This music video is a bling and visual effects feast to accompany Flo Rida’s hopelessly catchy tune Who Dat Girl featuring Akon. It kicks off with some blatant product placement from an online gambling business that’s sure to keep the video production accountant happy. Indeed they needed a healthy budget with this number, since it rustles up just about every conceivable cinematography and effects tricks in the book - and all in a modest duration of three and a half minutes.
The colour scheme is loud and brash, and it works. In certain scenes, it looks like they shot it without colour correction; so if shooting under fluorescents, they just ‘let it go green’. The same thing happens with tungsten lights - you can let things go orange (a technique now deemed to be a bit dated).
The video tanks on at a frantic pace, but it looks like the action was filmed ‘straight’ using basic lighting and lenses, and then adding the incredible colours and visual effects later on in post production. This is a lot cheaper on the shoot and in contrast to the good old days of shows like Top of the Pops where they’d bolt awful reflective kaleidoscopic lenses and other barmy contraptions on to the front of TV cameras. The problem with using fancy lenses and gadgets on set is that you’re stuck with the distorted image as soon as it’s shot.
In Who Dat Girl, however, the ‘straight’ images would be an excellent platform for the visual effects artist and colourist to get their hands on. If, after the application of these techniques, the producers stomp out of the screening room shouting expletives, then the computer team can hastily revert back to the raw images and have another go without re-booking the video shoot.
So, maybe a bit too much techie-speak in this review, but what the heck, let’s end on a bit more. Notice the focussing - ‘pushing’ and ‘pulling’ throughout. This is traditionally done by a member of crew (gloriously named the ‘focus puller’) manually operating a knob on the camera. In this video, however, there are plenty of examples where is it done by software in post production to ‘soften’ images. Furthermore, in this modern era, they can select specific areas of the image to be pushed or pulled in and out of focus. Clever stuff. Artistically, these focussing techniques are used to guide the viewers’ line of sight to the relevant part of the image. In a video like Who Dat Girl, however, the cutting is so quick that it’s more about creating an overall feel, than using it as a storytelling tool as is often the case in feature films.
Finally, check out the awesome use of camera lens ‘flare’, in this video - often split horizontally across the full width of the screen. It appears to be a mix of ‘optical’ flare by shining a point light towards the camera lens, and the rest down to those visual effects boys and girls in the editing suites.
Review by @jsmithwriter