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And the Giraffe – The $200 video shot with the Black Magic Design Cinema Camera

by Nicholas Roberts.

As an introduction, my name is Nick and I play in an indie rock band called “And the Giraffe” based out of Nashville, TN. We put out an album this time last year called Creature Collector and the single from the album was called Sorry.

A friend that I went to high school with, Harrison Sanborn, directed our first music video about 2 years ago and was an obvious choice to use for our second one. He moved to Los Angeles a few years ago and LA has been the backdrop for both our videos so far. We flew out in June of this year for a few days to visit Harrison and to embark on yet another project.

Given that we’re a pretty low-key indie band, our budget for videos is very low to say the least. We budgeted about $250 to spend on the Sorry music video.

After we talked about a few different cheap video ideas, we settled on doing something involving a bike ride through various parts of Los Angeles. But instead of using medium-length shots as we biked past the camera, we decided instead to mount a camera to the front of the bicycle and point it at the rider’s face. My band-mate Josh and I took turns riding the bike and lip syncing to the song.

Fortunately, our director Harrison recently purchased a Black Magic Design Cinema Camera and thought it would be a much better option than a standard DSLR in terms of picture quality. Plus, the BMDCC was just as light as any DSLR and could be mounted to the front of the bike without much hassle…or so we thought.

After realizing the cost of renting the proper rigging equipment we needed was about 4 times our entire budget, we resorted to using some spare rigging equipment Harrison had laying in his garage. It took about 3 hours of Gerry-rigging to make a mount that was stable enough to hold a camera on the front of the bicycle.

We did a test run with the rig around the neighborhood and apart from the picture being a little wobbly, which we fixed with some duct tape straps to the frame of the bike, everything looked great.

We shot the entire video over the course of 2 days all over Los Angeles. After shooting much of the video in LA, we drove north of the city to the Coyote Dry Lake bed to film the final desert sequences during golden hour.

Although we were very fortunate to have a Black Magic Design Cinema Camera for the shoot, along with spare rigging equipment, we definitely made the best with what we had. Most of our budget went to renting bicycles and a uHaul truck to drive the few hundred miles across California.

Choices were made about where we could and couldn’t go based on time and resources, as well as the type of video we were limited to make. No matter the budget, it’s definitely possible to make something you’re proud of. The final Sorry video turned out better than we’d ever hoped and was one hell of a lot of fun to shoot. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u0JTuhRQfU

Nicholas Roberts

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