Lauren Santee "Let Down" Music Video Shoot
I spent the majority of last weekend working on the set of Lauren Santee’s (laurensantee.com) new music video “Let Down.” The video was produced through Posthouse Pictures (facebook.com); meaning it was shot and directed by Kevin Otterness (kevinotterness.wordpress.com). This is the second music video I’ve shot with Kevin, and I really enjoy working with him. The shoot flew by and the entire crew was absolutely phenomenal.
A little about Lauren and the album:
Lauren is a classically trained vocalist who has entered the pop music scene by taking a year off from college to write the songs for her debut album, “Truth Speaks,” All but one of the songs on the album were written by Lauren. She writes that “Making ‘Truth Speaks’ has been an amazing personal journey for me – I have grown so much as an artist and as a person. Each song comes from my own life experiences, some painful and some triumphant. Darker moments inspired songs about loss, betrayal, and regret, while messages of love, hope, and self-respect are expressed through others.” She believes that when “we speak our truth we are connecting from the depth of our heart and soul.” By writing about her personal journey, Lauren embodies her motto which is to: “Live your Music — No Matter Its Volume.”
We shot the video over the course of two days in an old box making factory in Chicago, Il. The concept of the video was for an underground nightclub, and the old factory really allowed for that feel. Aside from one or two people, I’d worked with the entire crew before; which made working the shoot easy and fun. It didn’t take long for the crew to find the groove, and we were able to bust out some amazing shots in a short amount of time. Kevin shot and directed the video on his new C300. I was lucky enough to be brought back on this video as his 1st AC. Working with the C300 (even though it wasn’t mine) was a great experience. The lighting was handled by Erik Anschicks (ealightworks.net). The guy is a master of light and created lighting setups that made the factory pop, and he got it all set up extremely quick. I learned a lot (as usual) watching Kevin and Erik work.
This was also the first time I had a 2nd AC under me, so being able to organize the department was a lot easier. I recommended that Aaron Mills be brought on as my 2nd, and that was the right call. Aaron and I work really well together, and he was a huge help. Between the two of us, we were able to lay dolly track, move camera, dump cards… everything we should be doing… quickly and in a way that allowed us to anticipate Kevin’s needs. Instead of rushing around by myself, I had Aaron to help.
On top of using the C300, we also used some of my new lenses. So, it was nice to put the new 24-70mm and 70-200mm through the paces. Kevin also got Vinten to send over their new Vision blue5 (vinten.com) tripod to test out. Just like you would expect any Vinten head to be, the blue5 was solid and didn’t have any issues flying the C300 package. The counterweight system made it easy to get really smooth movements from the head while on a dolly, and when just on sticks. The locks also felt really secure. I could lock down the camera and not have to worry about it shifting; which I can’t say for all tripods.
The first day we shot out everything we had extras for, which left Sunday for our performance shots. I’m glad we shot it that way because it meant more crafty for me! Lauren’s parents/managers handled basecamp, and kept it stocked with all the food and drink we could handle. I’ve worked on some sets with crap crafty, but this set was not one of them. It’s a small thing, but the craft table is important. Overall, the whole shoot went by quick. I remember looking back at my watch and going, “wow, it’s noon already!” Then looking back (what I though was only an hour or so) and saying, “when did it get to be 7:00pm?” The crew, crafty, and ease of shooting with Lauren sped us through the two day shoot.