Kunzite is an exciting musical collaboration from producers and multi instrumentalists Mike Stroud (RATATAT) and Agustin White (White Flight). Directed and co produced by Priest Fontaine Batten, the “Frosty” music video also featured co producers Mea Woodruff and White, cinematography by Batten and legendary roller blading camera operator Joey “Blades” Graziano, and post by Batten, White and filmmaker Tristan Seniuk. Shot in legendary Venice Beach, CA, the video features female surfers and skaters, including athletes from GRLSWIRL, a women founded inclusive skate collective.
“We wanted the video to showcase the authentic personalities and skills of the athletes,” explained Batten. “I was interested in the unique movements each athlete was capable of and matching that kinetic energy with the different parts of the song.”
Batten and Graziano used two URSA Mini Pro 12Ks as primary cameras and a Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro to capture footage inside Venice Beach Skatepark. They kept the Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro as stripped down as possible to stay flexible and noted that its built in ND filters made it very easy to make quick adjustments while shooting.
According to Batten, “The song has so many unique moments and change ups, so I wanted plenty of movement, angles and frame rates to add variety to the edit. The URSA Mini Pro 12K’s resolution and frame rate options were impressive in this regard. The higher resolutions allowed us to reframe, crop, stabilize and even add zooms in post.”
Batten also noted that having multiple, affordable cameras on set allowed him to experiment with higher frame rates. “The URSA Mini Pro 12K shoots 240 fps in 4K which is pretty insane, and the shots look beautiful. For some shots, Joey would shoot in either 24 or 48 fps, and I would experiment with anything in between 120 to 240 fps,” he said. “This is another benefit of using affordable, cinematic cameras since you can have a second or third camera on set. We didn’t have much time with each athlete, so it was great to double up.”
“I’ve been a big fan of Blackmagic Design’s color science for many years, and this new generation of sensor is even better,” Batten added. “The URSA Mini Pro 12K renders a really nice film look. Plus, the camera’s PL mount allowed me to use old super 16mm glass without any adapters while still shooting 4K or 6K, which was a big bonus for achieving the music video’s retro, film like look. Tristan further dialed in the look during the color grade with DaVinci Resolve Studio.”
According to Seniuk, they wanted the music video to have a classic Southern California vibe. “DaVinci Resolve Studio’s HDR color wheels were extremely useful in recovering highlights and shadows because we shot in broad daylight with a lot of direct sun,” he noted.
“This was my first time really using the source tape function on the cut page, and it was a great way to zip through days’ worth of footage super quickly, especially in conjunction with the DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor,” Seniuk added.
“The DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor’s search dial is super precise, and the buttons are intuitive. One of its biggest benefits, however, is actually being able to leave my big edit desk. It’s nice to have the DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor on my lap, watching footage and making selects on my laptop.”