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The Process of Shooting a Music Video with a Canon…and Just One Lens

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from photographer and cinematographer, Anders Lnnfeldt.

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 4.50.02 PMThis was the second time I worked with the Finnish artist Jannike. I made her first music video in 2013 which we shot partly in Greece and partly in Helsinki. This time the plan was to find even more fantastic locations and make the video both bigger and better. Jannike’s manager contacted me in the beginning of 2014 and told me about their plans about shooting a music video in Los Angeles and he asked me to come along. This was a deal I didn’t want to reject. So the planning begun. We booked a 10 day long trip and we also planned to drive to Las Vegas to shoot even more footage.

Social Media Helped Me Find Locations

One of the biggest challenges was to find the locations for the music video. The problem was not that there were no locations, because LA is full of great locations. But since I had never been in LA before I had a hard time knowing where to find the best ones. Also not knowing the distances between potential locations complicated the planning.

I got in contact with Albert, a guy living in LA. I had tweeted that I was looking for locations in Los Angeles and he responded. This is a great example of when social media is extremely useful for gathering information.

Shooting the Sunrise in the Hollywood Hills

When we arrived in LA we started with location scouting. We had two days time to do so. Actually I had all the locations planned, thanks to Albert. But I wanted to check them out to see if they would work. What surprised me were the distances. Every time you jump in the car you are going to sit there for a long time, so I couldn’t plan too many locations for one day.

The first day of shootings we woke up about 4 o’clock in the morning to get on location before sunrise. The plan was to shoot in the Hollywood Hills during sunrise and it was maybe the most beautiful sunrise I have ever seen. We had to be ready to shoot when the sun started rising and we had to work fast, since the time was limited. We got about three takes from the hills, which ended up being some of the main parts in the video.

The same day we had planned to shoot the sunset in the Santa Monica streets, having the sunset in the background. But because of the heavy traffic we missed it by only ten minutes. It would have been a great shot.

Trying Something New in Every Project

I shot the video with the Canon 5D Mark III camera. This was a great choice for this production because I wanted my gear to be light weight. We also got in contact with Christopher, a colleague in LA who shot some beautiful aerial shots from the different locations with his drone.

In every new project I want to try something new, to make it all more interesting and to keep me motivated. This time I got a custom made lens from Dog Schidt Optics, which gave such a beautiful look to the video.

Dog Schidt Optics is a British company who customizes lenses to give digital video a more authentic look. I have used this lens a lot after using it during the music video shoot.

I also tried a whole new way with the color grading process. I worked with the ImpulZ LUTs from Vision Color. Like many of us filmmakers we try to find a way to make our digital footage look more as if it would have been shot on film stock. These LUTs gave me a really good base to start working from. It was quite a complex way to grade, and not the fastest. But I wanted to do my best with the fantastic footage that I had captured.

Last but not least, I want to thank all the people who helped me out during the production. Enjoy.

To see more of Ander’s work, follow him on and check out his portfolio here.


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