Thursday, March 3, 2011

Interview with Christian of Ill Nino in New York

Some people like their schedules and their daily tasks to be well planned and calculated. They like to know exactly what they're in store for well ahead of time and need to follow their dialy outline with robot-like rigidity. I'm not one of those people.

I was at work one day, doing what I do. What I do, mostly consists of a little bit of what I'm supposed to be doing and a little bit of what I probably should just do when I get home. Regardless, I was doing... something... of some importance... not even sure of who it would be important to. All I know is I took a quick break to check my email and got a message from one of my music business contacts asking if I would be available to do a video interview with Ill Nino, a band that started off locally here in NJ, and has gone on to national and even international success. Here's the kicker, it was for the next night. Not that something like "tomorrow night" is super short notice or anything, but depending on the caliber of the job it could be a slight inconvenience. Depending on what needs to be done, you can sometimes need as much as a week, or even a month's notice for photo and video work. Not one to complain, I got all the details and agreed.

The band is playing a festival in London and the publicist for the festival wanted me to get an interview asking some very specific questions to help promote the event. The challenging part about interviewing a band that is on tour if anticipating what the surroundings will be like. Sometimes you get to work in a really nice backstage dressing room, and sometimes you're in the equivalent of a urinal stall. I came prepared with equipment to do a 2 camera shoot with one main light and a second light that would either be backup or fill. We wound up having to use the tour bus, which gave us very little light and even less room to set up the gear I brought. Part of this job is thinking on your feet. I left the 5DM2 in the bag and opted for the camcorder instead. It would give me enough resolution and enough ISO sensitivity to get the job done without needing too much space. The lens I had with me on the 5DM2 would have required me to be further away than I could realistically afford on a cramped tour bus. I also didn't have room for the main light, so I had to use a small battery powered video light. I use the Bescor KLK-65 right now, for no other reason than the price was right and I read enough good reviews about it to make me feel confident it was a better purchase than some of its competitors.

Even with the light and the ISO cranked it was still pretty dark, so I had to tweak it a bit in Final Cut, but the video isn't really intended for big screen viewing, so any grain or distortion that came from brightening it wouldn't be all that noticeable to the intended audience.

I'm still relatively new to video and I work on a budget, so I'm still editing in Final Cut Express, rather than Final Cut Pro. For my current needs it's fine and I get what I need out of it. There's still lots to the program that I don't even know how to, or when I would use yet, so I'll get more mileage out of it before upgrading. Unless of course some kind samaritan wants to donate a copy of Final Cut Studio to me (hint hint).

I created the artwork for the question screens in Photoshop with some free grunge brushes I'd found online. I found them a while ago and I don't remember excactly where they came from, so I can't give you a link, but the kind people on DeviantArt have some great resources out there that they create for free. Each user has their own usage and rights guidelines, so be sure to check what they request/require before you start using anything. Remember, us creatives do what we do because we love it, but it doesn't mean you should take advantage, either.

That's pretty much it; I cut the video apart, stuck the question screens in between with some transitions, and added one of the songs from their latest album Dead New World. I sent it off to the client and he was very happy with it. So far it's gotten featured as a news item on the following sites:

Here is the video. It's posted on the client's YouTube page for right now. I will add it to mine after the festival, so that any hits to mine won't take away from hits to theirs. It helps them to be able to track the view counter as they are using this to promote the concert and I don't want to mess up the stats on them.

While I still have your attention, I highly recommend checking out (and by that, I mean buying, not stealing) their latest album, Dead New World.

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