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How those cool shots in the Kendrick Lamar 'Humble' video were done

From reverse engineering VR to robot arms

Christopher Hooton
Thursday 06 April 2017 11:40 BST

Racking up over 30 million views in under a week, Kendrick Lamar’s music video for ‘HUMBLE.’ was an emphatic return, with director Dave Meyers sequencing some jaw-dropping, iconic shots.

It’s led many fans to wonder how many of them were achieved, and some explanation comes today from Cinematography Database, with host Matt Workman speaking to the video’s director of photography Scott Cunningham to find out all the equipment and set-ups involved.

Do watch his video in full, but here are the stand-out shots.

The fast camera movements that ‘snap’ into place

A camera robot was used for these, specifically a Bolt made by Mark Roberts Motion Control. This remote controlled crane allows for extremely fast accelerating and precise movement, meaning the shot didn’t have to be sped up in post and a cameraman didn’t have to run at the speed of light while pulling focus.

The camera moves on six axes (see above), but the operator doesn’t have to worry about them, simply inputting the coordinates for each camera stop.

The cycling around a tiny planet

This crazy visual was down to a 360 rig. A GoPro Omni was mounted on the handlebars of Kendrick's bike, capturing all around him. Instead of stitching the rushes together to created a 360-degree video like you find on YouTube, they were inverted to create the 'tiny planet'.

The heads on fire

You might have thought this was VFX fire, but apparently not. “Because they’re standing so still, what I’m assuming is happening is they shoot the people standing there then switch them out for some sort ofpost that’s burning and comp the fire over people’s faces [in post]," Matt explained.

'Humble' is expected to feature on Kendrick Lamar's fourth studio album, out 7 April.

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