Olathia BTS Shotgun

Olathia 'Shotgun' video production

Recently had the excellent opportunity to work with the positively electric Chris Emig from the local NE Cleveland Ohio metal band Olathia for a music video. These guys have an all-in, one speed setting…..on. It really is a pleasure to do work for such a high energy band. The song is an all-original number called Shotgun with all kinds of in-your-face kinetic metal energy going on.

The number takes no time at all launching you into a high octane, head banging sonic command into action with the song’s first words of, ‘Where are we going?’. I wasn't quite sure but I did know that this was going to be a wild ride. 

Scope / Theme

A super fun story of two fantastical party entities known as ‘Beer Guy’ and ‘Bong Girl’ who both wind up at a location through natural gravitation, attracting participants and commence in massive partying with the inspiration and guided melodic mayhem of the band. Not having fun was not a choice.

With a recent acquisition of a Canon R5 and knowing that I wanted to shoot in 4K at multiple different frame rates in premium compression modes, a good deal of pre planning of data rates was critical to knowing all the compatible recording mediums that I would need.


So, the first scene was determined to be a local liquor store and with the gracious permission of the owner, we shot a few scenes. This was some hilarious stuff with the random customers in a live store giving us funny looks with our outfits and camera gear. After some impromptu directions our cast was off and we were shooting the scene. There was a moped involved too leaving the store with the Beer Guy in an actual, custom-made & incredibly designed beer logo can by Matt Moser that read, Shotgun. This was pretty difficult as the Beer Guy in the can-suit had a good deal of a challenge staying on the moped because of the profoundly bulky outfit. You can’t tell in the video but, he is sitting on a six pack to stay propped up. I was cracking up but simultaneously a little worried that he was going to dump the moped. Miraculously he somehow made it work and kept the rubber side down.


"Along with copious amounts of free-flowing cannabis during this shoot...."

Intro to the ‘Bong Girl’ was shot on the sidewalk outside of the main scene area. She was quite the natural in how you’d think a bong incarnate would act; completely carefree and uber-relaxed. While battling some challenging harsh & hard daylight to line up the best camera angles, I followed up this scene with some low, high & walking camera gimbal shots. The rest of the cast / party goers met here as well as the happy unity and symbiosis of the Beer Guy & Bong Girl. These two were meant for each other. The jacked up party group proceeded through a docking space, down through some more storage space and then into a swanky, chill room that served as the main band performance area. This group entrance was pimped out with a little help from a smoke machine.



Technical Nerd Stuff

All footage was shot on a Canon R5 on a Ronin gimbal. I rented a Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4 for it’s ideal lens length for the in-store shots as well as the very tight quarters in the main band performance area. This lens was also very handy to handle low light. Surprisingly, I almost shot the entire video with this one lens with a just few moments with a Sigma Art 50mm f/1.4. While still retaining the main room's as-is vibey lights, I added (2) Nanlite PavoTube II 30X, (2) 15x’s and (2) Dracast LED 500’s with CTO gel for overall ambient lift and fill. The Pavotubes are such great lights that have decent output, a full RGB color range and are extremely versatile. Big thanks to buddy and key grip David Tilson for helping me out with all the gear, BTS images, setting lights, time tracking and more. While we did run out of on-board battery on 1 of the lights, the built-in batteries are excellent. We passed over the song around 4-5 times with audio sync over a local PA with a 4-count click intro for post-sync.

This project was shot in (3) different frame rates at 4K, 4096x2160 DCI (17:9 aspect ratio). Compressed format using ALL-I and using the new CLOG 3. I made 3 custom settings on the R5 to quickly switch between 30, 60 & 120fps in 4K. Since I already had the band takes in mind, I had very specific uses for each of these frame rates. To avoid any possibility of frame jitter I opted to output the entire project to the mathematically kinder 30p rather than 24p. With the new Canon R5 firmware 1.6 update, the camera worked perfectly and never overheated at all. The entire project consumed around a hefty terabyte of data and took 18 hours to proxy the files before they even made it into the project timeline. Heavy lifting for sure.

Final Thoughts

This was a ridiculously fun shoot. It took around 7 hours to actually shoot from beginning to end. Chris & the planners made sure that there were some food, drink and a batch of incredible cookies made available. By the end, after running a gimbal for that length of time, your forearms start to notice so the food was greatly appreciated . As my friend Chris would say, ‘it takes a bit of a small army to put one of these videos together’ and while this is true, when everyone is so relaxed and so focused, it really is like a party with friends. The band Olathia, are excellent performers and on point. It didn’t matter if it was 1 video take or 5, they performed with equal amounts of vigor and authenticity on each pass which made my job all the easier. Along with copious amounts of free-flowing cannabis during this shoot, the cast, the crew, the folks who came out just to be in the video were some of the most excellent people to not only be apart of a shoot of this scope but to also just hang with. Good times.



- gabe fedor  




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