resolve 12.5”

Please tell me a bit about the color grading process.

“Each clip was graded with anywhere from 4-6 nodes. All clips started with a Lutify.me log conversion LUT to Rec709 to give me a head start as I only had a couple of days to edit and color. On the second node I did some balancing to the image and made sure my white balance was perfect. Third node was where I applied the creative LUTs from the Teal and Orange category. Fourth node was almost always a Luma vs Saturation curve to make sure my shadows and highlights had the proper amount of saturation or lack thereof. The fifth and sixth nodes depended on the clip. This is where I did focusing, fixed color issues, and polished the final image.”

Wow, thanks for the info! In retrospect would you change anything about the way you approached things?

“I guess I would not have shot in S-Log3. S-Log3 really struggles in low light situations, even when over exposing a stop or more. The shadows end up being quite noisy. I was able to fix them with Neat Video, but it was tiresome. After thinking about it further, I would only film in S-Log3 in very bright situations and reserve S-Log2 for darker situations. I also understand many others prefer the Cine2 or Cine4 profiles on the Sony A7s II. I suppose I would just recommend doing plenty of tests before a big shoot. This shoot was put together quickly and was a great learning experience for me.”

Thank you Cameron for sharing this with us. It was a pleasure! Keep doing the excellent work that you’re doing.

For more of Cameron’s amazing work visit his website or his Vimeo profile.

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