One of the best parts of our job is getting random, unsolicited inquiries from future clients and fellow artists.
In May, Jaymie Jones reached out. Jaymie and her daughter Kelli are Belles & Whistles, a country singer/songwriter duo out of Omaha, NE.
They had seen the Nebraska Project and wanted to be a part of it. Jaymie offered time and music. She sent over a handful of tracks for us to choose from and we quickly settled on Luna Blue as a good place to start.
We had already made plans to be in Nebraska in early June, so we scheduled some extra days, called some friends for help, and made plans for another music video.
We’ve spent a lot of time in Nebraska over the last year and a half, but a of couple places have stuck out as favorites; places where we know we can make images no matter what. – A wilderness area near Hastings, NE. – and Kevin and Katie Morrow’s farm north of O’Neill, NE.
We told Jaymie and Kelli that we’d bring the cameras – a couple fresh-out-of-the-box Nikon D5 bodies and a RED Dragon – if they brought the props and a model, namely a boy and a truck.
They happened to find the boy and the truck in O’Neill, NE. Jason Hahlbeck is a rising senior at O’Neill High School and happens to be good friends with Kevin and Katie’s oldest daughter Emily. Things seem to work that way in Nebraska – everybody helpful, everybody connected.
This was the first time we’ve had significant time with the D5 in our hands since we shot My Nebraska last September and it felt good to be shooting 4k UHD with the same camera we use for making high quality stills.
For this video, we wanted to employ a lot of motion, so we rigged our EZFX jib and our Movi M10 with a D5, Nikkor lens and Small HD monitor. Katie Klann, the newest edition to the Straw Hat team, is fast becoming an expert at getting the Movi ready to go quickly.
We wanted to shoot a majority of the video in low light, which the D5 is perfect for. We shot every day at sunrise and sunset. To make our lives a little easier, we camped every night so we were in place the moment we woke up each morning.
For this project, we utilized the newest additions to our equipment case – two light meters from Sekonic. The Litemaster Pro (L-478DR-U-EL) is key when calibrating cameras. The Nikon D5 bodies are amazingly consistent, as are the RED Weapon and Dragon bodies, but they work very differently. When we need to mix files, the Litemaster Pro is our go to meter. The Nikons are extremely accurate when it comes to color balance, zero fluctuation between bodies. The need for calibration comes in multi camera production with the light coming from different directions, and in diverse ways. And then there is post production to consider. For documentary work, we want to present the light temperature and intensity as we saw it. For music videos that’s not necessarily the case, and keeping things straight is a different challenge. The Sekonic C-500R Prodigy Color Temperature helps us calculate not only what is, but what we want it to be.
Overall, we spent four days with Jaymie, Kelli and Jason and shot two music videos in that time. Luna Blue is the first of those videos. We invite you to watch it on NebraskaProject.com.