NEW YORK CITY—When my longtime friends Mike Stroud and Agustin White from the band Kunzite asked me to create the music video for their single “Frosty,” I was in Oaxaca, Mexico. Listening to “Frosty” at the beach made me realize that the song was flowing nicely with the surfers and skaters I was surrounded by. Agustin’s partner and co-producer on the project, Mea Woodruff, had the same thought. Woodruff is from southern California and is friends with many talented female surfers and skaters, including GRLSWIRL, a women-founded inclusive skate collective empowering people around the world through skate.
We wanted the video to showcase the authentic personalities and skills of the female athletes. I was most interested in the unique movements each was capable of and matching that kinetic energy with different parts of the song. We simply wanted to have fun and try our best to keep up with these athletes. As part of that, we needed the right crew and gear.
COMPACT & FLEXIBLE
We were joined by the legendary rollerblading camera operator Joey “Blades” Graziano, AC Jimmy Vargo and filmmaker Tristan Seniuk for help with post production. We used two Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K cameras, one lived on Joey’s Mōvi Pro, and I shot handheld or using an Easyrig with the other. A Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro also came in handy when shooting inside Venice Beach Skatepark, as we wanted to keep the camera as light and stripped down as possible. The camera’s compact form factor allowed us to be flexible, and its built-in ND filters were clutch, as it was easy to make quick adjustments to exposure without affecting aperture.
I wanted a bit of a retro, film-like look, so I mostly used my vintage lenses with heavy diffusion on the URSA Mini Pro 12Ks. Seniuk further dialed in this look with DaVinci Resolve Studio during grading. I’ve been a big fan of Blackmagic Design’s color science for many years, and this new generation of sensor is even better. The URSA Mini Pro 12K gives a nice film-like look, plus the camera comes with a PL mount, so I didn’t have to use any adapters for my lenses. Being able to use old Super 16mm glass while still shooting 4K or 6K was a big bonus.
SHOOTS 240FPS IN 4K
The URSA Mini Pro 12K’s resolutions and frame rates were equally as impressive. I utilized different frame rates and shot at higher resolutions, so we’d have freedom in post to reframe, crop and even add zooms. The song has many unique moments and change ups, so I wanted plenty of movement, angles and frame rates for variety.
The URSA Mini Pro 12K shoots 240 fps in 4K, which is pretty insane. I captured some shots in 240 fps, which look beautiful, but Graziano and I mostly shot in 24, 48 and 60 fps, as we reserved super slow motion for key moments. Having a second or third camera was another benefit of using affordable cameras on an indie project. Working with the Blackmagic Design cameras allowed us to keep the budget down, while still achieving a very high-end cinematic look.
Priest Fontaine Batten is an NYC-based director, DP and producer, and he owns and operates production company All In Favor Productions. Batten directs content for leading brands, such as Nike and Adidas, and frequently collaborates with artists, fashion designers and musicians on film projects. To learn more about All In Favor Productions, visit www.allinfavor.tv.
For additional information, contact Blackmagic Design at 408-954-0500 or visit www.blackmagicdesign.com.
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