Destructor's, 'Heroic Age' Video Production

Had a blast shooting a music video for the Cleveland, OH metal band Destructor a couple of months ago. Man these guys rock & have been around the block & globe and for a long time! Such a great bunch of guys delivering the goods ever since the 80's peak metal hay day. Dave Just the frontman is the real deal and a bona fide artist. Authentic to the core.

When it was time for his video spots, he just turned it on without a hitch and lit up the camera. All performance this guy. All these fine musicians delivered and made my job all the easier to capture and create what they wanted which was a heavy metal music video with a bit of a story for their new original song, Heroic Age. The date was set and the location was determined to be the Goldhorn Brewery down on 55th in Cleveland, OH. Great place and decent brews. 



This music video had a small story line in the beginning throughout their epic creeping slow music intro. Leading in with a line that would make Robert E. Howard proud -


"Here's to the ancient stories of when men and women fought bravely together through triumph, agony and peril harkening back stories of the heroic age." 


After that, the story would stop and just slow camera tilt up through smoke straight away into rip roaring metal mayhem performance. Knowing that there would be moments when I would want to slow things down a bit, I shot everything at 59.94. Final project rendered at 29.97fps. All the walking parts I was stabilized on a Ronin-S which while a bit older, works like a charm. Since the Sigma 28mm and 50mm are basically the same weight & size, rebalancing them on the Ronin was fast & efficient. I chose a Sigma Art 28mm and a Sigma Art 50mm both at f/1.4 for all scenes. These lenses are really fantastically sharp & rock solid. There was an overhead shot looking down at a pigs head on a food platter that I went hand held I think while on a ladder. There was also a small speaking part where my assistant Adam ran a boom mic tethered to a Tascam portable two tracker. Synced all audio in post in Vegas Pro 21.





For the main shoot, I used the existing venue's LED overhead strip lights plus (4) of my Nanlite Pavotube LED lights vertically on a stand in semicircle around the band in a stage format. These full RGB lights work great and the built in batteries are very handy in tight spots. Everything including the Nanlites, Dracast units and camera were generally dialed up for 5600 Kelvin color. After everything was set up, if I remember right I was right around 800 to 1600 ISO range for proper exposure at 18% gray, middle gray. I really was not nervous at any point about noisy footage as I had pretty decent, consistent light.



Some main camera shoot details -

Canon R5

Format - 4K DCI 4096x2160, 2.39:1 aspect ratio, 59.94fps, ALL-I 10-bit, S-LOG 3

Ronin -S Stabilizer

Sigma Art 28mm f/1.4 and Sigma Art 50mm f/1.4


The band's final mix provided by Mercenary Audio was pumped through the PA where they would do their lip syncing. After a quick audio level check for sync, I shot each of the band members entirely through the whole song plus (2) overall group sequences. Kudos to Adam my assistant for keeping me on the set & not falling on my ass while I was in the zone tracking with the gimbal. So around 6x all the way through the song we shot for the group scenes. Also covered (2) breakout scenes of Dave just singing by himself straight into the camera. For this I locked the Canon R5 down to a tripod. One of those versions was not used at all in the end since I was not entirely pleased with the light. The one that was used was just so much better with great colors, depth of field & light. An existing set of wall covered string lights proved to be a perfect background. Front light was a simple Dracast fixture through an assistant handheld circular diffuser.



The entire shoot took around 6 hours and I believe we covered a fair amount of ground in that time & the fact that all of the story scenes were essentially in the same room as the band sequence, we moved quickly with little tear down and build up. The indoor location that we shot at did not have air conditioning and as a result on a summer day, we were HOT. Buckets of sweat. The Canon R5 despite earlier production problems, did not overheat at all despite the crazy high ambient temps. It was actually cooler outside the building. Adam Begin my assistant on set, was excellent and I really appreciated his help hauling gear, setting up lights, boom operation, getting BTS and eagerness to sweat it out with the rest of us loonies. Destructor was fantastic on scene and perfectly in the zone for conveying what they wanted while letting me do what I had to to give them something that they would be happy with. It was a pleasure and an honor working for such a venerable act. Super good bunch of dudes with jacked up energy & excellent metal goodness. In the end, I brought out my bottle of EH Taylor Small Batch bourbon to commemorate the 'that's a wrap' moment with a round of shots for everyone. Cheers to great music & band, a cool video & new friends.

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