Artic Melvin Music Video

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    Artist - Artic Melvin

    Album / Track - Fake Colour / Let Us Down

    Director / DoP / Editor - Simon Corris


    Format - DSLR Canon 7D

    Website - Artic Melvin



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    Camera - Canon EOS 7D

    Lens - Sigma 50mm

    Composited - Adobe After Effects CS5.5






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    Software - FrameForge Previz Studio 3


    Vimeo Vimeo

Budget: Low!
Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Lenses: Sigma 50mm,
Monopod: Manfrotto 562B
Tripod: Manfrotto 055XPROB
Head: Manfrotto 701 HDV Fluid Head
Filters:Vari-ND Filter

The concept behind this video was to clone the artist and have him accompany himself on an acoustic and electric guitar. Also, at one point, they switch positions and the acoustic guitar is transferred between them.


The main challenge lay in the post production and the compositing of the shots to create the clone effect. On the shoot itself, it was important to film the various effects plates as closely together as possible so as to avoid too many issues with changing light and having to balance the exposures later in post. There was still a little work to do in this area (as you'll see in the VFX Breakdown video via the Vimeo link below) but it usually only amounted to adjusting for about a fifth to a third of a stop.

The clone technique is relatively straight forward and basically consists of two separate clone plates and masking in After Effects to composite the shots together. With the help of some tests and the previz we were able to work out the movement and timings for the artist to help make the compositing as simple as possible.

The video was edited in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 the effects work composited in After Effects CS5.5. The trickiest sequence to complete was the final end shot of the artist walking off into the distance. during the filming of this section the sun kept peeking out from behind the clouds which made it very difficult to match the two effects shots together. However, with the help of the clean plate we shot just in case (a shot of the environment without artist or guitars) we were able to work around this.

There were also many falling leaves throught the day that we thought might be a problem but fortunately this wasn't so and in fact helps sell the effect in some places.




The original concept called for a fallen tree of some sort as the background for the video, hence the tree in the storyboards. Much searching in local woods and forests yielded nothing suitable until we were offered a fallen tree in a private woodland. Unfortunately this location fell through due to a rutting stag which had taken up temporary residence and was fiercely protective of its new territory. Thankfully a new location was found fairly quickly and although not quite the fallen tree as envisaged, the rocky backdrop we feel offers a much more interesting setting, especially with the lichen covered surfaces lending a mystical Middle Earth feel.

We shot some test footage a week or so before the main shoot on a wonderfully still and misty morning, lending even more to the Middle Earth feel. It would have been nice to have had the mist for the day itself although it would probably have caused problems matching shots as the mist cleared later in the morning. A bigger budget and we could have misted up the clearing ourselves :-)

One other issue that the test shoot highlighted was that we needed to get our perspective correct, to avoid going all Hobbitty with the cloned characters. If both characters aren't on the same plane to the camera one of them will look like a minature version, as you'll see in the test footage.


The previz was immensly helpful and you can see a comparison between this and the final video via the Vimeo links above.