LOS ANGELES — Blackmagic Design’s Ursa Mini 4.6K digital film camera was recently used to shoot Aaron Carter’s new music video Fool’s Gold. The video was co-directed by Carter and platinum-selling songwriter and visual creative Jon Asher. It has a clean, cinematic look that incorporates a combination of muted colors in some scenes and saturated gold colors in others.
Robert Crosby at LA-based post production studio Coyote Post served as colorist on the project, employing Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve Studio.
“Early on in preproduction, we decided that the video needed a really cinematic look to compliment the striking imagery,” Asher explains. “Using whites and blacks against pops of gold really enhanced the gold theme of the song, and we needed a camera that could capture it all and deliver a vivid look.
The Ursa Mini 4.6K’s 15 stops of dynamic range and the filmic color science of the 4.6K sensor delivered their vision. The team also made use of the Ursa Mini’s in-camera frame guides to shoot in a 2.40 scope aspect ratio, further pushing the cinematic look of the project.
Much of the performance was shot at 48fps, while the track was played back at two times speed on-set. This allowed for slow motion effects. The project speed of 23.98 allowed the team to play back the footage in-camera and see the slow motion effect immediately.
The music video also features macro shots of a model painted in gold with extreme close ups of her eyes and lips. The Ursa Mini 4.6K’s focus peaking made these shots easy to pull off, thanks to its green peaking overlay, which helped the team nail the focus on each take. The team shot in CinemaDNG RAW, capturing clean images without noise.
“The Ursa Mini 4.6K has an organic feel that so many cameras are striving to achieve, and with the 15 stops of latitude, it made the grade quicker and more efficient,” says Crosby. “We didn't have to worry so much about things blowing out when pushing the white backdrops, and we still saw a lot of detail in the black body paint in front of the black backdrops. You instantly notice that there is so much room to work with.”
During grading, Crosby was tasked with making the look pop as much as possible without seeming overly done. “The video has a lot of white and black backdrops, which helped enhance everything in front of it. The Ursa Mini gave me a lot of room to work with in being able to blow out the white backdrop to achieve the perfect white, while keeping all of the skin tones in a good place and without sacrificing the rest of the image.”
When creating a more desaturated look for the bedroom scene, Crosby still wanted the gold on the sheets to pop, so he used the qualifier on the gold sheets to boost saturation. Then he desaturated everything outside of the gold using Resolve’s Hue vs. Saturation Curves tab.
“I also really love Resolve’s 3D tracker,” adds Crosby. “We used tracking on the bedroom shots just to brighten Aaron’s face a bit. And now with the 3D aspect of the tracker, it looks like the light is following him, instead of just a circle that moves in the general vicinity.”