Ishi is the creation of one of my coworkers - Brad Dale, and his friend John Mudd.
A few years back I filmed their CD release party on a whim and the video turned out very well. In the interim they've refined the look and sound of the band, and they have a heck of a following in the DFW area.
For the release of the new CD, they asked me back. I was a little hesitant at first because I know how much time and effort it takes to produce something that looks good, my edit rig was coming apart, and at first I felt I could only commit to shooting the footage. Once I got the footage in place I was intrigued again though, and I couldn't resist putting an edit together.
The entire video was filmed on my Canon 7D through my 50mm 1.4 lens. I went handheld 100% with zero lights. I used the cinestyle flat color profile from Technicolor to shoot with the widest latitude since I knew it'd be a dynamic looking show.
On the day of the shoot I was given full access to backstage, the stage itself, and anywhere on the floor of the Granada theater. My plan was to spend the time during the opening act backstage shooting the band hanging out and getting ready, and then to hit the floor and shoot the fans prepping up and getting beers. That worked out great, and I got a number of very intimate moments from the band that ended up making the final cut. That was also the time I got coverage of the facepainters outside as well as the exteriors and the marquee.
Once the show was underway I knew I had at least two songs that I wanted full coverage of from the perspective of John singing - Mother Prism which eventually was the one used, and Slowly But Surely. Mother Prism was requested by Brad because he felt it would best represent the show, and Slowly But Surely for me because it was my favorite album on the new disc.
I spent a fair amount of time actually onstage with the band shooting crowd and cool moments over their shoulders, and it was here that I got some of the killer shots of Becky singing into the light and Rocky jamming on the guitar. Brad was much more difficult to get coverage of during the show because of where he was positioned on the stage, but in the end I got just enough.
Getting the band's faces from down on the floor was much more difficult. The crowd was standing room only and bunched into a huge knot down the middle. My attempts to get down low and shoot up at the band generally just resulted in me getting beat up and shooting a bunch of shaky cam that I only kept very small parts of.
After the show was over, I parked by the hallway where everyone was walking out and just shot a 13 minute take of fans streaming out after the show. I got some of the really cool moments of happy people from that one shot.
By the end of it I had shot 40 gigs of coverage, used two batteries, and drank three beers.
The edit took a couple of weeks of on again off again work, but in the end I'm very happy with it.
Step one was to log all of the footage. I just did this in the finder, naming all of the clips something logical and putting stars in the names of the clips that I really liked.
There were some clips that were straight away triple star clips and I knew they would be from the moment I shot them: brad popping up from behind the console during soundcheck, Rocky hugging his dad, the band having a moment before going on stage, the closeup of rocky noodling on the guitar, John's dark back walk with the lightup glasses, and a few others.
Other shots just turned into cool things through serendipity: the silhouetted girl with the butterfly wings perfectly overlapping Rocky clapping in the opening shot, the slowed down shot of Becky turning and singing, catching John playing drums on a perfect beat in a different song that I could overlay onto this one, the big blue and purple blooms that happened near the end, the perfect framing of one fan's cell phone cam on Becky dancing, etc.
The last few touches had to be manufactured a bit: the balloon popping right on the climax of the song was speed ramped into place and then had the color cranked to death at the moment it popped. The marquee needed a focus effect to make the ISHI part stand out. various speed ramps and shifts were done throughout to make things hit the beat that were filmed during other songs that night.
I edited entirely in Adobe Premiere CS6, and it was my first experience with it - having come from Final Cut 7.
The transition was seamless and very intuitive, and I really enjoyed just drawing opacities across the clips and weaving them in and out of one another on the timeline. I did almost zero color correction, just cranking up the contrast and adjusting brightness throughout. I really liked working with the native footage that was shot and not having to convert, and titles were very simple to do the way that I wanted to.
In the end I had a blast. I enjoy shooting these types of things on occasion, and the band put on a hell of a show.