Tag Archives: m43

Behind the Scenes of Jared Evan & Taryn Manning “Bass Is Low” Music Video

Recently I had the chance to work with talented actress Taryn Manning (Orange is the New Black, 8 Mile, Hustle & Flow) on a short film/music video for music artist Jared Evan. The concept was a slight narrative mixed with surreal fantasy elements set in a dark, maze-like atmosphere.

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Panasonic GH4 + Metabones Canon FD Speedbooster

Other than a few handheld shots for the intro, we stayed primarily on the Varavon Birdycam Gimbal with my Panasonic GH4 + Metabones Canon FD Speedbooster and a Canon FD 20mm 2.8 lens.

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Actress Taryn Manning using the Panasonic GH4 + Varavon Birdycam2 Gimbal combo

Without focus control or the luxury of time for lens changes, we went with a wide angle fluid look. The camera was always moving on the Birdycam Gimbal, from side to side, strafing performance shots, low to high panning shots and following shots. It was so intuitive even Taryn got in on the action.

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Varavon Birdycam2 Gimbal

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Music Artist Jared Evan lit by the F&V LED Lite Panel

My favorite scene by far was a front gimbal tracking shot as Jared walks backwards down an aisle flanked by 20 foot steel shelves. We also had an F&V LED Light providing fill from another aisle casting strange and mysterious shadows on his face. As Jared backs into the exit, Taryn finds him and together they run towards a massive light source at the end of a tunnel. We then track them from behind as they run into the light.

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product information button runplayback F&V K4000 LED Light Panel Kit

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Panasonic GH4 + Metabones Canon FD Speedbooster + Varavon Birdycam2 Gimbal + Aputure V-Screen VS-3 7″ Monitor

It was a great shoot and actually my first time using the Varavon Birdycam. Here’s a few tips I discovered when shooting entirely with a camera gimbal.

1. A wireless follow focus option.

2. A wireless video option such as the CMR Radian Pro.

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product information button runplayback Camera Motion Research Radian Pro – Unicast Wireless HDMI Set

3. A tether support such as an Easy Rig Mini to provide hands free camera adjustments and save time having to set it on a stand.

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product information button runplayback Easyrig Mini Camera Support

4. At least two Varavon Gimbal Power 16V batteries when running a full 10 hour day.

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Varavon 16V Battery

Check out the final video and hit me up with any questions about the Varavon Birdycam Gimbal in the comments below.

Panasonic GH4 Multi-Camera Shooting

I’ve known Emm from Cheesycam for quite some time but our first collaboration was a shoot for Heineken, Complex and Team Epiphany who wanted a branded content piece featuring big names in fashion such as Chris Gibbs from Union LA and luxury brand Parabellum. The task was straightforward: a multi-camera shoot featuring three on camera talent intercut with slick fashion product shots and Heineken branding.

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A slew of Panasonic GH4’s are great for multi-camera interview shoots

Since I knew he’d be in the area, I reached out to Emm to help with the shoot and we came up with a simple gear list: 4 Panasonic GH4’s, tripods, a Zoom H6 recorder, a few Sennheiser G3 wireless lav kits, a Rode NTG-2 shotgun mic, F&V K4000 LED Light panels with stands, and of course one of his homemade gimbal stabilizers.

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Panasonic GH4 + Panasonic Lumix 14mm 2.5 pancake lens + Homemade Gimbal

The size and weight of the Panasonic GH4 means less gear you are required to pack. With the compact size of the GH4, we were able to use smaller lenses, smaller tripods, and smaller stabilizers. Traveling to different locations, we knew this would make moving around the city fast and easy while being able to manage multiple camera angles.


product information button runplayback Panasonic GH4 4K Video Recording

The Zoom H6 was chosen specifically as we knew we would be recording audio from at least three subjects and used the Rode NTG-2 as a backup audio source. The Zoom H6 can input at least 5 audio sources – (4) XLR (1) 3.5mm.

