Planning and filming a music video

With the evolution of many DSLR’s featuring HD video capabilities, I have been itching for a reason to bust out the camera and film something. Going out for a beer a few months ago with Matt from Foley Artist (who i seem to be doing a lot of projects for at the moment) spoke about projects that I was keen to undertake or try out, somehow moved on to the mention of doing video work using DSLR camera kit that i have got and how I’ve been testing a few bits out. Keen for them to have a video to raise their profile as a band and also to accompany the recent release of their debut Gorgeous Dog E.P (recorded buy Doug Grant @ Homeless Music).


Crew and Band from the Foley Artist shoot




Discussing this further over a few lagers we decided to make a go of it and produce a video, as i had a promo project for another band fall through I was keen to use the time allocated and get some more work under my belt during the month of July. My creative partner and I have been working on a few ideas for future projects and I felt that Foley Artist was the perfect match for our live session concept. Speaking to the band I put forwards the treatment and took a bit more of a brief of what they wanted. Foley Artist didn’t want to use a pre-existing song as they felt that they had already done that and were giving them out for free at shows, they wanted some newer material to be recorded and publicised. Sitting in their kitchen discussing ideas, it was key for me at a first project to keep it simple and keep it organised. Getting the band to organise location and proposed props was first up as the budget did not allow me to spend my time buying/renting these things in. I spent the next 3 weeks getting camera kit in and making sure i had a good idea of how things needed to roll on the day of the shoot. Organising people to assist was a hard task at such short notice and on a weekend, but thankfully Katy Sparkes ( my got SFX make-up artist and Stephen Poole friend a friend of the band were there to help out. Because we wanted to give the video a live look and feel audio would have to be done on the day, so enlisting the talents of Doug Grant Co-Owner and engineer of Homeless Music a mobile HD Pro-Tools based recording solution that has worked with the many local bands offering a cost effective solution for audio all the way up to  the likes of Arcane Roots who are seeming to be a force to be reckoned with…Anyway… This solution meant that we could achieve a live performance that was top quality and sat well with eh video takes I would capture.

Shot 2 for Foley Artist Shoot

Arriving on the day to an empty school hall my first panic was how the hell am i going to light this and make it not look like a school hall!!! Tapeing binbags to the windows and shutters blacked out alot of the “schooly” type stuff and laying the old patterned rugs down gave the set a live-lounge feel that i was aiming for…Not quite Abbey Road or Maida Vale but you have to start somewhere!

 screenshot from the footage

Setting up took close to 4 hours with a quick break for lunch, we started filming the three locked off angles and Audio was completed in 5 takes, using the audio playback the various roaming shots, close ups and my first attempt at using my Hague DSLR Stabiliser rig… think I need a bit more practice with that thing!!! Being the Set designer, lighting op, Director and Camera man certainly meant that I did a lot of running around over the meagre 3 hours we had to shoot, before the breaking down of the equipment had to be done. Ingestion and backing up were a major priority then on to Editing. More to follow…

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