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Christopher Curry

New Super 8 multi-camera live music video shot with Kodak Vision 3 500T

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Two and a half years ago, I filmed one my friends bands performing a song during their last ever gig. Armed with a Canon 814AZ, 814E, 518SV, Beaulieu 1008XL and 6 carts of Kodak Vision 3 500T, with the help of three other friends we captured the performance from four different angles. Cameras were set to automatic exposure and 24fps.

 

Film was processed by Spectra Film & Video and 1280x720 @ 50p ProRes 422 digital transfer by Kent at Uppsala Bildteknik. Sound was recorded separately at the venue then later on synchronised with Super 8 footage in Final Cut Pro 7. The video speed had to be adjusted to match the sound. This process made up the vast majority the editing process (and a highly frustrating experience at that). Cropped to 16:9 aspect ratio in Compressor (is it me or is Super 8 actually slightly wider than 4:3?). No colour grading or filters added.

 

So without further ado, it can be finally viewed on Vimeo:

 

 

Or alternatively on Youtube (please watch in 720p): http://

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Two and a half years ago, I filmed one my friends bands performing a song during their last ever gig. Armed with a Canon 814AZ, 814E, 518SV, Beaulieu 1008XL and 6 carts of Kodak Vision 3 500T, with the help of three other friends we captured the performance from four different angles. Cameras were set to automatic exposure and 24fps.

 

Film was processed by Spectra Film & Video and 1280x720 @ 50p ProRes 422 digital transfer by Kent at Uppsala Bildteknik. Sound was recorded separately at the venue then later on synchronised with Super 8 footage in Final Cut Pro 7. The video speed had to be adjusted to match the sound. This process made up the vast majority the editing process (and a highly frustrating experience at that). Cropped to 16:9 aspect ratio in Compressor (is it me or is Super 8 actually slightly wider than 4:3?). No colour grading or filters added.

 

So without further ado, it can be finally viewed on Vimeo:

 

 

Or alternatively on Youtube (please watch in 720p): http://

 

nice work! thanks for sharing! I bet the band were pleased?

 

what is your next project?

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Nice work. Love the look. Super8 rocks. A shame it is such a pain to work with. Imagine if we had ten minute rolls and crystal sync!

 

I'd be curious to see this stock scanned in 1080p and uncompressed on a large screen. Heck, I'd love to see what you have now, but not YouTube and Vimeo compressed. Oh well.

 

The sound issues must have been a nightmare. Patience is a virtue. B)

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nice work! thanks for sharing! I bet the band were pleased?

 

what is your next project?

 

Thanks! Only the bassist has seen it so far but he seems very happy with it and has been sharing the link with his friends on Facebook. Got some positive comments so far.

 

My next project will be rescanning some older Super 8 footage of the same band I and making some more music vids. After getting the transfer at Uppsala Bildteknik for this particular video I want to give the older stuff the same treatment. Most of it is in Tri-X. There's also some extra 500T footage that never made to the final cut of this video as it doesn't relate to the song performance.

 

I've got a Cinema Products 16mm film camera that I've been meaning to experiment with. Somewhere down the line I'll figure out to use it properly!

 

Nice work. Love the look. Super8 rocks. A shame it is such a pain to work with. Imagine if we had ten minute rolls and crystal sync!

 

I'd be curious to see this stock scanned in 1080p and uncompressed on a large screen. Heck, I'd love to see what you have now, but not YouTube and Vimeo compressed. Oh well.

 

The sound issues must have been a nightmare. Patience is a virtue. B)

 

Cheers! I was quite thrilled once I finally saw the transferred V3 500T footage for the first time. I was chasing the "old school" live concert look and it gave me pretty much exactly what I was after. Plus it holds up incredibly well in low-lighting. Kodak have really pushed Super 8 to a greater potential with this film stock. Granted I was fortunate to have so much strong lighting to work with at the concert, the dynamic range of V3 500T from bright to dim exceeded my expectations.

