Brantley Gilbert Live Music Video
My good friends over at Anthem Pictures brought me in to cover a live event last fall for country rocker Brantley Gilbert. I was director of photography on this live cut of Brantley’s “Country Must Be Country Wide” for a rowdy hometown crowd at the historic Georgia Theatre. It was produced by Kenny Jackson, and Adam Taylor at Anthem did the edit and post-production. Watch below.
This live event was shot entirely on Sony FS100 cameras with the stock 18-200mm lens, at between 6db-12dB of gain. The opening b-roll shots at 0:08-0:10 were shot at 36dB of gain, just to get some exposure in an insanely dark hallway. For the remainder of the concert, we had our cameras gained to 12dB of gain, to compensate for the slow (dark) stock lens…which was a f/6.3 stop on the long end at 200mm. We would have preferred to shoot on a zoom lens better suited for dark interiors, but this was shortly after the FS100 camera had first shipped, and there simply weren’t any other realistic options for a long zoom in our budget range.
We had three shooters…two on sticks, and myself on a handheld rig. We knew that the FS100 60p overcrank feature was clean and very pretty, so we went into this shoot planning on using slow-motion to accentuate certain shots. A lot of the slow-motion shots were captured in rehearsal, and also as b-roll throughout the concert.
There are a few more lens options nowadays, from PL mount options for the FS100 that would have allowed the use of lightweight Optimo DP zooms, to electronic Canon lens mounts that would have allowed the use of familiar Canon L-Series zooms like the 24-70mm and the 70-200mm IS. Both would have been better quality options than the stock lens, and both would have allowed us to shoot at a much brighter f-stop.
One of the major annoyances of the stock Sony lens is that the servo focus is not repeatable, and it seems to drift when you move the focus ring any amount. So you can position your hand on the lens, rack the focus, and when you return your hand to the exact same spot, it never quite focuses back to where you started. So you have to essentially focus soley by eye, “feeling” out focus as you go. It’s frustrating to shoot this way, and of course this means that you can’t mount a follow focus on the lens (what’s the point). Besides that annoyance, and a few handling and layout annoyances, the camera produces beautiful images. And there is no way I would have dared to shoot at 12dB of gain on any other camera in this class…the FS100 sensor is surprisingly bright and clean at high gain levels.
Here’s a few behind the scenes pictures of camera prep and my handheld rig for this shoot.