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Rappers, Dancers & Parkour: the BREAK! music video

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#1 Dean Smollar

Dean Smollar

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 04:32 PM


I haven't ever shared my work here before, but this video just came out today and I'm really proud of it. Honestly, this is some of my better stunt work since moving to LA. We shot this on the 5d with a set of Nikon AI Primes (16, 25, 35, 50, 85), and a Bartech with an M1 Motor. They originally brought me in to do maybe 2 or 3 shots, but they just kept adding more and more after they saw what I was doing. I ended up going 15 hours (and getting paid for it), and a little over 3 minutes of this 7 1/2 minute video is my work. I have a basic breakdown below, but if anyone has questions I'll answer in more detail. The actual song starts at 1:46, and even though there are a few miscellaneous shots I did in that opening, the real action starts at 2:26.

2:26 - 2:32 - I spent a good half hour of the shoot doing 360's around the lead talent (Malakai) while having to weave in and out of these dangling lights they hung from the ceiling. they ended up using it throughout the whole video.

2:32 - 3:06 - Low mode work ( tracking Malakai as he gets pulled back, skateboard w/toolbox rolls in, pushing in and tilting up off the floor to skateboard toolbox, closeup of Malakai w/ stuntmen in the background,
I did all of the low mode work either at a 16mm, 25mm or 85 mm. It was rough with the 5d at 85mm but it was worth it.

3:23 - 3:30 - Frantick, one of the breakdancers, and I had developed an unusual chemistry between camera & talent, and there are a lot of shots of him because of it. We just clicked, like we knew where each other wanted to go.

4:19 - 4:38 - one of the more complicated shots I did. Low mode, missionary walking backwards, switch to profile immediately & run to next spot for the tire stunt. The very first take of this shot, one of the stuntmen went too early and jumped right into my back, slamming into me. Luckily I didn't go down.

4:44 - 5:14 - More miscellaneous shots of the breakdancers & 360's. Whenever a shot would go into the chorus, Malakai would step off and I would start floating around the dancers. I didn't think they'd use so much of the footage.

5:14 - 5:34 - time to showcase the dancers & stuntmen. I didn't have a lot of room to move with this shot because of all the trampolines & crash pads all over the floor, so the second half of the move is a creep compared to the beginning.

5:34 - 5:48 - I fell doing this shot. Hard. The platform I was on was not very sturdy, so when I did eventually go down, I rolled the rig so that I landed on my back. I got back up and went straight into the next take, which I believe is the one they used. It looks like they zoomed in during post on this shot, so you can see a few wobbles from me trying to keep my balance.

5:48 - 6:20 - The kids breakdancing on top of the cars. We had multiple cameras running for this because it was late and the kids had to go home, so we couldn't do too many takes.

6:47 - 7:09 - A montage of the dancers doing individual routines mixed with more of my 360 work w/Malakai. The individual routines were completely freestyled We had absolutely no plan when we went into it. They cleared out the entire room except for me and the dancers, and we started riffing together. My favorite moment they used is right before the fade out with Frantick where he goes down to his knees and it looks like the camera is pushing him to the floor. Like I said earlier, we just clicked.

some of this stuff is going in my reel :)
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#2 Jamie McIntyre

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 06:05 PM

Such a cool video!

Great work Dean!!

Some of those moves are insane!
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#3 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 07:08 PM

Wow. Well done. Thanks for sharing the video and the commentary. What is your rig?
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Camera Motion Research

Paralinx LLC


Boland Communications

GPI Pro Systems

PLC - Bartech


Ritter Battery

Omnishot Systems

PLC Electronics Solutions

Wireless Video Systems

Betz Tools for Stabilizers

rebotnix Technologies


Varizoom Follow Focus