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product information button runplayback Zoom H6 Portable Audio Recorder

When working with wireless audio, there is always the potential of interference. To avoid any issues, stick with using a high quality proven system. The Sennheiser G3 Wireless Kits are a solid and reliable industry standard that I’ve been using for years. A Rode NTG-2 Shotgun mic was placed close to the subjects mainly as a backup audio recording.

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product information button runplayback Sennheiser G3 Wireless Audio

Rode NTG-2 Shotgun Mic
product information button runplayback Rode NTG-2 Shotgun Microphone

We knew all of the shots would take place during the day, so we mainly needed a set of lights as fill for our subjects. We wanted to work with a set of panels that offered soft lighting and can be battery operated. The F&V K4000 LED Light Panels offers a good amount of light output and were powered by cheap Sony NPF batteries through a V-Mount Adapter. These worked great and supplemented a lot of the natural daylight setups that we were fortunate enough to shoot in. I wanted a very subtle lighting setup that highlighted some of the cool products featured in the designer’s studios.

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product information button runplayback F&V K4000 LED Light Panel Kit

Sony NPF Battery V Mount adapter
product information button runplayback V-Mount Battery Adapter using Sony NPF Batteries

For the detail shots and closeups we used my GH4 + Metabones Canon FD Speedbooster combo while everything else was shot on Panasonic Lumix lenses. GH4’s are great for long conversational style interviews because the batteries seem to last forever. The less interruptions, the better the soundbites.

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Panasonic GH4 + Metabones Canon FD Speedbooster + Canon FD 35-105mm 3.5 lens

Although we matched our color profiles and settings across each camera, Emm and I noticed the Speedboosted GH4 had a much creamier quality than his sharper digital cousins. I couldn’t part with the “lived in” look of the Metabones Speedbooster so we decided to roll with it anyway.

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Panasonic GH4 + Panasonic Lumix 14mm 2.5 pancake lens + Homemade Gimbal + Electric Skateboard

The opening and outro shots were shot with Emm’s homemade gimbal while walking or riding on his electric skateboard. And seriously Emm is like Q from James Bond in that he’d present and demonstrate a new gadget for me and it was a near guarantee that each tool would be invaluable to the shoot. The final product was a hit with the agency and client and a lot of it was attributed to the flawless performance of the GH4 and some solid DIY technology. Check it out below.


Heineken 100 “Open Your World” Branded Content

Metabones Canon FD to Micro Four Thirds Speed Booster

One of the first things I bought after receiving my Panasonic GH4 was the Metabones Canon FD to Micro Four Thirds Speed Booster. The Speed Booster is an adapter that allows full frame lenses to be mounted to Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras. Not only do you gain a (sort of) full frame view you also increase the lens’s aperture by a full stop. There’s more affordable Speed Boosters available online but Metabones is made with such a high build quality, its difficult for me to try anything less. Optics are a big deal and you don’t want to skimp on quality glass.

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Panasonic GH4 + Metabones Canon FD Speedbooster + Canon FD 35-105mm 3.5 lens

I chose the Canon FD Speed Booster because Canon FD lenses, to me, are true modern classics that have an excellent overall mechanical build and feel “lived in”. By some careful bids on ebay I was able to amass a wide variety of lenses for under $300.

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Canon FD 20mm 2.8, 28mm 2.8, 50mm 1.4, 35-105mm 3.5, 80-200mm 4.0

The Metabones Speed Booster makes the GH4 feel like another camera all together, especially shooting in 4K. There’s a real sense of appreciation when putting an SLR lens on a mirrorless body without altering your field of view. It’s pretty liberating to be honest. As someone who likes shooting with manual focus, this is a must have and since I have a few Canon FD lenses, I’ll probably pick up another one for a B camera. This is the first video I shot using the GH4 + Metabones combo:


Jared Evan “Charlie Brown” Music Video

Metabones Canon FD Speedbooster GH4Metabones FD speed booster GH4 4k adapter
Metabones Speedbooster Canon FD Lens to M43 Adapter