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Phillip Roebuck "Little Bo Peep" dir/dp Brandon Trost

The latest video from director/dp Brandon Trost for one man band artist, Phillip Roebuck. Shot with a 35mm "hand-crank" style camera from the 1930s, the song was recorded and the video filmed all within 24 hours.

casspix, March 26, 2007 at 6:25:25 AM CEST

wow. really beautiful. love it.

geeyouwhy, March 26, 2007 at 8:59:36 AM CEST

Very cool, yay for simple ideas well executed! What I want to know is if it was hand cranked, how did you keep audio sync?

progosk, March 26, 2007 at 9:15:19 AM CEST

just right. (made me think of what the white stripes were getting at, i guess.)

captainmarc22, March 26, 2007 at 10:06:37 AM CEST

I call shenangians on 35mm. It's in perfect sync and I bet it was 24p with a flicker/jitter added to it. If it really was a "hand-crank" camera he would have been a nerd about it and said it was a 1931 Westboro Model or some shit like that.

I'm also under the impression that the mags from the thirties aren't exactly compatible with the plastic spools of Kodak found today.

Nice try, though.

It was okay to watch in little bits while i fast forwarded through the rest. Cause you know, it was pretty boring.

kevathens, March 26, 2007 at 1:20:26 PM CEST

That was pretty sweet. Great use of location.

brianglover, March 26, 2007 at 1:34:50 PM CEST

brave... strangely riveting.

benroll, March 26, 2007 at 2:03:25 PM CEST

Sync: Rig a reel to reel tape player to the same hand crank?

Whether it's faked or not, it looks pretty authentic, apart from which it's a simple and compelling idea. Very nice.

inatree, March 26, 2007 at 2:25:59 PM CEST

Captainmarc22, don't be so quick to throw around comments. I've used handcrank cameras on a few music videos and a handful of other times on various projects. Most camera houses have handcrank cameras. They're usually modified Arri 2C's, which use the same Kodak, Fuji, as every recent model 35mm cameras. The footage looks like true handcrank. He could have faked it, but it'd be hard to get it dead on.

Syncing handcrank is not very hard either. You can easily crank it within a 6fps range, usually between 20-26fps. On wide shots you'd never know the difference and on close ups you can edit in the best synced footage. Doesn't have to be perfect to sell.

Antvilleans are always a tough crowd.

BTW, I wouldn't want to have been the one handcranking that camera all day!

spit, March 26, 2007 at 7:50:52 PM CEST

If the concept is just shots of the singer walking down a railroad track, maybe it doesn't matter what you shoot it on. Does the fact that its shot on cool equipment somehow authenticate a fairly unambitious shoot? Maybe I missed something there, but having this guy strumming his old timey music on an abandoned railway is the equivalent of shooting a punk band in an alley in front of a brick wall.

captainmarc22, March 26, 2007 at 8:43:15 PM CEST

inatree, here's a technical question. At what speed of framerate fluctuation does it affect the f-stop?

The flicker on this is pretty intense. It's definitely more than a fluctuation of 6 frames.

I standby my assertion that if he actually did shoot on a handcrank; he would have been more than willing to share how he did it - "We used a modified Arri 2C..." or whatnot.

I think any halfway decent Shake or Combustion guy could fake this effect in a few minutes. 320x240, even easier.

spit; I agree w/ you.

mookie, March 26, 2007 at 11:15:05 PM CEST
  1. Maintaining sync with handcrank is not as hard as one might think, you just have to get the rhythm going and keep it steady. Plus you can always chop out 5 frames here and there to if you fall behind to bring it back spot on.

  2. Either they got really lucky with the weather that day or they waited for the perfect clouds. But it paid off big time no matter the method.

  3. spit: Semi-agree with you about the location, however the song's rhythm does feel like a locomotive chugging along, so it works for me.

baudfather, March 27, 2007 at 7:54:02 AM CEST

Concept: simple, works with song - just as simple.

While it can be hard to believe this was shot on a true 30's handcrank (I notice no frame jitter at all on fixed shots - dead smooth), it should be no feat of technology to sync a handcrank to a music track by adding or dropping a few frames per scene. The debate continues!

inatree, March 27, 2007 at 9:17:08 AM CEST

Captainmarc22, there is a fluctuation or exposure change anytime the frame rate changes. For instance, there is a 1/3 stop difference from shooting at 24fps vs. 18fps, 2/3 stop at 15 fps, and 1 stop difference at 12 fps. 1/3 stop difference is noticeable.

Baudfather, you're not going to see frame jitter unless the registration of the camera is off. Even for older cameras, the registration is rarely off. in the past 8 years, I've only had the bad luck of using 2 cameras with bad registration.

The two things that will be different shooting with a handcrank camera. 1-exposure fluctuations. 2-erratic speed of movement. both due to the frame rate fluctuation during a shot.

Way back in the day when handcrank was the only option, many guys were so good at cranking it that you would not be able to see any exposure fluctuations. Of course this is not always the case, but the look we usually associate with handcrank cameras from early in the 20th century is due to shooting at 18fps (faster movement on screen) and inconsistent film processing (exposure fluctations).

Floria who uses the handcrank look a lot doesn't even shoot with one. She just shoots at 22fps and adds some post touches.

Enough techy talk. so booooooooooring.

Visually, I think this video is interesting, but it's only one look and it's not enough. The video is not terrible, but more needs to happen. I'm only going to enjoy a video like this if I'm already a fan of the artist. Spit is right in his/her comparison of a punk band shooting in an alley.

progosk, March 27, 2007 at 9:43:09 AM CEST

never heard this guy's music and it transfixed me pretty good. (might not another time round.)

also: band against a brick wall can be pretty good stuff, you know.


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