“Solomon” by As A People

Official music video for “Solomon”, by the San Francisco rock band As A People. You can download the song for free at the band’s site, or the HD video at Vimeo.

I had immense fun shooting this video, the band was really cool, and the song rocks. I consider it the most complex, and best video work of mine so far. I learned a few new things about the process, and I believe that the next step for me as a videographer is rigorous story-boarding, and having a grander plan. It’s the only way to avoid weak spots of continuity, like the ones found on the first 30 seconds of the video.

I shot the video with a Canon 5D Mark II, at 30 fps, and then slowed it down at 24 fps. I can’t wait for Canon to at last release the 24p firmware, it’s a long time waiting. It was my first major video with the 5D. Overall shooting time was 3 hours.

On location tools: a tripod, and a shoulder rest. A single Canon 50mm f1.4 lens was used. Software tools used were Sony Vegas Pro, Cineform, Magic Bullet (tools that didn’t always want to co-operate very well, so editing took quite some time: crashing, and bugs).

Many thanks to my beloved husband, Jean-Baptiste, for his support and feedback. I wouldn’t be able to do jack without him.

22 Comments »

Burk wrote on February 7th, 2010 at 12:10 AM PST:

That was great! Love the song and the whole thing looks fantastic.

“at 30 fps, and then slowed it down at 24 fps”

So you shot with the audio track speeded up so the 24p would play at “normal speed”?


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Eugenia wrote on February 7th, 2010 at 12:19 AM PST:

Thanks! Yup, that’s it. I have detailed the process here.


Martin wrote on February 7th, 2010 at 1:58 AM PST:

Wow, I really love this music video. Very well and professional done!


Daveson wrote on February 7th, 2010 at 2:47 AM PST:

Good work! Great song, great video!!!
5d and eugenia is a good combo!
So you shot this extra flat?


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Eugenia wrote on February 7th, 2010 at 2:50 AM PST:

Thanks! A few scenes were shot flat, yes. They did look better in post btw.


Julia wrote on February 7th, 2010 at 3:15 AM PST:

Boring. No storyline and you only apply primitive effects after very repetitive scenes. Also overall look is very amateurish.


Jim wrote on February 7th, 2010 at 10:19 AM PST:

Well, I have to take issue with Julia on all counts.

I suspect Julia’s comments are based on her experience as a spectator.

I think this is a fine effort and I wonder how you did the pip effect without rotoscoping?

At the end of the day, the final thought is if the audience is entertained? My answer is yes, it conveyed the music, the band is very photogenic and I was entertained. It doesn’t get any better than that.

For the critics, let me suggest improvements, saying something is boring is very subjective. Not everyone loves the Beatles or Opera? I think Julia’s comment boring and not helpful. Though it is possible to be critical and specific. In general Eugenia has many criticisms of art, but is specific as to why she dislikes it. Julia could learn from her.


Matthew Galvin wrote on February 7th, 2010 at 11:24 AM PST:

Nice work!
Definitely your finest music vid so far – great subtle use of the limited depth of field – you didn’t beat us over the head with it . . . that shows maturity and self control, something which a lot of 5DmkII shooters haven’t quite mastered.
Chroma key panels were great!
If you haven’t looked at it already, you should consider submitting to 99 Dollar Music Videos for some extra promotional kick.


Glenn wrote on February 7th, 2010 at 2:19 PM PST:

It looks nice. You’re happy with the 5DII?

I think shooting at 30P and slowing it down looks better anyway. It seems to smooth out the motion.

By the way, do you know what plugin caused Vegas to crash? Magic bullet? Vegas has become a nightmare to render anything from lately. Well, with noise reduction anyway. Both Neat Video and the New Blue noise reducer seems to cause problems.


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Eugenia wrote on February 7th, 2010 at 2:49 PM PST:

Thanks guys. 🙂

Glenn, the 5D’s controls could have been more usable IMHO, in terms of video, but other than that, it’s good. Rolling shutter is more than the HV series btw.

The Vegas crashes had to do with a new problem on Vegas Pro 9 with Cineform. Red frames and whatnot, causing it to crash easily. Fully reproducible on my machine, on any recent project — not just this one. The bug doesn’t exist on Pro 8 and Platinum 9 — on the same PC. Other bugs I encountered had to do with the advanced motion blur controls (a random frame would be super-imposed on the blurred picture out of nowhere), and that the Bump Map plugin doesn’t play nice when another heavy plugin is also in the chain, e.g. chroma keying, Starburst, or Magic Bullet (Vegas would occasionally fail to render all plugins, and in some cases it would “forget” to render a whole video track too for the duration of a few frames or a full event!). Crazy stuff.. almost made me want to give up on video altogether, because honestly, I don’t have another year to learn how to use a different video editor…


Glenn wrote on February 7th, 2010 at 5:10 PM PST:

Yeah, I know the feeling. I was ready to make the switch to Adobe at one stage and even installed the trial version. Then realised as soon as I ran it that I’m better off sticking with Vegas. Programs like Premiere, FCP and all the rest are just awkward to use. So the red frames are caused by Cineform? I get those a lot. I just though it was because I was hitting a memory limit with the plugins. Do you work in 32bit colour or 8bit?

