T.Stops Blog

A good cause and a fun lighting challenge…. And possibly the First UV lighting MusicVideo on Canon HD?

About a month ago i was hired to shoot a music video for Erasure’s Re-master and Re-release of their classic 80’s hit, “A Little Respect”.   Laundry Service Media, the production company in charge of the task presented me with a doozy of a shooting request.  We wanted to shoot 9 people lip syncing to the song in 14 different locations within a 12 hour day.  Thats 16 company moves in 12 hours.  meaning we had about 40 minutes per location, that includes, lighting, setup, scouting, shooting, and breakdown.  To make things even more challenging, Jason Stein the Director wanted a UV lighting setup, so he could use florescent make up to create some stunning effects.

The song has some history, as it was and still is an anthem of empowerment for the Gay community all over the world.  The songs Re-release on I-Tunes is being used to raise money for the Hetrick-Martin institute, an institution that supports the LGBT community and provides a safe haven for anyone who needs it.  In this case, its specifically targeting the rash of bullying that has been sweeping the public eye this past few months.

Getting back to the shooting, the challenges before us meant that we needed to choose the correct tool for the job.  RED was out of the question as it meant moving two additional crew members around, to help support the camera, and PL lenses would have been too much of a hassle when you only have minutes in each location.  We still wanted a high quality look, so the compromise was clear.  The small light 5DMKII, was the logical choice.  However, i had no idea how a 5D MKII would expose under some of the demanding situations i was about to put it through.  Truth be told, it knocked it out of the park!!!  check it out below…

Sadly the Youtube codec cant hold the saturated blue, i promise you the raw footage looks un believable clean, nuanced and full of rich color and life.

Keep in mind, 12 hours, 14 locations, and a busy city to get though…. i think what we pulled off was a miracle.

I found that when shooting for a clean UV look, any ambient light will immediately ruin your day.  Its gotta be pitch black.  We rented two 4×4 Kino’s and had UV tubes put in them.  For the scenes where Andy Bell ( Erasures front man) is lit with white light, and the background is in UV we carefully pin spotted him with a tungsten light and made sure to use black flags to soak up any spill.  The scenes in total blue were just lit using the UV Kinos.

I set up the 5D at ISO 160, and used a 85mm F1.8 @f2.8.  The low ISO and high power Kino UV lights, gave us plenty of exposure to work with.  Its difficult to say reallly whats exposed, but the rule of , “does it look good?” really came into play here.

Here you can see how powerful the Kinos are, with UV bulbs, the spill alone is activating the white tape stuck to the walls of the Hetrick- Martin Institute.

I am not sure if this is the first Music Video shot on 5D mkII and UV light, but if it is, now you know it can be done, and it will look GREAT!

UPDATE:  it seem we  are not the first UV 5D video….  here it is… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBjDZMJUduo

Notify of


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
13 years ago

Nice! I love the UV look! the original footage must look great. I must admit that since I was a little kid UV light has driven me crazy hahaha I even have some fluos set up in my basement…. hahaha

13 years ago

Brilliant Video, The UV just makes it pop! Has the rolling shutter issues been resolved or is there some post processing going on to fix it?