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Black History Month: How we made "Black Story, Black Song"

Updated: Feb 28, 2021

This was an awesome Project. We shot "Black Story, Black Song" on a Black Magic (pun not intended) Pocket Cam 4K. It was edited and colored in DaVinci Resolve. I used a Sigma 18-35, but mostly maintained 20mm the entire shoot.

As a one man production Company working with a partner who can handle other aspects of the shoot is imperative to success. Raashan, Producer, along with Sienna Prillaman, Coordinator and Administrative Assistant brought all the talent, art and design pieces together to make for a comfortable and easy two day shoot. <3

This production began with a one day tech scout at Site Sante Fe. This location was previously selected and it couldn't have been more perfect. One large wall to throw light on and plenty of space for camera and talent. Granted the wall was grey that didn't stop us. (See image from the scout below)

Raashan knew that he wanted 8 different colors so Sienna and I set out to achieve that on the scout day. For backdrop we used two Skypanel s60's, and for fill we used two Aperture 300D's.

On the next two days we shot all the content. It was an exciting shoot. We barely wanted rest.

Ok, so once you shoot everything of course you have to edit, right? Correct. I used a 27.5 I9 iMac to export and render this project. It ended up being 44 minutes and 22 seconds. Each render took about an 1 hour and 45 minutes at 1080p.

Raashan allowed me some creative agency on the edit which of course I'm going to brag about. I understood that the piece was going to be long and varied, and I also understood that there would be limited time in the edit room.

Just like each piece in Black Story, Black Song, the Black Community is beautiful and varied. I wanted to create a transition that would highlight that but also callback to the other presenters. We quickly shot these photos on set with a Fujifilm Instax. And then combined that with title cards that were designed in photoshop. Finally, I added some SFX to make the transition audio and visual.

Raashan and I also worked on spicing up the one camera with digital movement to provide interest. Everything was shot in BRaw and color corrected simply in post to achieve the look. Like I said I used Davinci Resolve for the entire piece.

All in all Raashan made this project really easy. Sometimes you get a client that doesn't understand how these sorts of projects come together and tend to underestimate that amount of work or tools it takes to get "something" done. That was certainly not the case here.

Watch the piece on Earth Seed Black Arts Collective's website.

Special thanks to Yavez Fuller for saving my ass multiple times on the shoot (MVP)

IG: vez_visuals

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