Alessia Cara: 2018 Grammy Award winner – Captured on the C300 Mark II in “Scars to Your Beautiful”

Aaron A is one of the brains behind the powerful music video “Scars to Your Beautiful,” a song by the very talented, 2018 Best New Artist Grammy Award winner, Alessia Cara. This Toronto-based director talks to us about the vision behind this video and why he chose the C300 Mark II specifically for Alessia’s performance. Check out what he has to say.

Alessia and I collaborate on everything when we’re working together. For this particular video, because the song is about acceptance and it being so vulnerable, Alessia just wanted to talk to real people. We ended up talking to a wide range of people with both physical and emotional insecurities in order to bring this video to life.

I didn’t want to take a contrived approach to this video. I wanted something that captured the vulnerability in a very authentic tone but also had a cinematic touch to it. We didn’t want to bring massive lights and control the setting – in fact we did quite the opposite and stayed far away from that.

The interviews were captured all over North America, and of course, I wasn’t able to go to all of them and had teamed up with other videographers. They were shot on a mix of formats and it was done that way on purpose, but for Alessia’s performance in the video, I needed it to stand out and that’s why I choose the C300 Mark II. It’s the look and feel I always get that persuaded me towards this particular camera. I teamed up with another DOP in LA, Alan Gwizdowski, who helped me capture Alessia’s performance.

In order to keep the authentic look and feel, but cinematic tone at the same time, we avoided using any lights in her performance. She also had no hair and makeup done and her piece was taken in one shot which really brought the authenticity out. Alessia is talking about a very real situation and we wanted the video to be as real as possible for the audience.

We shot Alessia’s performance in an all-white loft studio because I wanted it to be bright and for us to be able to control the lighting through negative fill. We used negative fill to give some shape to her and that’s pretty much it. We only took one take for medium to wide and one for close-up.

When it comes to cameras I’m not super technical. I’m a director, shooter, editor and for me it’s the use of the C300 that I like. Getting it straight out of the box and turning it on, I don’t have to worry about reading manuals and learning all the technical specs. I also really enjoy its ergonomics. Overall it’s very easy to understand and navigate through and the image quality speaks for itself. This specific camera never disappoints and it definitely nailed the look and feel we were going after!


Aaron A

Aaron A Bertrand  known as Aaron A  is a Canadian music video director.  He’s directed  music videos for Nelly Furtado, Down with Webster, Fefe Dobson, Stereos, Jully Black, Kreesha Turner, James Morrison, Emily Osment, JRDN and many more.

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