The Hottest Thing in Town


So, now that Canon and Nikon have video capability everyone is running to become a DP. Been there, done that. A dozen years ago I was asked by Steve Mimms of the Austin Filmworks to be the DP on a music video for Billy Joe Shaver's "The Hottest Thing In Town" music video. We did some amazingly low budget stuff to make this all work but we didn't scrimp on the camera. We rented a 16mm Arriflex, a bitching 12-120mm Zeiss zoom lens and a video assist (AKA early video mode also known as "full motion Polaroid".

I designed and built the fixture over the pool table, inserting two 500 watt lowel tota lights that could be switched separately. The tracking shot of our female star outside the Continental Club was done using a cart with pnuematic wheels. I learned a lot about lighting a tracking nighttime shot but we did pull it off.

We shot the video in one long, long day with about a week of pre-production.

The video won the Country Music Television "best of" that year. Do I know how to shoot a video production? Yes, I think so. Do I think photographers will make good videographers? Only if they understand that they have to light so that everything moves and everything matches. I've done commercials and industrials but this is the funnest of the video projects I worked on with the exception of my Rene Zellweger, "Coffee: Is it a gift from God or a tool of Satan" video. But that's a story for another day..........