"Swing" was the first music video I shot as a cinematographer. It was directed by my friend Mike Mantsourani and we worked on it back in late 2017. In Fall 2017, I was still in school but I only had one class to attend, so I was free to work on quite a few projects that semester. When it came time to shoot, I felt that I had rushed things a bit and didn't communicate things as well as I should have. I think Mike is pretty happy with the end results but I don't feel as strongly about the cinematography. In some shots, you can see dust on the lens which really irritated me because I couldn't see the spots off of my tiny camera screen. SOme shots were out of focus, another thing I couldn't see because of the small screen, which likely reduced the amount of usable shots which resulted in reshoots. I do remember the reshoots because it was entirely run-and-gun style and all naturally lit. The one problem with run-and-gun shoots was I couldn't plan how I was going to film what we needed. After all that was said and done, the last mistake I made was evidently clear when I saw the final cut: I forgot to tell Mike or the editor to apply a Lookup Table (or LUT for short) to the new shots. They would have looked a lot nicer, in my opinion, with them because the LUt would add colors to the shot. They currently look desaturated and/or washed out. I filmed in a logarithmic picture profile which gives my camera the highest dynamic range it can do, which is a fancy way of saying I can see more detail within the highlights and shadows of each shot.
I should make it clear that I'm not trash-talking the music video, but rather my own efforts and my work within it. I liked that the music video had a very clear message about mental health and suicide awareness, I liked working with mike and the crew, and I think the song is really well done too. It's just another one of those projects where I think about what I could've done to make things better and the answer is: I could've and should've done a lot better given that my career up to that point had turned out some really well-shot films.