You think you've seen and heard everything in China, and then you get a call asking if you're free to shoot and direct a week long behind the scenes video following an Acapella groups album recording in a hotel in Guangzhou.
Well played China.
For the shoot I would also be directing two music videos and a piece about the albums recording from the hotels perspective. I would also be providing the majority of the equipment seeing as the production company, SLA Studios staff and gear was at the time being used in other productions.
So for this job I packed, 2 GoPros, 3 Canon lenses, 1 Sony lens, mics, tripod, led light, slider, hard drive, laptop and my new A7RII.
This was going to be my first job with the Sony A7RII, so I was really going to get to know it strengths and weaknesses over the following week.
I only found one issue during that week, and that's the cameras tendency to overheat during long 4K recording sessions, which is a major problem for interviews. I only had the camera save and switch off once (after an outdoor time-lapse followed by a 15 minute indoor interview), but it was quick to cool down and I got the rest of the interview shot just fine. Another time it warned me the camera was too hot after 50 minutes of interview recording, but it never switched off.
The acapella gang, Metro Vocal Group, are Americans based in Hong Kong. They got their first big break opening and working with Hong Kong Disney Land and shot to fame when they did a cover song of legendary Hong Kong band, Beyond. Very laid back nice guys with pipes of gold.
For recording behind the scenes, I mainly focused on two days of in studio b-roll. Anymore than that would of been too much for an 8 minute video. For one of the days I focussed on each group member recording their vocals for the same track and their interactions with producer Jakob. This would give me something to revolve around in editing.
For that we used several Q4 cameras provided to SLA Studios by Zoom themselves.
These are essentially GoPros with great audio. Which was perfect for what we were doing as we didn't need to set up a separate audio recorder!
For the main music video shoot. SLA was there in full force, their teams had returned from other projects and so did their equipment!
We started off with drone shots of the hotel and band arriving scenes.
Then it was the recording of the band being interviewed about the album, and doing an intro for their upcoming tour, which I am going to leave you with for now. I plan to write a part two when the rest of the videos launch, where I will talk in more detail about the music videos and at the same time show you them!