ALEXA and ex-ABBA Agnetha
Agnetha Faltskog, former member of the ABBA quartet, has released many albums since one of the 1970s' biggest bands dissolved. The Swedish singer's latest creation is very different from the pop music she was previously known for; the accompanying video is evidence of a more reflective, complex and nuanced style.
DP Brian Strange and Colorist Mazin Power worked together on a music video featuring former ABBA band-member Agnetha Faltskog. Opting to record ProRes to ALEXA's in-camera SxS PRO cards, they enabled a highly efficient workflow that saved time and money both on set and in the grade.
For the production of the WHEN YOU REALLY LOVED SOMEONE music video, a creative partnership between the DP and colorist were the key for a fast workflow. In spite of the speed of production, there is clearly no compromise in the artistic and technical quality of the piece. From the perspective of cinematographer Brian Strange, ALEXA was the camera of choice because its ability to record ProRes to in-camera SxS PRO cards meant a highly efficient workflow on set and reduced time spent in postproduction.
"The camera shows how far production technology has been perfected; it's really very hard to fault," observes Strange. "It's totally reliable, with unbeatable color reproduction. The Final Cut Pro workflow is fantastic, something the producers love for creating a fast rough cut. The menus, port positions and even the placement of the cables are absolutely spot-on. Each element saves the DP, assistant, producer, editor and colorist valuable seconds -- all this adds up over the course of a production to significant time savings and very real cost savings."
He continues, "As a DP I'm aware that the postproduction guys need to work quickly and don't want to have to spend time correcting images. Using the ALEXA is so intuitive that it's easy to get the shot the producer wants first time. I'm always confident that the ARRI camera will capture very sharp, data-rich files that are easy to work with in post."
Despite needing to create three individual looks for the video, colorist Mazin Power was able to complete the grading in a single day. Rather than spending time fixing files, Power says that with ALEXA he can focus purely on creativity. He remarks, "Because the video was shot with ALEXA, the Log C files were very rich in information. The color fidelity is always incredibly accurate, highlights are well controlled and skin tones are great. It's exactly what we need in postproduction."
With the Agnetha project, the colorist was tasked with the challenge of creating a number of distinct looks for different parts of the video: a desaturated flashback sequence featuring young actors, a warm contemporary scene with the singer in front of a golden mirror and finally the on-stage performance shots. "For each sequence we applied a very different look," notes Power. "The ALEXA files coped incredibly well with adjustments to sharpness and skin tones, resulting in a beautiful finished product. Shooting with ALEXA makes postproduction so much easier."
Production Company: Ki Films
Producer: Beau Fowler
Director: Simon Fowler
DP: Brian Strange
Colorist: Mazin Power at the Finishing Factory
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