Peter Renzullo’s New Music Video for Parallax’s “Focal” Shot on Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro4.6K G2 and Edited and Graded With DaVinci Resolve Studio

A new music video is expected with the release of a new album. What musician, producer and filmmaker Peter Renzullo and his new band Parallax are doing is a bit more than expected — twelve new songs and ten new music videos all in less than two months.

Parallax is a musical duo (Jamie Seinemeier and Peter Renzullo) out of Perth, Australia and is a mixture of electronic and analog sounds and a blend of musical genres. Peter is a long-time fixture on the Australian music scene as both a producer and owner of Scudley Records, and an award winning musician himself. He is also an award winning filmmaker, with his recent film Anticipation winning a number of international film awards in the past two years.

Mixing both visual and audio worlds is at the center of Peter’s artistic vision for the band, and releasing all of the tracks and creating music videos for every track was essential to him. At the same time, the quality of the videos had to be at a Hollywood level even though all of the shooting and post production were being done by Peter himself, with help from his long time friend Ben Knibb for color correction.

“We’re not just a band,” he said, “we’re kind of a production.  We have the audio elements, which is where Jamie shines, and we have the visual elements, which is where I shine.  I want to show off with these videos.”

The first video and single to be released is “Focal”. The video is a haunting look into self- sabotage, and all of the ways in which people are impacted by it. To shoot the video, Peter used Blackmagic Design’s URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 and DaVinci Resolve Studio.

“The URSA Mini was an absolute delight to shoot this project on! Honestly, the quality of this sensor, and the way it receives light – both natural and LED – is nothing short of beautiful.  The most impressive feature of this camera, in regards to this video, was the amazingly slick high frame rates I was able to take advantage of.  I mean, to be able to capture full 4.6k raw footage at 120 fps… outstanding.  It made the whole production value skyrocket in my eyes, and really allowed me to manipulate the images in such an elegant way to establish that  dreamy tone I was hoping to achieve,” Peter said.

Focal Creating a high quality music video quickly with a limited budget and crew was also made more difficult by the topic and message of the song. This video told a number of different stories from different people, and included a number of physical and visual effects on top of having to dramatically change the look of feel of each viewpoint.

Peter explained his vision: “Essentially the entire piece is a collection of fables I've written to show the different aspects of our own self sabotage and our own self awareness in regards to how we treat others, and the belief that if we have the power to divert ourselves from the pathwe want to take in life, then we equally have the power to get ourselves back on track.  When you boil it right down, CHOICE is the theme of this song and video.”

“Stylistically, I wanted to create a piece that gave the sense of being in a dream like state of mind. Shots start very fast then rapidly slow right down to emphasize a moment that I want the viewer to really focus on – then ramp up again quickly, so as to draw the viewer into an uncontrollable situation, only to slam the breaks on again for another poignant moment,” he continued.

In the video, Peter highlighted a woman caught in a water filled tank, two men digging a grave,  a dancer performing with her shadow,  a young boy interacting with a strange man on a park bench and the moments before and after a horrifying suicide. These images were shown randomly throughout the video.

For all of these scenes, he used the URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 shooting in Blackmagic RAW. The camera gave him a huge amount of data and high dynamic range that allowed him to be able to manipulate the footage easily in post, as well as giving him the freedom to be creative with a variety of special FX shots.

“A couple of examples where this camera just made magic happen was in the special FX shots that I needed to achieve.  I'm an absolute nube when it comes to special FX, so I needed to try and create them in a way that made sense to me,” Peter said. “Two scenes in particular that really worried me was a scene of the guy digging his own grave – in which he plays both the man getting buried and the man digging the grave.  I wanted to have moments when the two interacted.  One was when he lobs a shovel full of sand across the screen and it lands in front of him sitting on the ground, and the other was of him throwing a water bottle to himself on the other side of the screen, which he catches.”

He continued: “Both were shot at golden hour (6pm here in Perth, Western Australia in October). So light was changing quickly. This camera was amazing at keeping up with this change of light, and managed to evenly capture the change of aputure to accommodate the subtle change. It also provided me with the resolution I needed to make changes to cropping that were needed to fine tune certain moments.”

The other scene that proved to be a challenge was with the woman in a water tank, which included four different camera angles and required a large amount of creativity to get the final image where Peter needed it to be.

“I took elements from four different takes and overlapped to create the effect I wanted. One of those elements was greenscreen, the other three required such closely planned timing for the three shots to meld together as one. The stability, consistency in image processing in the URSA Mini Pro and the amazing sensor in this camera just made everything look so damn good. I’m just so blown away by what I can do with this beast!” he said.

Footage was edited and graded using DaVinci Resolve Studio. Peter found the ability to take Blackmagic RAW footage directly into his computer from the camera and work editing and color in a single piece of software important. Once he completed editing, final color correction was done by Ben Knibb, who has worked with Peter on a number of film projects, including the international award winning film “Anticipation”.

“This program is just amazing. I’ve used it since 2017, on which I edited my feature film, many many music videos and short films – yet I still find features that just blow me away! For this new project, I know I wanted to incorporate slow-fast image movement throughout the whole video, and the control that Resolve gave me over that was absolutely flawless, easy and powerful. Honestly I cannot speak highly enough on the sheer power of this NLE, it’s such a joy to work with, and handles anything I throw at it,” he said.

The slow-fast/ speed ramping features in DaVinci Resolve Studio were used in a number of spots throughout the video. With these, Peter was able to control exactly how fast or slow he wanted a shot to go, giving him the ability to be aggressive or gentle with the speed to match the emotion he wanted to bring out.

He continued: “It gives the project such a professional and, I feel, unique style. My style.  And That’s the part that really took me… I was able to establish my look and my style of film-making because the parameters on all features within Resolve are so customizable, it really gives filmmakers a freedom to put their own signature feel to the work.”

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