361MC: – Borderline music video shoot

Unlike my previous two music video shoots, this time I was completely prepared in both knowing what the location we’d be filming in was like and knowing the song well. I had also researched music videos in order to look at lighting and stage effects so that I was aware of how particular shots can be framed and made to look cinematic.

Although due to time constraints and problems with booking equipment I had decided against filming any kind of narrative and would, like Bad Mouth Men’s music video, keep it focussed as a band performance, I ultimately chose to film a very small narrative on the day of the shoot which would bookended the beginning and end of the video in order to add a little variety. The narrative consisted of the lead singer, Alex, walking into the room with a longing to be on stage and perform. As she steps onto the stage and readies herself to sing, the camera spins 360 degrees and the band have appeared on stage. At the end it is revealed that she was on her own on the stage the whole time; finally becoming confident of her musical ability. Although a simple narrative that was thought up on the day of the shoot, I feel that it served the video well and built on from my ability that I developed in the previous two music video shoots of thinking of shot ideas on the fly.

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This video also saw me have to use an entire new crew as my previous two camera operators where unable to make the date of shoot due to getting ready for a trip to Moscow the following day. Although it was fairly short notice, I managed to find three other people to help me for the Borderline shoot. Considering none of them had ever worked on music videos in the past, they all managed to apply themselves incredibly well and followed every direction as well as taking their own initiative.

IMG_1402As the stage was quite small in the first place, with five musicians, instruments and equipment also populating the stage, it was incredibly difficult to achieve any shots taken from the actual stage itself, and so most had to be taken very close to the front of the stage or from the sidelines. Whilst this still achieved some nice shots, in hindsight, I wish we had have been able to achieve some tighter shots as I had managed for Bad Mouth Men’s video. One thing that did work particularly nicely though was the lighting. The stage itself was very dark without the stage lights, and I think this a particular fault with some of the narrative shots at the beginning as they look much less cinematic with pretty dull colouring. Once the musicians were playing with the sound-sensitive lights, the cameras seemed to dazzle which allowed us to get by without even using the dedo lights. The fog machine also allowed us to achieve some very nice blends of lighting which gave the video a very distinctive look from my other two projects.

Overall, this was probably the most smooth running day of shooting that I have been on since I started my FMP. The skills and practices I had learnt from the past two music videos greatly influenced my directing abilities and camera work and allowed me to put together a much better system for which shots to film. It was a shame I could not have booked kit out earlier to film a full length narrative like Little Rag Doll, but I believe we made the best of the situation and circumstances that we could.

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