COVID19: shooting a music video with an iPhone 11

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“Why did you shoot a music video using an iPhone?”

Shooting a music video with an iPhone 11
Click here to watch the video

Coronavirus outbreak

Some months ago, we all found ourselves in a difficult situation, way beyond our understanding. From one day to another, we were forced to lock ourselves at home and to avoid every possible social contact.

This invisible enemy, the coronavirus, has made its way into becoming part of our lives, changing the way we interact and work.

In addition to the enormous health damage, it has severely affected the world of work with drastic consequences. As a result, people had to reinvent their job, experiment with new techniques and find new ways of earning, all by using the means at one’s disposal.

As a filmmaker who used to spend almost everyday on set, I felt like my routine was forced to hit the pause button. I immediately missed the set, the meetings, the creative ideas and the 24-hour marathons to get the job done.

The idea

Right before the lockdown, my sister had finished recording a short song for a personal project and wanted to make a video to launch it. Unfortunately, I had left all my equipment at the studio and I thought I would have had to wait until the lockdown would be over.

Then, I wondered… Do you really need expensive cameras and lights to shoot a decent music video? I had an iPhone 11 PRO and I was sure that would have been enough, if used properly.

Since I had recently bought a Sokani X21 PRO (as recommended by David Sandberg), I thought it would have been a great opportunity to fully test it.

After making a quick moodboard, I defined two main keywords: fashion and creepy. The images formed in my head as a sequence of colored and dark frames.

Frame from the music video
Click here to watch the video

Shooting the video

The set was as simple and effective as it could have possibly been: a white wall (in my sister’s bedroom).

The Sokani LED was screwed to a GorillaPod that was attached to a coat hanger (yup, high-quality equipment). Unexpectedly, the 12 color gels that came with it happened to be particularly useful to help me achieve the look I had in mind. For a couple of scenes, an old GoPro’s LED helped me add a bit of fill light to the subject.

What definitely gave a boost to the iPhone’s camera is the app FiLMiC Pro: the ability to shoot LOG footage helped preserve as much Dynamic Range as possible (and, trust me, it really benefited the color grading process).

This is literally the technical part about this music video: a white wall, a Sokani LED and an iPhone.

Frame from the music video
Click here to watch the video

Post production

Everything post-related was handled inside DaVinci Resolve, my favorite choice when it comes to editing and color correction.

As I expected, the footage maintained a decently high amount of data and dynamic range (thanks to FiLMiC Pro). As you can see in the next examples, I managed to alter the footage quite a lot before starting to get visible artifacts.

1. Digital relighting

Before / After

2. Hue change

Final thoughts

So, am I satisfied about the results? Of course I am.

The quality of the footage is jaw dropping, considering how small that sensor is. Using a high-consumer camera would have certainly resulted in overall better quality, less noise and more data, but given the circumstances I think this is the best I could have asked for.

FiLMiC Pro has proven once again to be the industry leader, with a top quality app adding needful features to the iPhone’s camera. Such an incredible value for that price.

Sokani did a great job with that X21 Pro LED light. It has great light output, adjustable color temperature, 12 color gels and a 97+ CRI. Do you really need any more reasons to go and buy it?

Click here to watch the video

Your opinions

Did you watch the video? Have you ever shot a music video on your iphone?
Be sure to share your thoughts in the comment section below!

If you‘re looking for color grading services, you can get in touch here to request a quote.

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