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DP Vance Burberry’s Natural Progression

DP Vance Burberry Captures the Darkness and Light of Infidelity and Reconciliation in Jarryd James’ ‘1000x’ Music Video with Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K.

DP Vance Burberry worked with this scene in very low light, and creamy skin tones.

DP Vance Burberry worked with this scene for Jarryd James’ music video in very low light, and creamy skin tones.

How does one go from working in theater in Australia, to working as a lighting designer for national U.S. rock concert tours, to working as an electrician on film sets, to becoming a successful DP having shot music videos for Guns N’ Roses, Pearl Jam, Santana, Coldplay, Brad Paisley and more? For DP Vance Burberry, it was a natural progression.

“I started out working in theater in Australia when I was 15 years old, and I learned theatrical lighting and really loved it. Later, I started working as a lighting designer for rock concert tours,” explained Vance. “I came to the U.S. in 1984 touring with INXS, and after finishing that tour, I was hired by The Go-Go’s the day before I was set to return to Australia. I stayed and fell into the film business as a set electrician and worked my way up to DP. When I shot the music video for Sweet Child O’ Mine for Guns N’ Roses, my career grew from there.”

While Vance now shoots a variety of projects, including commercials, short films, feature films and documentaries, music videos hold a special place for him given his history in the music business. It’s why he said yes, when his good friend and director Jessie Hill approached him to DP Australian alternative pop singer/songwriter and producer Jarryd James’ music video for his song 1000x ft. Broods. (You can watch the video below.)

“I have been working with Jessie Hill for some time, and she is really talented and I love working with her. This was a pet project for her, and I wanted to support it, so I signed on immediately,” noted Vance. “Given it was a pet project, we had to keep budget in mind, so I grabbed my Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K PL, and we headed down to beautiful New Orleans to capture some striking images for the video.”

URSA Mini 4.6K camera built on Steadicam Flyer LE

URSA Mini 4.6K camera built on Steadicam Flyer LE

Love and Infidelity
According to Vance, the concept behind the music video was a short visual film reflecting the struggle of a young couple dealing with love and infidelity. Even though the woman has liaisons with other people, in the end, the love between the couple survives.

“I wanted to create a real world that captured the heat of passion, the anxiety of deceit and the light and the darkness that surrounds those emotions,” said Vance. “I wanted the final scene when the couple reunites to feel romantic with a feeling of ‘coming out of the darkness and into the light.’ It was by design a very visually dark piece, and I really needed the dynamic range that the URSA Mini 4.6K is capable of. I used the camera to shoot the entire video using a Steadicam Flyer.”

From dusk, to dark hallways and rooms, to pitch black night, and dawn’s soft light to the bright white of the couple’s house, to the delicate white of the female lead’s dress, Vance perfectly captured the struggle between light and dark in the music video. “Being able to shoot in low light with the URSA Mini 4.6K’s large dynamic range was very valuable for this shoot,” he said. “The camera also had natural skin tones and color rendition, as well as clean roll off into over exposure.”

URSA Mini 4.6K captures kitchen scene lit with light bulbs for Jarryd James’ music video .

URSA Mini 4.6K captures kitchen scene lit with light bulbs for Jarryd James’ music video .

Filmic Quality, Affordable Price Point
While chosen at the outset of the project for its affordability, the URSA Mini 4.6K made an impression on Vance and those working on the project. “What I love about this camera is how film-like it is, especially the beautiful cool off to over exposure in the highlights. It’s pretty incredible to be honest,” he explained. “In final color correct, the colorist, who used DaVinci Resolve Studio to grade the video, thought he was coloring Alexa footage. I have to say, I really can’t see a difference.”

Vance concluded, “After this project, I would use the URSA Mini 4.6K even when budget is not an issue. It’s just superb. I think the biggest thing for me is that I now own a camera that is very inexpensive but provides the image quality of cameras many times its cost and is substantially superior image-wise to any cameras in its price point.”

About Vance Burberry
The independent spirit and fever for exploration that has become the hallmark of Vance’s career became evident early on in his life. Vance’s treasured accomplishments are far removed from the glamor of the Hollywood scene. He has two pieces on permanent display in American museums. MOMA, in New York, is host to one of his Emmy-nominated spots and the New Museum of Science in San Francisco proudly exhibits the Water Is Life project.

Pilot, dive instructor and ice hockey fanatic, “My whole life is about exploration,” says Vance. “Making images is all about exploring. If you pay close attention, you often find yourself in a new and wholly undiscovered land, that’s when you really come alive.”

October 31, 2016