“Future of Humanity” by Midnight Strangers

A short film disguised as the official music video for Midnight Strangers‘ “Future of Humanity” single. This is my 5th music video, and my first foray into narrative story-telling (even if within the form of a music video). Free HD download here.

This was the longest project I’ve been involved into so far, with 7 hours of shooting in the first batch, and another 4 hours for the re-shoots. We actually re-shot half of the video again, with a different location & female lead. If I had my way, I’d use different locations for the scenes shown from 1′:12″ to 1′:25″.

Shot with a Canon 5D Mark II at 30 fps, and then it was slowed-down to 24p. Majority of footage was shot with the Canon f1.4 50mm lens. My own “ExtraFlat” Picture Style was used (minimum color grading was done in post, it just came out exactly as I wanted it to).

14 Comments »

Glenn wrote on March 10th, 2010 at 12:36 AM PST:

This looks great! You’ve got some great shots in there and overall it works really well.

A few parts seemed a bit off focus the first time I watched it, but watching it a second time it seems the focus was elsewhere for those shots. Like after the first shot of guy injecting the plug. The wider shot there the arm is focused, but it’s framed in a way that your eyes are drawn to the guy’s face which is out of focus.

The editing I think could have been a bit tighter too. At times it seems more like a short film with some music in the background. The red part would have worked better a bar later coming in right on the crash cymbal reflecting the change in the music. A few of the other jump cuts too, you could have cut them right on the waveform of a drum hit to give the music more impact in relation to the visuals. Nothing as extreme as what I would do myself, but a few tight edits like that placed randomly would be nice.

Those posterize effect shots with the red background give it a pop art feel. Is that what you were aiming for?


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Eugenia wrote on March 10th, 2010 at 12:47 AM PST:

>At times it seems more like a short film with some music in the background.

It was shot this way actually. Unfortunately, moving some scenes to the beat, would have made other scenes longer/shorter, and it wouldn’t flow well with the rest. In fact, until we shot a new scene last Sunday, the backpacking scene was too long, because we had nothing else to put there. It might not look bad recycling shots on a performance-style music video, but on a narrative one, it’d look weird.

>pop art feel. Is that what you were aiming for?

It’s in line with the band’s artwork for their new EP.


Vytis wrote on March 10th, 2010 at 2:38 AM PST:

Interesting! 1′:12″ to 1′:25″ were my favourite locations!


Francis Coral - Mellon wrote on March 10th, 2010 at 8:01 AM PST:

Not bad. Actually quite an interesting storyline. I too think more pzaz in the locations could have helped. Everything seems very plain. Or is that intentional? Why did you decide to do only minimal color grading on the extra flat picture style? It is nice that almost all of the detail is preserved.


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Eugenia wrote on March 10th, 2010 at 11:26 AM PST:

>Everything seems very plain.

If you’re talking about the location itself being plain, yes, it was. The tables, chairs, all felt ordinary. The original video was shot indoors on a cafe, and I personally liked that better.

>Why did you decide to do only minimal color grading

Because the look was already the one I wanted, right out of the camera.


nzo wrote on March 10th, 2010 at 6:38 PM PST:

Holy Mackerel Eugenia – you’re having fun! Good on you 🙂


Burk wrote on March 10th, 2010 at 11:06 PM PST:

This is great! I would love to hear your 30p to 24p 5d workflow (I’m assuming you did this in Vegas?).

One thing I noticed, on my laptop skin tones seem pretty orange. Is it just me?


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Eugenia wrote on March 10th, 2010 at 11:21 PM PST:

I used Cineform NeoHD, which can convert 30.00 to 29.97 and then slows-down to 23.976 in a single step.

The skin tones are not orange btw, they are actually pretty teal, compared to how it was recorded.


abds69 wrote on March 12th, 2010 at 4:19 AM PST:

Quality is beautiful, the 50mm 1.4 is for something in that. Encoding perfect. No grading is the right choice, but mind the continuity in the skin tones. When outside, the skins are too white compared to the interior’s ones, not sure exterior’s skins shouldn’t have been corrected to match. What do you think ?
Story telled is ok but not that much interesting, so i would have inserted shots of band singing to dynamise the whole.
Really near TV broadcast quality and sometimes in the clip better !! Well done.
Did you monetize this clip, if not it rewards it ?


Rikki wrote on March 12th, 2010 at 6:52 AM PST:

Well done! Loving this a lot 😀


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Eugenia wrote on March 12th, 2010 at 11:39 AM PST:

>Did you monetize this clip, if not it rewards it ?

What do you mean? If you talk about charging for it, then, no. I don’t charge artists for my music videos.


abds69 wrote on March 12th, 2010 at 1:20 PM PST:

All that nice work for passion : Magnifique !!!


Phil wrote on March 13th, 2010 at 12:21 PM PST:

I’m in no position to give any worthwhile critique of your abilities, however as somebody who spends _far_, _far_, too much time on the Internet the storyline really hit home.


Jules wrote on March 17th, 2010 at 7:09 AM PST:

I don’t agree with the plain comments, sometimes if images are too stunning/interesting, they take away from the story being told.

Gosh, I wish I had some talent to show off! Well done bloke at the back.


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