I’ve been testing the 422 MXF format lately. Haven’t had any problems, although the real time playback seems a bit slow.


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Eugenia wrote on February 7th, 2010 at 5:18 PM PST:

Apparently, according to this person, the red frames happens on HDV too. But I’ve only seen it with Cineform on my setup. I’m on 32bit Vegas Pro 9, on Vista 64bit, 8 bit color.

There’s DNxHD as an alternative to Cineform, but I prefer Cineform because it’s faster to both transcode and preview, and it’s got additional utilities too (e.g. while transcoding the MOV files to Cineform AVI, it also did the 30p -> 24p conversion to me in a single step).

It’s really a matter of Sony getting serious about testing their software. Sure they’re cheaper than the competition, but they’ll always remain the small guys if they don’t step up their game.


Glenn wrote on February 7th, 2010 at 9:23 PM PST:

That’s right, Cineform does that conversion. It’s too bad they don’t offer a 30p to 25P option. I need to stick with PAL for DVD’s and local broadcast versions (music videos). I normally do a batch process to convert the files using the Vegas batch script, although I’m currently trying out the Veggie toolkit, as it lets me change playback rate and stretches each using the Time Bandit script. Then I can do the conversion.

Have you tried MXF? I’m considering making the switch to that. I have a feeling the slightly poor performance I got from it before may have been due to my project being set to 32bit colour. With Canon adopting the format for the next generation of semi pro video cameras and Sony providing full support within Vegas, I’m sure it would be a lot less troublesome in the long term.


Michael C. wrote on February 8th, 2010 at 12:43 AM PST:

All on location, or some greenscreen (like the scene on the street with the bridge behind)?


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Eugenia wrote on February 8th, 2010 at 1:08 AM PST:

There were three locations: the place with the red wall, the live stuff at a music venue, and the street at the end. That was a real place, not a green screen. It was not a bridge btw. It’s the SF Federal Building.


William Eggington wrote on February 8th, 2010 at 2:35 PM PST:

I liked everything but the cut into the live stuff. The choice of filters/effects seemed a little hammed up and cheezy. I loved the stop motion feeling underneath the effects though.


Yanni wrote on February 9th, 2010 at 4:53 PM PST:

The band holding the panes of glass(?) with concert footage in them was really cool. Whoever said forget taking the drums to the shoot and let the drummer act like an ass in the background was a genius. His antics add a lot to the video.

I like the panes of glass so much I don’t think I’d have even gone into the concert footage, but I can see why you did. Nice video.


Bruce wrote on February 9th, 2010 at 6:13 PM PST:

Bravo..you’ve come a long way..aninspiration to all of us wannabes


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Eugenia wrote on February 9th, 2010 at 6:24 PM PST:

Thx guys!


ralph wrote on February 10th, 2010 at 11:30 PM PST:

this DSLR might work out well for this genre, but if you’re in any way interested ( which I dont’ think you are ) in where the money is, this won’t cut it. The underrepresented hip-hop industry for example, which I understand might not be very big in the SF area, is a music video industry which is 99% shot to this day in SD. And I don’t really understand, neither do most professional video producers, why you would want an effects-driven video made with such a high resolution camera. In reality, you wouldn’t, and they wouldn’t… and they don’t or will anytime in the next 10 years, use such cameras. When you’re doing abstract work, in fact, it’s quite ignorant to use HD.

This has NOTHING to do with you personally, just my personal thoughts on DSLR technology and its implementation in the music video industry.


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Eugenia wrote on February 11th, 2010 at 1:19 AM PST:

Sorry Ralph, but your comment makes little sense. There is absolutely nothing wrong using a better quality camera, that the dSLRs are, compared to SD. If your artist is hopeful to ever be shown on TV, or even on youtube, people want to see HD. And if you do effects (many hip-hop videos are effect-driven) then you _need_ the extra resolution in order to work that out.


Francis Coral - Mellon wrote on February 16th, 2010 at 2:46 AM PST:

Ralph made a somewhat ridiculous comment there. Who films in SD, you mean exports. Last time I checked over the last 20 years top music videos were still filmed on 35mm film and then exported in “SD” for television. I could go on quite a bit but it seems as though he doesn’t know what he is talking about. Just that he says it with such confidence and so well worded is just plain confusing to me.


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