I rarely get the chance to work on music videos, but when I do I generally get to push past the boundaries of the standard :30 second commercial. Most of the videos I work on are rather low budget, one man jobs so there is normally a limit on the production value, but I really enjoy getting to color outside the lines.
Today Bruno Mars released a new music video for his song Gorilla. First off, I really like the song, but when I saw the video I was blown away. The mixed lighting in the strip club is amazing. The oranges, blues, and greens make for an absolutely amazing palette. I find these types of shots quite challenging at times since finding a true black or white point can be difficult due to the strong color cast. A lot of times commercials tend to hold back and not push the setups past their traditional comfort level, but music videos are a whole different ballgame.
Take for example the shot that I used as the header for this blog posting. There is nothing crazy about the framing or content. Just your standard shot. The lighting, however, takes it to a whole different level. The warm orange/red cast gives the strip club a seedy feel. Like it’s hot, sweaty, and just plain dirty. While the green kick off the side of Bruno’s face adds another element of texture. There is so much depth and I really applaud the DP for making such bold lighting choices.
I hope one day to try my hand at something of this quality, but until then I’ll file this one away in the inspiration folder.