Single-Take Music Video for ‘She Runs’ by Tim Halperin Had $500 Budget

This music video may not have the suave nature of the single-take Old Spice commercials, but then again, neither do the unlucky men who fall victim to their runaway love interest. Plus, musician Tim Halperin had this video made for his song, “She Runs,” with a budget of a mere $500. The video was shot with a Canon 5D Mark II.

Jonathan Combs, who directed the film alongside Joe Childress, said:

We took 3 days to build and 1 day to shoot. Most of the wood for the rolling stages was donated/lent as well as the set items. Most of the money went towards casters so that the stages would roll properly when we started putting set decoration and actors on top of them. We had an average of 10 people on the build days and a total of about 40 people (including actors) on the actual shoot day. This still didn’t seem like enough. Everyone pulled double duty. We had actors holding set pieces, running to do their scene, then running to hold more set pieces. Brooke Peoples (our leading lady) had 3 wardrobe changes and 4 scenes. She also had to make most of these changes within seconds so she could be in her back to back scenes. Tim had 2 wardrobe changes and three scenes. The biggest move was the ending shot. By that time we’re 40 yards away from where we started so the red curtain, stage, piano, and audience all had to be moved in behind the dolly. It was mass chaos outside of the frame.

You can read more from Jonathan Combs on Planet 5D and watch the behind-the-scenes video below:

(via Planet 5D)

  • aled

    4 days to shoot the video? So that's what, 500 times longer than it must've taken to write this awful, derivative garbage? :P

  • Paul Melo

    I concur. Bad acting, corny premise and you pay more attention to the set changes than the music… which is the point of a 'MUSIC' video.

    Lots of effort in an attempt at a viral video.

  • Tim Halperin

    I respect your opinions. As the songwriter, I can tell you that the emotions are true and we wanted to create a video that was relative, fresh and creative. The acting was not done by professionals. It was done by volunteers who believed in what we were doing and wanted to give their time and efforts. We didn't have budget or resources to hire or find professionals. I think it does the DIY project justice. You may have been distracted by the set changes, but our hope is that most people appreciate the creativity of the multiple sets and changes.

    My goal as an independent artist is not to write songs that are cliche pieces of “derivative garbage”. I don't have a label or manager telling me what to do. I write because I love writing and performing music. And I don't just throw songs together. I don't say these things to argue, just to give you more background for this song and project.

  • Mouring

    The style of the video reminds me of a few older ones I've seen (which had much higher budgets). I have no complaints against the style. It's always an interesting style to pursue.

    My issue isn't even with the acting or sets. It pretty much is the camera work. There seems very little thought about DoF, the flow of the camera in the space, and focus. It's all one single static camera shot. A 5Dm2 could have been replaced with an iPhone 4 and the output wouldn't have changed much (assuming you could disable the auto-focus of the iPhone =).

    That is the only real complaint I have against the video that is known to be shot for $500 with friends (and family?).

    As for the song… *shrug* I've listen to it about four times now while writing this and it reminds me of something Harvey Danger would have done. It's a love song. They are always 1/3 part story, 1/3 sappy, and 1/3 depressive. And frankly, the song works.

    My only advice (from a seriously nobody in the business) is two-fold. (1) Watch details (e.g. people leaving before the camera passed them at the start), and (2) consider the camera you are using and what can be done (think of the space, turn the camera, think of the depth of field, think of the focus points, etc). Paying attention to those details will pay off.

  • Tim Halperin

    Thanks! I appreciate the feedback. The biggest constraint for the camera work was the fact that the dolly couldn't be on a track due to the set movement…but great things to consider for the next video. I appreciate it!

  • Al

    The concept is nice, and I like the song (nice songwriting!) but, for me, it's just too 'shaky cam', makes me a little queasy watching it. But I like the song!

  • oliv

    The song is cool dude good job,
    The idea is nice, like Al said, sometimes it's a bit too much shaky. Some actings could be better too but HEY only 500$ of budget!.
    so that's really cool man,
    thanks for the nice song and this cool litlle moment :)

  • Tim Halperin

    Thank you for watching and sharing everybody!

  • Pingback: Cool Links #96: The One About Busy-ness « TEACH J: For Teachers of Journalism And Media()

  • Mudsmith

    I think the video is an admirable piece of work, but claiming it was shot on a $500. budget lends to the mythology of the “free media” world.  A lot of people won’t realize that this budget means NOONE was paid, and that there was not even a rental fee for the camera shelled out……in other words, an all-volunteer operation, which, if taken at face value, undermines the ability of professionals to get work.  Community/tribal action is great, but it should be clear that this is what it was, not a low budget video shoot.

    The $500. in question was likely barely enough to cover plywood, casters and other materials.

  • Dstreetstudios

    this one had no budget… and was made only with an iphone 4 a a lil help from friends… CHACHILLIE all day!!!