early 2000's music video look...
just wondering if anyone knows what kind of cameras they used to make a lot of the early 2000's music videos like this one:
any help would be much appreciated!:)
It's going to be virtually impossible to say, not knowing any production specs for that specific video, but we can make some educated guesses...
That song is from 2003 (video directed by Chris Robinson), so it was most likely 35mm film. That was well before the development of any of the digital cameras that might likely be used in the same situation today.... long before any of the RED cameras, before the Arri Alexa, even before the Panavision Genesis.
If it was shot electronically, the only real camera contender would have been Sony's HDW-F900... but I don't think the F900 was used there, it just doesn't have that "look."
So... we can assume it was 35mm film. So... to your question... which camera? No way to tell really... could have been one of the Panavision models, could have been one of the Arris, or even the MovieCam SuperAmerica. It doesn't really matter because basically a film camera is a film camera and has very little if anything to do with the "look" of an image. That video looks the way it looks because of all ther other cinematographic choices... the particular filmstock that was used, the lenses (my guess is they were Cooke primes, but that's just a guess, it sort of has the sharp/contrasty Cooke look), and the DP work with the very high-contrast lighting. And of course tons of color grading and finishing work in the post stage.
So, what camera? Impossible to say... if you play detective a bit (meaning Google) you might be able to find some behind-the-scenes footage or stills from the shoot, if any show the camera you'd be able to identify it that way.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
hey thanks very much!
that's pretty much exactly what I wanted to know...I didn't even think about 35mm...duhh!!
I think the new camera technology looks beautiful but there is very little mystery or haze to the image overall which adds the magic/nostalgia.. it looks like a lot of new videos are shot on home video cameras!
thanks a lot for your time Todd, much appreesh!!
I usually agree with Todd, but not this time! I don't think it's 35mm film, because it has neither the dynamic range of film nor the shallow DOF. It might be 16mm shot in reversal stock, but my best guess is 2/3" Digi Beta. Another tell tale factor supporting my two guesses is the 4x3 aspect ratio, common to 6mm and 2/3" cameras of that era. Both 35mm and the HD cameras available at the time (Sony F700/900 and Varicam)n were both 16x9.
I never disagree with John when he disagrees with me (because he is invariably right in the end), but in this case I will a bit...
And in light of (and as tribute to) David Letterman's retirement I will offer my own Top Ten list.
TOP TEN REASONS I THINK THIS VIDEO WAS 35mm AND NOT 16mm, REVERSAL, OR BETA
10. This was a big-time and big-budget production.
9. 35mm was the norm for higher-end videos then.
8. 16mm would have been an unlikely choice.
7. Reversal stock would have been an unlikely choice, I've never known of a production of this scope using reversal film, and it certainly doesn't look like it.
6. Just because film has high dynamic range doesn't mean it has to be used, and can easily be crushed in post if that's the look that is wanted, and this definitely seemed to be a purposeful aesthetic choice.
5. 35mm can have extremely deep depth of field at high f-stops, and especially with the wide lenses that are prevelant in this video.
4. Pharrell Williams doesn't look a day older today than he did 12 years ago. This has nothing to do with this issue, of course... but I think it's worth noting. He has undoubtedly made a deal with the devil.
3. It just didn't have a DigiBeta, Sony HD, or Varicam "look" to me.
2. In 2003 all music videos were destined for standard-def TV, even though there was a little bit of HD production going on then, 4:3 was still the norm. Ergo, with the exceptions of the occasional video that was produced letterboxed, all were produced 4:3, irrespective of the camera format.
AND THE NUMBER ONE REASON I THINK THIS WAS 35mm....
1. I know that it was.
I was curious enough about this to do some sleuthing (ok, I sent one email). On another non-COW cinematographic forum I have a friend, Olivier, who is a fantastic DP living in Ecuador (and he's a stunningly-good cinematographer). His work is not seen much in the states, but it's all over national commercial spots in South America, and strangely enough some in Canada. Well Olivier had nothing to do with this production.... but a friend of a friend, Alejandro, was an AC on it. Alejandro doesn't remember the stock, or the lenses (other than, as expected, they were spherical), but does remember it was an Arriflex shoot, probably Arri 435 as best he can recall. In fact one of his jobs was to take the camera neg to the lab at Labocine Do Brasil after each wrap of the several-day shoot in Rio de Janeiro.
So... now we know.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.