Failure Machine consists of a bunch of my favorite people. After listening to them play, you’ll understand why I quite frequently drive a few hours to see them perform. I was honored when they asked me to help them record a submission for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Contest. We spent a good amount of time mic’ing up 6 channels to get the best possible audio with the Zoom H6. I shot the first few takes on static tripods, and then decided to use the DJI Ronin-M with the Sony A7s ii rocking a Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 for some B-roll to fill in the gaps. We ended up liking the last take so much the tripod footage was discarded in favor of the first B-roll shot… I had learned the song pretty well by then, so I managed to choreograph on the fly to capture some of my favorite parts of the performance.

I attempted to focus to hyperfocal distance with the lens to avoid pulling focus, which is rather hard with my Ronin setup. I’m pretty sure I nailed hyperfocal, but the Metabones lens adapter seems to make things quite soft on the Sony body. I’m not sure how it affects the calculation either. Due to the close quarters, I was often closer than hyperfocal distance as well.

Fun fact… There were some rabbits in the hallway to the left that I had to pan and zoom out. Too bad I had only shot at 1080p, as I could have used the extra pixels for quality retention during the pan&scan.

All-in-all, I think it turned out okay, and I am finding my style. A well-planned shoot would turn out as well as I had planned it. I look forward to the next opportunity.