Rec and Play Studios (Factual – 3 Minute Documentary) 1st November 2014 [Blog 6/10]
Sweet! Actually recording in a recording studio, and from the look of the place it is incredibly professional. So first of all I want to thank Chris the owner of Rec and Play. You can check out the website for more information on recording and rehearsing there http://www.recandplay.co.uk .
The room as it stands looks a lot like this… Well it looks like this because this is the room. (Sorry for bad lighting, I took this on my iPhone).
So there’s a lot of space to work in. Which is great, with the added bonus of the drum kit and amps around the room added to the look of the shots. At first before arriving I thought it would be clear of everything. In some ways that’s what I wanted, but then it would just look empty and wouldn’t look as appealing to me without all the cool props (which aren’t props, they’re the real deal).
We were a few minutes early. Which is surprising because we were lost and couldn’t find the place at first. The band before have 12 members which is incredible. I was told that they had 4 members from the band come in sessions throughout the day to record different parts. An interesting setup for a band. Their stuff sounded pretty good from what I heard, their name was out there with how original it was. “Matsiko and the Spice Merchants.”
After they left it took 20 minutes to set up everything and get ready to roll. I actually predicted that 20 minutes seems like a reasonable amount of time (and a realistic time to setup everything) and I was right.
So the room was filled with equipment which is mine and that of the recording studio. I had notions that I could use the whole of the room but it turned out to be the middle and right side of the room (if your facing Anthony).
It turned out like a pretty good setup, you can probably see the drum kit taking up that space, it looked good to tell the truth. A few shots took advantage of focus pulling from the symbol to Anthony. But like anything as a film maker I’ve had to improvise, so that’s what I did. It’s an incredibly important skill because being set on something can hold up production. For example if I wanted it like how I imagined it, could make the time you take to get it as perfect or as close to your desired idea as possible, would make the actual filming time decrease exponentially. And I want as much footage as possible.
So there wasn’t a problem, it was just another obstacle that I worked around. But I had help, my mom actually came along to help setup gear and to get shots that she wanted to get. It was good to let her have some creative freedom. It’s part of the fun.
My plan was to record several run throughs of the song “I Think” (and ‘I think’ he is now sick of playing it… sorry, haha). But that’s the nature of getting as much coverage as possible, it’s repetition. To take from this is that practice makes perfect, that’s my excuse.
The first few were all tripod based, so I’d move the tripods around the room getting different angles of coverage. The main camera in the centre had to be there all of the time because of the little LED light I had mounted to the camera, the lights in the room where pretty dim, and I didn’t have a lighting kit with me (improvising once again). Also there was a lamp on the left of Anthony. So it was moving around the centre camera and moving that camera back and forth, and not higher or lower, left or right.
You can see the Zoom h4n (Audio recording equipment) at the bottom. With all the tripods surrounding it.
The next step for me was to keep the centre camera where it is (becoming a light stand more than a camera, but I kept rolling with it, using different lenses and moving the tripod head around for different shots).
For the most part I used my shoulder rig and recorded as much footage that I wanted and paid close attention to the time we had left.
The final setup of the shoot was the slider shot through the glass in the editing studio of Rec and Play.
Anyway the tricky part of this was how dark it looked before all the eureka moments happened in my head. I was using a 18mm – 55mm (Default kit lens) and the F/ 3.5 wasn’t enough it was still too dark. So I thought on the opposite side of the glass (where a conveniently placed amp was there for me to attach the light to) so that lit up the room a lot more. So I decided to change to my 50mm Prime lens, which does the trick! F/ 1.8 and boom! Lit up like a christmas tree. I managed to get one full take using the slider and ended exactly at 9pm! The pack down took long, but I finished shooting just in time!
P.S. I used a GoPro for one shot. Just one! But I had to do it! I was obliged to do it, sticking it on the head of his guitar and Anthony playing it was the standard of all GoPro footage.