Bandana Splits Music Video

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Last Monday Stephanie Testa DPed on the set of The Bandana Splits music video for their upcoming single. It was a marathon video shoot, from 3pm to 6am!

The location couldn’t have been any better, taking place at the now famed Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain. Now that we finally have something in common with James Franco, I can die a happy woman.

To get the perfect low light look, Stephanie did a ton of research beforehand to select the absolute best lenses for the shoot. We knew that we’d be using a mixture of available lighting, string lights and small spots. The lenses she ended up using were the Canon 14mm f/2.8 (widest rectilinear lens out there), 20mm f/2.8 (our new lens!), 50mm f/1.2, 85mm f/1.2, and 135mm f/2.0. To top it off, she shot many of the shots using a Glidecam track, so the footage really has a great subtle smooth movement.

But before we delay any longer, we want to give a shout out to our friend Bob Coen at Transformers Films (just downstairs!) for getting us in touch with Thomas “Tim” Harris, inventor of the “Hand Held Remote Camera Positioner” – think steadicam meets crane. Harris’ device is currently in patent pending, and we’re really lucky to say the Bandana Splits music video shoot last week was its debut on a full set! Here’s a quick demo video of the crane in action:

So huge thanks to Tim for operating his crane into the wee hours of the morning, and an additional thanks goes to Bob for letting us borrow his follow focus and rig!

So, with production wrapped up, we’re currently in post with the video – but we’ll be posting a copy of the finished video as soon as it’s done!
Behind the scenes: Splits + Stephanie Testa + Glidecam
Behind the scenes: Splits + Stephanie Testa + Glidecam
Tim Harris's hand held crane system + Canon 5D
Tim Harris’s hand held crane system + Canon 5D
Not production related, but worth posting: extras in 1940's attire still can't resist checking their iPhones.
Not production related, but worth posting: extras in 1940’s attire still can’t resist checking their iPhones.

WebM vs. H.264

There’s been a lot of talk recently about Google’s announcement that Chrome would no longer be supporting H.264 as a web video codec, making room for WebM, their own open source, royalty free codec called VP8. Many are unhappy with this news, since it will make it initially more difficult to publish a video on the web that is viewable in any browser on any computer. Many browsers are already supporting VP8, and others using Safari and IE will have to install plugins for the content to be available. There is speculation that web video publishers may turn back to Flash in the interim while VP8 support becomes more universal. But Flash is clunky on mobile devices, and there’s been a big push for HTML5.

Aside from compatibility issues, we are also concerned about quality. So, I decided to load VP8 on our computers, and check it out. Here are the results of my preliminary test, using comparable settings in both codecs.

H.264, 1000kbps, Multi-Pass, 1.7MB

VP8, 1000kbps, 2-Pass, 3.1MB

The differences are extremely slight. It looks like VP8’s color is a little richer, with slightly fewer compression artifacts, but really it’s nothing drastic. VP8 is almost twice as large at H.264, which was surprising.