Joanne Joanne – Room 7609
Hugely pleased that Joanne Joanne have been a big part of the last month or so. JJ are an astonishingly talented all-female Duran Duran tribute act who play mostly early DD numbers. JJ really live in the songs and bring a zeal to the material that will make you enjoy the songs anew – even if you were never a DD fan.
We did a shoot together at Stoke Newington’s Blush Bar. I like the keywords that Googling Blush Bar brings up.
I picked out a couple of Duran Duran images that I wanted to recreate and I think we did well in the limited time to pull it off.
We also took some pictures at the rehearsal immediately after the shoot.
On 29 December, I also filmed their “Room 7609” gig at North London’s tremendous Lexington. I had hoped to get some help with this, but in the end I had to film it solo. It was a good experience. I ended up buying another camera to give me the three angles I needed. I have to say that the Canon 650D did a splendid job, although my children will have to eat sand for the first month of 2013.
Hey – let’s talk kit.
I had my Zoom H4N at the desk. The sound engineer, Paul, gave me a stereo out from the desk which provided a nice clear vocal sound and a bit of oomph to the kick drum. The H4N is 4 track and also provides a stereo mic pair for room sound. I have to say, I have used the Zoom a few times now and the mics have seemed a bit lifeless for recording gigs – this might be my fault. Luckily I also had a Rode Stereo VideoMic Pro on the wide camera which was also right next to the desk. This is a VERY bright sounding mic.
The mix I got from these sources was okay but there was a real lack of bass guitar. I think this was mainly a proximity effect. All my mics were twenty feet from the stage and about six feet in the air. Luckily, Lee MacFadden had also recorded the gig on his Tascam DR-07. Lee was very close to the stage and his recording has much more bottom end. The audio you hear in the finished videos is a blend of the desk line out, a tiny bit of the H4N mics for middle, the Rode for top end and Lee’s recording covering the middle and bottom end.
The main wide camera was the one-day-old (awww) Canon 650D with the Canon EF 16-32 F/2.8L II USM on a Manfrotto 190XPROB Tripod with 701HDV video head
Stage left was the Canon 5D Mark III with the EF 24-105 F/4L IS USM on a crappy Jessops tripod that I must replace.
I was shooting the main close up video standing on a box in front of the desk.
This was a Canon 5D Mark II with the EF 70-200 F/2.8L IS II USM (a fantastic lens for video) on a Manfrotto monopod. I use a Zacuto Z-Finder Pro 2.5x which is just beautiful. I am very left-eyed and the Zacuto works fine for me. It has great optical quality. I was lucky enough to do an A/B test on the 2.5X and 3X versions at B&H in New York and was surprised that I preferred the 2.5X
The (excellent) DJ, Alex Paynter, also shot footage using a Flip 720p camera. This was great as it gave an overhead view of the band and the crowd, but the quality was obviously worse than the DSLRs. I think it gave a nice “documentary” kind of feel when dropped in among the DSLR 1080P footage. I also received footage from people in the crowd – Lizzy Muggeridge, Raven Moon, Lucy Caldicott and Giddy Gavin. Having the extra angles has been great.
One of the biggest challenges was monitoring all the cameras for problems. I use the standard firmware so am subject to the fact that in the EU no camera can record more than 30 minutes before it becomes taxed as a video camera. This means two of the cameras stopped recording at 29 minutes and 59 seconds, but I managed to restart the 650D immediately and the 5D Mark III at the end of the relevant song. See if you can spot where that happens. Note that this is not the same as the technical limit on individual clips. There is a 4G limit on individual files in the FAT32 file system these cameras use. This equates to about 12 minutes of video. The cameras seamlessly record to a new file when that boundary is hit but will announce “Movie Recording Has Been Stopped Automatically” after the commercial 29 minutes and 59 seconds limit. I use 32G Sandisk cards (60 Mb/s CompactFlash and 45 Mb/s SD cards – these are plenty fast enough for the job – you don’t need to spend any more) in the cameras for video which will record about an hour and 40 minutes. This is also the battery life limit for video on a 650D. The 5DMark III ran out of juice after only about 50 minutes recording. I may have forgotten to turn off the image stabilizer on the 24-105 which would have wasted power. I might try the Magic Lantern firmware addon to remove the 30 minute limitation at some point. It’s not ready for the 5DIII or 650D just yet.
I used Adobe Audition to mix the audio. Perhaps “blend” is a better word. I produced a single mix for the whole gig which I rendered as a single WAV file.
The video editing was all done in Adobe Premiere CS5.5 – as I make changes to the audio I re-render the whole gig and update the video from that. This lets me easily create a consistent mix across all the songs so they sit nicely together when finally presented.
I will put links to the videos here as they are released, but here’s Late Bar to start us off. Make sure to watch it full-screen and in HD.
And here, appropriately, is Girls On Film