Pictures and music have lengthy been a part of Chris Hershman’s repertoire, however video took him unexpectedly. Now a filmmaker and photographer working with musicians like NEEDTOBREATHE, Switchfoot, Alabama Shakes, Betty Who, and extra, Hershman says he moved from working a music retail job to producing music movies by mastering one activity at a time.
In highschool, he switched his profession ambitions from photographer to musician and received a job at a significant music retailer. After a couple of years, he purchased a Nikon D300S (a 2009 DSLR), and as Hershman put it, it simply occurred to shoot video — then a a lot rarer characteristic on a DSLR than it’s at the moment. One music video was a number of freelancing gigs, which then allowed him to stop his day job, saying he’d by no means work in music retail once more.
Three months later, Hershman landed a place as a filmmaker — for an additional main music retailer. All irony apart, the place meant he might work from nine-to-five constructing his craft. After 4 years, he stepped into freelance filmmaking and pictures full-time.
Having entered the world of filmmaking at a time when DSLR video was in its infancy, Hershman’s expertise and strategies developed alongside the know-how. Now a Nikon Ambassador, he not too long ago sat down with Digital Traits to speak video, tech, and Nikon’s new mirrorless cameras.
Inform us about your course of for making a music video. How do you get began? The place do your concepts come from?
I begin with the music. I take heed to it — and I can normally see what I’d need to do the primary few occasions listening by way of. I simply pay attention for the temper — is that this going to be a shiny completely satisfied video? My final video was for an artist named Emily Blue and it’s a shiny, completely satisfied pop music. I constructed the set for that for each shot. That’s uncommon for me however I listened to it and thought, there’s no different manner.
Falling in Love by Emily Blue. Produced by Max Perenchio, directed by Chris Hershman. Shot on a pre-production Nikon Z7.
I’m simply attempting to not repeat myself. I’m attempting to do one thing totally different each time I’m going out.
Often, I coordinate with my crew and provide you with cool digital camera actions or strategies that we haven’t completed in earlier shoots. We’ll go down an inventory of cool issues we might try this we haven’t completed and see how they’d match into the imaginative and prescient for the video. We strive lots of cool lighting and dealing with our artists taking part in into the sunshine in an present location.
I’m simply attempting to not repeat myself. I’m attempting to do one thing totally different each time I’m going out. I’m attempting to make use of totally different strategies, a distinct strategy. That retains the movies not trying cookie cutter. I believe selection is perhaps what’s what has helped me over time — the flexibility to someday construct a 100 % set and the subsequent to do one thing on location with all pure mild.
How has know-how modified because you began, from the D300S to the brand new Nikon Z7 and Z6?
I grew as Nikon grew. I didn’t know what the digital camera wanted, I simply knew I might use some extra superior video choices. The subsequent digital camera got here out, the D7000, which had higher video choices. Every time they got here out with a brand new digital camera, they thought fairly closely about how they might enhance video. I began realizing what I wanted to function like a video digital camera ought to.
Quick ahead to the place we’re at the moment, with the Nikon Z6 and Z7. All I can say, from being a photographer and a filmmaker, that is essentially the most superior digital camera for filmmaking and it’s additionally essentially the most versatile for pictures — and it’s one digital camera. I get to make use of it numerous other ways for each my nonetheless picture shoppers and my video shoppers. It’s good simply to have one digital camera, and it looks as if Nikon has been with me each step of the best way — they’ve at all times had one thing for me to have in my bag to do my job.
I’m getting totally different seems then I’ve ever gotten earlier than. That will get me excited. I’m completely satisfied that Nikon has actually caught up on the video facet of issues the place they should be. However, they’ve additionally surpassed issues — the low mild ISO on this Z6 is unimaginable. [At time of interview] I’ve solely had two days to shoot with the Z6, however I’m blown away by the progress of their cameras.
For video, how does mirrorless examine to a DSLR?
It was an addition to my bag at first, however now I’m offered on it.
I like that it’s lighter and smaller. Once I construct out a video rig, I can nonetheless full one thing skilled, however compact. I fly with it and it’s not a giant problem, but I nonetheless have all my equipment on it. When that’s in your shoulder all day, a pair kilos right here and there makes a large distinction. It doesn’t take up lots of area in my bag. It was an addition to my bag at first, however now I’m offered on it.
I’ve to say the digital viewfinder is extremely helpful. The truth that you may have steady autofocus for video is likely one of the largest recreation changers between what Nikon supplied in DSLRs versus in mirrorless. There are additionally cooler, extra versatile shade grading choices for filmmakers.
Editor’s word: Whereas Nikon DSLRs have AF-S and AF-F, the Z-series additionally has AF-C. AF-F permits for full-time autofocus throughout video. AF-C refocuses when the shutter button is pressed midway, permitting the videographer to decide on when to refocus whereas recording video.
Full-frame mirrorless was a extremely huge transfer for Nikon. What do you consider Nikon’s mirrorless transfer to this point, and what would you prefer to see subsequent?
I’m actually trying ahead to the brand new glass. I like the best way the brand new lenses look on the brand new physique. The lenses are so sharp. It’s tougher to make a picture sharper in put up, so I’d fairly have it the sharpest in digital camera and have the choice to melt it later in put up.
Treasure by Firm of Thieves, Directed by Chris Hershman
I didn’t shoot mirrorless earlier than Nikon got here out, I attempted a couple of, however by no means owned any. My transition to mirrorless was very simple, I had no issues with it and for what I do it really works higher. I believe lots of people will discover some great benefits of mirrorless to be one thing that they gravitate in the direction of.
Any recommendation for brand spanking new videographers simply getting began?
Get round different filmmakers. The way in which video works, you don’t at all times need to be the man that’s holding the digital camera. You discover the precise folks, be a useful individual with a very good angle they usually’ll allow you to on set. Then you can begin seeing what roles exist in that world and see how these roles work. When you get to know these folks, you usually tend to be given a job by somebody you already know that may’t make the gig. The extra folks you already know within the business [in which] you need to work, if you happen to get near them and be taught their course of, then they are going to be snug recommending you. Be on set as a lot as you may, be a sort, useful individual as a lot as you may, and don’t wait to create.
Be on set as a lot as you may, be a sort, useful individual as a lot as you may, and don’t wait to create.
Don’t wait to create is a giant factor I push for. In the event you don’t have a paid gig, give your self an task, give your self a problem. For me, I prefer to have huge units and a crew of 30, but it surely’s additionally a giant headache and stressor that takes lots of vitality. Generally, I simply exit and shoot a music video with somebody simply handing me a lens or two. I make it a extra artistic undertaking. Get on the market and don’t wait to get a paid undertaking to construct your video portfolio.
Make a easy music video, arrange your digital camera, document some audio, follow syncing. Depart your digital camera on a tripod the primary time, then, return and add motion or a second digital camera. Simply construct. Construct on what you probably did final time and also you’ll be good. You don’t need to know every little thing at the start. The most effective factor you are able to do is to be taught one factor, personal that factor, after which construct onto it. That’s how I received to the place I’m at — I attempted one approach, then stated, okay, that’s within the bag. I began coaching my eye, seeing the pictures by what I knew from the final one.
This interview has been edited for brevity and readability.