- Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017
- FREMONT, Calif.
Blackmagic Design announced that American rock band Weezer’s new music video for its song “Feels Like Summer” was shot using an URSA Mini Pro 4.6K digital film camera. Cinematographer Gabe Kimpson, along with directors Brendan Walter of Crush Music and Jade Ehlers, were tasked with replicating the legendary Guns N’ Roses “Paradise City” video with Weezer on the stage in front of screaming fans instead, as told from the point of view of a Weezer roadie in the 1980s.
Kimpson has shot music videos for some of the biggest bands in the world, including Fall Out Boy, Train and New Politics. For “Feels Like Summer,” Walter and Ehlers, of Scantron No. 2 Pencil, decided to shoot at Los Angeles’ iconic Rose Bowl Stadium during the Arroyo Seco Weekend music festival where Weezer was performing. During the performance, the URSA Mini Pro was set up center stage at the front of the pit and was mounted on a Manfrotto tripod, then switched to handheld for a more lively, energetic feel.
“This shoot was amazing. We had to include staged behind-the-scenes shots of the band, the stage and the crowd. Since we wanted it to feel like the viewer is a roadie with Weezer, if Weezer had been an 80s hair band, I was shooting in the pit with 20 to 30 other photographers and videographers with screaming fans all around,” said Kimpson.
“An issue during the shoot was that the majority of the stage was shaded, but some parts were in direct sunlight as well as all of the audience. Therefore, very fast changes between proper exposures had to be met, along with relying heavily on the large dynamic range that the URSA Mini Pro is capable of,” Kimpson noted. “The URSA Mini Pro’s built-in ND filters proved to be an essential tool to ensure proper exposure at the turn of a knob to keep up with the fast pace of the live performance and capture those quick moments, especially since there were no second takes.
“With the main concern being the vast differences in exposure from direct sunlight to shade, we didn’t want any of the highlights blowing out if possible, so we really pushed the dynamic range of the URSA Mini Pro to the extremes. And I think we were able to accomplish what we needed and then some by providing even better colors with gorgeous skin tones,” he continued. “One of the joys of shooting with this camera is having the confidence that you are capturing footage at the proper exposure while knowing that you will still have a ton of latitude to push it in the color grade. The ability to push the limits in the color grade was a blessing.”
During the performance, being able to turn from the stage to the audience and back again to capture key moments was essential.
“I had to capture my shots while moving around in a small space, and the URSA Mini Pro’s size really allowed me to be nimble. I had plenty of shots where I had to raise the camera directly over head, and not only does the weight and handle grip help with a shot like that, but so does the screen, which has the ability to rotate 180 degrees up or down. Shooting blind is never something I like to do, so being able to hold the camera directly overhead while still seeing what I was shooting was great,” said Kimpson.
“The entire shoot went really well, and the URSA Mini Pro’s dynamic range and image quality were the factors that influenced our use the most. We also loved being able to save money, because of the URSA Mini Pro’s affordability, and then being able to invest the savings into other areas of the production while still providing the client with a stellar image. Dynamic range, size, image quality and affordability are second to none, and it was really a no brainer to go with this camera.”