Behind the Scenes of the Joey Bada$$ “No. 99” Music Video

A few weeks ago, rapper Joey Bada$$ and I collaborated on a music video for the single “No. 99”, an uptempo Hip Hop anthem reminiscent of a 1990’s classic. Our goal was to create a voyeuristic, gritty street video with many scenes of chaos sprinkled throughout. Realizing this would require two shoot days and multiple locations, I came up with a simple gear list that would get us through our many setups.

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Dual GH4’s with Metabones Canon FD Speedboosters were used. B Cam was mounted with a Canon FD 35-105mm f3.5 for mediums and closeups while A Cam used the Canon FD 20mm f2.8 with the ePhoto R640 18” LED Ring Light rigged to a custom shoulder mount. To power the ring light we used a Switronix XP-L90S Lithium Battery with a Fiilex D-Tap Cable.

Metabones Canon FD Speedbooster GH4
Metabones Speedbooster Canon FD Lens to M43 Adapter

ephoto
ePhoto R640 18” LED Ring Light

switronix
Switronix XP-L90S V-Type 14.8VDC Lithium Battery


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Fiilex Coiled D-Tap Cable (1.9′)

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P&C Shoulder Rig Handles and a Honu GH4 Cage with a top handle were used to mount the ring light across three points with velcro straps. Since the camera had to sit in the middle of the ring, this was the most efficient way to rig it. From there we ran the Fiilex D-Tap cable to the Switronix battery inside of our Camera Operator’s jacket, giving us a power source that would last all day. And since we were going for a voyeuristic, run and gun feel, this would be our main camera setup for every scene.

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P&C Shoulder Rig Handles

honucage
Honu 2.0 GH3/GH4 AND SONY A7/A7R Video Cage

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Honu Top Handle

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To shoot Joey and a mob full of his crew performing, we utilized the Varavon Birdycam 3-Axis Camera Gimbal with a Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye for our C Cam while shooting from the back of a cargo van. Since the road at our main location was littered with potholes, the Birdycam eliminated almost 95% of the shakiness.

varavon birdycam
Varavon Birdycam2 3-Axis Camera Gimbal

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product information button runplayback Rokinon 7.5mm f/3.5 Ultra Wide-Angle Fisheye Lens for Micro 4/3

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We also incorporated the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ Quadcopter mounted with the GoPro HERO4 for a few scenes that would simulate footage from a news helicopter. Our location in Willets Point, NY also known as the Iron Triangle has a very post-apocalyptic appearance and is filled with auto repair shops and scrap yards – a feast for aerial shooting.

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product information button runplayback DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ Quadcopter with Extra Battery Bundle

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product information button runplayback GoPro HERO4 Black Edition 4K Video Action Camera

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Occasionally we would require some fill or backlight so we used the F&V K4000 LED Light Panel. This worked great with the ring light and helped to enhance all the background action. Any additional fill on Joey came from the prop torches he was wielding. A run and gun yet highly organized effort made this a great shoot to work on. By minimizing our gear list, we were able to get more setups and candid moments. Check out the full video below and let me know what you think!

fvlighting
K4000 Daylight LED Studio Panel

  • I was looking at that ring light, I recently got the Neewer Ring48, but that F&V light is massive. I could see you actually using it as fill light outside in a lighted scenario. How many backup camera’s did you have on location for this shoot?

    • Rik

      Yeah that ePhoto ring light was really helpful but also kind of blinding for the talent. We had a diffuser cover on some of the interior shots. The F&V is great too…it is massive but definitely helpful for kinds of low light situations. We had a total of three GH4’s, two of which had the Metabones Canon FD Speedboosters. The third GH4 with the Rokinon 7.5mm was on the Birdycam all day to save time from having to rebalance.

  • Rafael Moses

    Loved working on this

    • Rik

      You killed it. Thanks Raf!

  • Great music video and cool behind the scenes piece. Btw what is that song playing at the end of the video with the Rest In Peace, that song was crazy

    • Rik

      Yeah that track is called “On & On” produced by Statik Selektah. It’s on the album.

  • chilltowntv

    Looks great! Thanks for all the behind-the-scenes deets. Love reading/learning from these!

    • Rik

      The takeaway is to stay true to your idea and the logistics of how to accomplish it. The multi cam was definitely helpful and stripping away any unnecessary gear maximized our mobility. I love to have all my toys on set but if it delays my shotlist, I leave it at home.

      • chilltowntv

        Would love to see a post sometime about how you do figure out the logistics and decide what lens/lightening/cameras/toys etc you’re going to use for a scene or vid. Thanks again for all of this.

        • Rik

          Yeah for sure. I actually spend a lot of time in pre-pro just planning and organizing. Being overprepared and knowing when to compromise is essential.

          • chilltowntv

            Awesome! I tend to be that way with the animation and small shoots and imagine the blueprint is even more intense when you’re dealing with a crew/multiple cameras etc. Looking forward to checking it out whenever you do post. Thanks again!

          • I’m mos def trying my best to get pre-production down, I’m so used to just run and gunning even with video shoots that I’m always ending up thinking about what I should have shot.

          • Rik

            Yea I used to use this software called Shotlister on my iPad, which has a lot of robust features but a bit overkill for run and gun shoots. I’ll try to outline my methods on a future post.

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  • Pete Silva

    Yo Rik, Do you remember what lens you used in the above shot of joey with the girl and light in the back? Thank you!

    • Rik

      Hey Pete, I was using a Metabones Canon FD Speedbooster with a Canon FD 20mm lens.