Mike O’Brien (www.obfilms.art) recently directed Sunny Day, the new music video from independent artist Anees. The song comes from Anees’ debut album, “Summer Camp,” and was shot in the director’s hometown of Mariposa, CA, where the artist is looking forward to his next meeting with his love interest, a young waitress from a local restaurant.
Tony Zawahri served as director of photography on the project, which was intended to capture the area’s natural beauty.
“From the wardrobe to the production design, Tony and I were very mindful of maintaining earthy tones, as well as symmetrical framing,” O’Brien explains. “Browns, yellows, greens and hints of blue were our go-to colors. Static wides were our favorite frames to shoot. There was so much happening in the production design that we felt any movement of the camera would take the viewer away from the beauty of the scene.”
Anees sings and follows a butterfly throughout the lush landscape, ultimately finding his way to the diner, where his dream girl (Priscilla Lam) is working. Visual effects reduce him in size to where he continues singing on the diner’s counter, causing a mild disturbance.
Sunny Day is presented in a 2.5:1 widescreen format and was shot using Blackmagic Design’s Ursa Mini Pro 12K and Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro.
“We thought, what if we deploy a fairy like miniature version of Anees (his extended awareness) to secretly follow around the love interest,” O’Brien recalls. “This gave us a fun and creative vehicle to further develop the story into what it is today. Also, by utilizing visual effects, we were able to amplify the magic that we were looking to create.”
Zawahri chose to shoot constant bitrate 5:1 in 4K using Blackmagic RAW to enhance flexibility in post production.
“The flexibility of Blackmagic RAW in post is nice to have if you're runnin' and gunnin’ like we were,” says O’Brien. “The goal is of course to nail it in-camera, but it's nice to have that option to tweak white balance, tint and more if needed.”
The team shot greenscreen footage in 8K to allow for VFX flexibility. O’Brien edited the project using Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve Studio.
“I’ve always appreciated the streamlined functionality of Blackmagic Design products, from production to post,” says the director. “Blackmagic RAW plays back like butter.”
The final grade went to colorist Shiny Syko, whom O’Brien found on Instagram.
“Shiny lives in a small village in India, and I’m over here in California,” notes O’Brien. “I reached out with the hopes he might be interested in bringing his unique aesthetic to the video, and luckily he did! With me in California, Shiny in India, and one of our visual effects artists, Tim Maaskant, in the Netherlands, it was a truly global production.”
Additional VFX were created by Nick Shaheen and Tim Trabity.