"Man, this song moves," was the scary first thought I had when listening to Sidd Kel's "Space Needle" for the first time. I had been tasked with shooting a music video for this song, an electronic dance groove that goes to a lot of places in its almost six-minute run time. The length of the song isn't what scared me, though, the movement of the song did.
To this point, my main camera was the Digital Bolex D16, a wonderful piece of equipment that shoots stunning 16mm-like images in a digital format. I love this camera, but it's semi-large and creating complex, smooth, movements with it are either very difficult or very expensive (for me). Normally this isn't a problem, but for creating images that complement "Space Needle," I was going to need a camera that could fly.
So I took a chance and bought myself a DJI Osmo, a 4k video camera that couldn't be more different than the Bolex. Even operating the camera next to the Bolex seems like engaging in two opposing filmmaking ideologies at once. The Osmo is fluid, crisp, sharp, and new, while the Bolex is rich, grainy, emotive, and old-school. I had no idea if I could tell a single story with these two cameras, but I gave it a try.
Production went very smoothly (the OSMO is super fun to shoot with) but post-production is where I found trouble. The Bolex really shines from a color grading standpoint, its dynamic range and film-like grain make coloring more like an exploration than a correction. The Osmo, however, can't be pushed around as well, so not only was I having to match the color scheme I was good at achieving with the Bolex, but I was having to do so with less of a grade. I'm not a master color grader, this was a pain in the ass.
In the end, though, the struggle was worth it. I feel like the Osmo and the Bolex can really complement each other when used correctly. The Bolex brings richness. The Osmo brings energy, and I just need to find the right balance between the two.