How The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” music video was shot

It is always interesting to see how projects were shot. It doesn’t matter whether it is a short commercial, feature-length motion picture, or in this case a music video.

DOP Oliver Millar is able to give a bit of an insight into how he shot The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” music video and the concept behind it.

There is immense pressure when shooting a music video. Every shot has to be good and music videos generate a lot of exposure and money for the artist and recording label.

Oliver Millar chose the Sony VENICE to shoot the music video. He also used Panavision anamorphic zooms and various diffusion filters.

A lot of the action was captured during driving scenes where two vehicles were needed. One with the camera on a stabilized arm and another vehicle behind the main car was fitted with a Russian Arm that was fitted with an Astera AX10 Par light.

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The Astera AX10 features 9x 15W Phillips RGBAW LEDs and it can be battery powered. Because it has a very tight beam angle of 13° it can throw light over long distances. The fixture has an integrated lithium-ion battery, which can run the fixture for up to 20 hours on a full charge. This made it convenient to use on a Russian Arm as it didn’t need to be powered.

The Weeknd has utilized red a lot in their music videos and this is something Oliver picked up on and made sure to include through the use of lighting.

Above you can see the finished version of “Blinding Lights”.

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