I wanted to share the full process from start to finish of Zach Dubois' new music video "Work Harder.”  Zach and I worked together a couple of years ago on a music video about his love for our home state, "Indiana.”

Since our last music video, my personal style has changed quite a bit: I used to use a tripod and keep things a little simpler. Now, I almost always go handheld. Lately, I've been going for more of an “authentic” feel in my videos.

The song was about working hard, so we wanted it to feel real; to feel like you are right there with these hard workers, putting your nose to the grindstone. We talked about a lot of different ideas, from following a teacher around for a “day in the life,” to a trucker on the great open road.

Zach and I both grew up in the same area, and we both agreed that farmers are some of the hardest workers out there. So, that's what we decided to capture.

Pre-Production

Whenever I start a new project like this, I always dump all my thoughts into Evernote. There are few apps out there that I rely on as much as Evernote.

I gathered my reference images from my library (I'll be writing about this soon). I knew that this would be all natural lighting, and raw. Like I said, I wanted this to feel like you were there with them. During my search for inspiration. I was looking for images that used good natural light, back light, sun flares, use of dirt/dust, etc.  

PRODUCTION

We shot this in two half-days. Gear wise, we were lightweight, “run and gun” style. The first day, we shot the performance piece with Zach around the family farm. We started just before sunset to capture the beautiful golden hour and blue hour. This farm was wonderful for our tight shooting schedule, and we were able to capture a dozen different setups within walking distance of each other.

The second shoot was all about the story: A family farm with four generations. There was no budget for actors in the video, so what you see on the screen is a real family on their real family farm. I didn't do much directing on this video, simply because I wanted it to feel as real as possible. My direction was simple: "You two go over there and do what you would normally do. Don't worry about me."

This is by far my favorite way to shoot. When working with non-actors, it's easy for them to be nervous on camera. By telling them to just do what they normally do, they typically can forget all about you as the filmmaker, and you can capture some REAL moments.

Camera Equipment

  • Canon C100 Mark I
  • Wooden Camera Shoulder Rig / Handle 
  • Tamron 24-70 f2.8
  • Rokinon 50mm f1.4
  • Canon 70-200 f4
  • Small HD DP4

POST-PRODUCTION

I edited this music video in Adobe Premiere Pro, and color graded in Filmconvert. Check out the time lapse of the full edit below!

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