 

One thing I kept telling myself while undertaking this project is that you have to be almost crazy to do such a project in Super 8. It's almost like taking the path of most resistance. Since the song lasted for more than 2.5 mins, we had to orchestrate the filming so that when we each changed cartridges there would be no gaps in the footage. Trying to sync the footage with the audio was hell! You end up chasing your tail because when you see a certain point is in sync it will only fall out of sync later in the timeline. Then when you adjust the speed to make the later point in sync, the earlier point will now be out of sync. Lots of trial & error, self-doubt, frustration, and stress. You end up working out a compromise that's not perfect, but close enough. At the end of the day, the audience isn't going to be watching the footage as critically as you are for sync issues. The only real way around it all would be to step up 16mm with all the luxuries of crystal sync and the extra magazine capacity.

 

There is certainly a lot more detail in the film grain than what you get on Vimeo and Youtube. It's kind of depressing having to compress it down to a much smaller data-rate knowing that people arn't going to see it in it's original glory. The uncompressed master clip for the final edit is 1.74GB with a datarate of 58.72 mbits/sec. Compressed to mpeg2 in goes down 483MB with a datarate of 20 mbits/sec. The mpeg2 version still looks great on my 42" Sony Bravia TV. If I had a place to host the mpeg2 file, then I would upload it so you could check it out. Any ideas?

Edited by Christopher Curry

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Fun project!

 

Great to see 500T can really work in that situation. Also the telecine and colorist did a good job of matching the shots from different cameras. It was much more cohesive in color than most multi-camera video shoots I see.

 

Just a couple constructive criticisms:

  • The audio mix sounds distant, like there's more ambient mic than direct board audio. Multi-tracking and mixing later will really improve the overall effect, especially for the lead vocal but it takes a ton of work
  • Cross-fades are a little over done; there's nothing wrong with a straight cut.
  • Would have been nice to see some crowd shots from the stage to get a feel for the venue
     
    If I was in that band I would flip. I bet they'll be extremely happy.

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Great to see 500T can really work in that situation. Also the telecine and colorist did a good job of matching the shots from different cameras. It was much more cohesive in color than most multi-camera video shoots I see.

 

When it was transferred I think the grading was kept to a minimum to give more room for adjustment later during the editing process. That said, I didn't touch a thing to change the look of the images. I think the shots with the close up of the singer could do with a bit less brightness and more contrast. Eventually I just left everything as it is as I'm not very experienced with these processes and do not want to risk ruining the natural look of the images.

 

Just a couple constructive criticisms:

[*]The audio mix sounds distant, like there's more ambient mic than direct board audio. Multi-tracking and mixing later will really improve the overall effect, especially for the lead vocal but it takes a ton of work

[*]Cross-fades are a little over done; there's nothing wrong with a straight cut.

[*]Would have been nice to see some crowd shots from the stage to get a feel for the venue

 

The audio sounds like that because the direct board mix was very dry and "lonely" sounding (I didn't have any control over the individual track levels). It hardly sounded like they were playing in a room full of people at all. Hence why I mixed the ambient sound (taken from a cheap small digital camera) in to the point where you got the "body" of the board mix and "liveliness" of the room. The guitar and drums sound much more alive and cutting from the ambient source. There was also a substantial amount of reverb going through PA on the vocals, from which the ambient source was capturing so that contributed to also a fair amount of distance to the overall blend. It's a compromise but I much prefer it over a dead sounding audio track that gives off a claustrophobic impression of the performance. An improvement would have been to source the all of the individual sound board tracks and originally recorded the ambient sound with a high-quality pair of condenser microphones high up on a mic stand but time and budget constraints prevented such.

 

Yeah, I've got a bid of a bad habit with using the cross fades. I couldn't bring myself to do any straight cuts.

 

If I had a fifth camera shooting (!) then I probably would have put them behind the amplifiers looking at the backs of the musicians and into the crowd. I gave strict instructions to the camera operators to concentrate on the musicians with minimal camera movement as to not mess up the focus and give a more consistent look. In retrospect, I could have done some cutaway shots but I ran out of film!

Edited by Christopher Curry

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