A Slow-motion Music Video on a Digicam

Evenings With Arnie
Evenings With Arnie - A music video. © Nishant Ratnakar

Evenings with Arnie is a music video where I follow my nephew Arnav during his playtime on one fine overcast Summer evening at our home in Bangalore city. This is as simple as I can get with the description of this video :).

Now I’ll get to things that are simple, but are often thought to be complicated – producing low-budget/no-budget videos and short-films!

Very mention of a video project brings into mind the visuals of a huge production crew. I have never been part of those big projects, but I have single-handedly executed quite a few multimedia and video projects on my own. It is difficult but achievable to handle a video project on your own or with a small crew.

It has been nearly two years since I made my first short-film with a 2-member crew. When I first started producing multimedia projects, I embarked on journey to find low-cost cameras, software and accessories that will aid independent film-makers and multimedia journalists like me. Initially, I found Soundslides on which one could produce beautifully crafted audio slide-shows. My project Fistful of Dreams was produced on Soundslides. Later, my continued search had led me to Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 15, a video-editing software from AVID that had the capability to edit directly the raw video footage from my Canon EOS 5D Mark2 Digital SLR camera. Since, then I have produced quite a few multimedia and video projects on Pinnacle for my clients and also as independent projects.

In my previous posts, I had written on how I have discovered compact cameras and mobile phone cameras as best alternatives to my bulky Digital SLR camera for personal, travel and street photography projects. My current toy is a Canon PowerShot s100 compact digital camera. Earlier, I had written and shared a series of images produced on it. But, s100 can do lot more than still photography. s100 lets one record Full HD videos (1080p). But, its best feature is the ability to create slow-motion videos (but, at a lower resolution). I instantly fell in love with the slow-motion footage that I was capturing on it.

 This entire music video was filmed handheld on a Canon PowerShot s100. The super slow-motion setting of this tiny camera gave me access to 240 frames/second speed for capturing motion, but at a lower resolution of 320p. The resulting video files had frame-rates of 30 fps.

Post production of this music video was performed on Pinnacle studio. The background score is a free soundtrack provided by the Scorefitter tool present in Pinnacle Studio, and the soundtrack is called Great Divide. Pinnacle Studio in its repository has the ‘Magic Bullet’ plugin which gives your videos the look and feel of popular films and TV shows. This video’s look and feel has been enhanced to popular music video styles using the Magic Bullet plugin.

Over all, I like the surreal look that slow-motion videos create. s100 does a decent job in capturing slow motion. The only drawback of s100 is that it shoots slow motion videos at lower resolutions and not at HD quality. But, as technology evolves further, it will hardly be a matter of time when low-cost digital cameras with HD slow-motion videos will be a reality.  And no prizes for guessing if I’ll buy such a camera!

Nishant Ratnakar
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By Nishant Ratnakar

Nishant is a Bangalore, India based Wedding, Portrait & Editorial Photographer. He is available for assignments across India. He also conducts photography workshops and offers personal photography mentorship.

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