Blackmagic Design has announced that the URSA Mini 4.6K digital film camera was used to shoot the music video for Aaron Carter’s new hit single “Fool’s Gold.” DaVinci Resolve Studio was also used to grade the music video by Colorist Robert Crosby at L.A.-based post production studio Coyote Post.
Co-directed by Carter and platinum-selling songwriter and visual creative Jon Asher, “Fool’s Gold” has a very clean, cinematic look with a combination of muted colors in some scenes contrasting with very saturated gold colors in others. “Early on in preproduction, we decided that the video needed a really cinematic look to compliment the striking imagery. Using whites and blacks against pops of gold really enhanced the gold theme of the song, and we needed a camera that could capture it all and deliver a vivid look,” said Asher.
The URSA Mini 4.6K’s 15 stops of dynamic range and the filmic color science of the 4.6K sensor delivered exactly on Carter and Asher’s vision. The team also made use of the URSA Mini’s in-camera frame guides to shoot in a 2.40 scope aspect ratio to further push the cinematic look of the project.
With much of the performance shot at half speed, or 48fps, while the track was played back at two times the speed on set, the URSA Mini 4.6K allowed the team to easily control the frame rates and dial in exactly what was needed to achieve a slow motion effect. Then, because the camera project speed was 23.98, the team could play back the footage in camera and see the slow motion effect immediately.
The music video also features macro shots of a model painted in gold with extreme close ups of her eyes and lips, and this required accurate focusing on the fly. The URSA Mini 4.6K’s focus peaking made these shots much easier to pull off with its green peaking overlay, which helped the team nail the focus on every take.
Asher noted, “The URSA Mini’s form factor, affordability and, most of all, dynamic range are amazing.”
Shooting in CinemaDNG RAW, the camera not only provided the team with clean images without noise, but it also provided detail in the shadows and range in the highlights. According to the team, even when pushing the highlights, the roll off is so smooth that it’s truly film-like.
“The URSA Mini 4.6K has an organic feel that so many cameras are striving to achieve, and with the 15 stops of latitude, it made the grade quicker and more efficient,” said Colorist Robert Crosby. “We didn’t have to worry so much about things blowing out when pushing the white backdrops, and we still saw a lot of detail in the black body paint in front of the black backdrops. You instantly notice that there is so much room to work with.”
During grading, Crosby was tasked with making the look pop as much as possible without seeming overly done. “The video has a lot of white and black backdrops, which helped enhance everything in front of it. The URSA Mini gave me a lot of room to work with in being able to blow out the white backdrop to achieve the perfect white, while keeping all of the skin tones in a good place and without sacrificing the rest of the image,” he said.
When creating a more desaturated look in the bedroom scene, Crosby still wanted the gold on the sheets to pop, so he used the qualifier on the gold sheets to boost saturation. Then he desaturated everything outside of the gold using Resolve’s Hue vs. Saturation Curves tab.
“I also really love Resolve’s 3D tracker,” added Crosby. “We used tracking on the bedroom shots just to brighten Aaron’s face a bit. And now with the 3D aspect of the tracker, it looks like the light is following him, instead of just a circle that moves in the general vicinity”