We love when music and video come together, needless to say we love music videos. We were contacted by Audio Network to pitch our ideas for the chance to create a “live performance” style video.
Audio Network knew that they wanted to create a live, intimate, performance style video for the band Landings. This was to be their debut video, so it was an opportunity for us to work with the band in order to create a piece that was special to them, as well as true to how they viewed themselves as musicians. We were given open opportunity to speak with the band members to discuss all the necessary visual elements. This ranges from costume, to colour scheme, to the intent of the camera movement.
From the initial client ideas we were able to extrapolate a concept that we were excited to create. There was heavy suggestion to use lighting in an emotive way, which spurred our idea to create an atmosphere with LED tubes, as well as to shoot in the round. We were engaged with the idea of creating an intense and intimate piece, and we decided to use a roaming camera to get up close and personal with the raw element of the band performance.
Finally, we needed energy! Live performances are imbued with crowd energy, so we decided to use extras to really display the fun and excitement in the song. Our goal was to represent the music, the rhythm and the tone, with equally exciting visual storytelling.
Our pitch was successful. Job secured: we had two weeks until shoot day. In this time we needed to make choices about: equipment, location, talent, costume and staging, all the while keeping within budget.
Music videos are an amazing opportunity for creative shots. We also placed an emphasis on creating a unique and emotive lighting setup. Thus, we decided that a large blacked out studio would be ideal for the project we wanted to create. A large studio would allow us to play with a sense of intimacy, and the darkness meant that the lights could really shine as the centrepiece piece (no pun intended).
We used the RED Gemini and some beautiful Clavius prime lenses, with a large portion of the shots being taken from a Steadicam rig. The roaming camera compliments the excitement and movement of the song, and we found that it combined beautifully with the lenses. For a link between camera, director, and client, we used on set monitors and Teradek wireless system. This is ideal for roaming camera work.
All visual elements are important, especially costume. Through conversation with the band we decided that the best choice was to style them true to who they are and their vibe. We acquired clothes from Portobello PR, who sourced pieces from Abrand jeans and Neuw Denim. The band members were able to try different outfits and select what made them most comfortable. Based on the band’s costume choices we could instruct all the extras to dress similarly in order to build an inclusive visual texture. Extras were found through local acting colleges (NIDA, ACA) and also through StarNow.
The day of the shoot. Bumping in we quickly began lighting and rigging. The plan was to arrange LED tubes throughout the space and have them sequenced to interact with the movement of the song. Additionally, an anchoring spacelight was used to provide consistent colour and tone for the clip. Once lighting was completed, the day was committed to ticking the boxes on our shotlist, being sure to capture all the details, small and large, of the band and the performance. We had six hours of roll time. Firstly, we focused on the band, letting the group find their groove with the video performance. Later in the day the host of extras were introduced to inject the energy and live crowd excitement that the client brief called for.
The RED Gemini was exceptional in the dynamic lighting conditions, able to comfortably capture the extreme changes from black to flashing lights. The roaming camera shots were powerfully reminiscent of multi camera coverage, achieved with only one camera. Of course, the main creation and arrangement of the video happens in the edit.
The editing and grading process was influenced by the energy of the shoot day as well as the colours favoured by the band and Audio Network. Our goal was to truly represent that message of the song through visual media, using the beats and rhythms too inform pace of the clip. Through the edit we were able to take control of our favourite moments, exaggerating them with certain techniques, for example double-time and halftime time coverage.
The conception and process of creating a music video is unique every time. This is because each band, each song, and all intents, are particularly unique. Using the client brief as a Basecamp, we were able to extend upon the usage of dynamic lighting to really design a voice for the lighting throughout the clip. And we were able to showcase each band member with the informal and personal use of the camera. Finally the staging and extras add the final “live element” to the end product, which represents the fun, and the rawness, of the music by Landings.
Clavius Lens Kit
SmallHD director monitors
Teradek Wireless system