... and now some music...

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shellgrip
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Joined: Dec 5 2005

Not for the faint hearted, this was my favourite video shoot of last year. A bizarre concept that I think almost works as intended - as long as you understand the intention :)

mindlands.co.uk/downloads/EnemyinaState.wmv

Jon

Dave R Smith
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Joined: May 10 2005

Hi I'm John Peel,

A wicked piece of stylish manic fun, well lit, great concept, well delivered with well thought out moves - by performers and crew.:cool:

10-15 minutes to download, but worth the wait.

The set is simple (as music videos go) but it proves you don't need mega budgets if you have imagination and a spark.

Who's idea was the concept?

half a day to dress set and one day to shoot?
How hard was the lighting - black drapes to back?
(I still think Sinead O'Connors nothing compared to you is great - even though much of it was simply 'black' lit.)

Oh and yes - great music too.

Mr Cowell - over to you..

doolahroak
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Joined: Apr 2 2005

Loved that!

I like my noise I have to say. Good performance from the band as well.

Liked the idea and the set up as well.

Technically good too. Lighting suited the mode of the whole set up and the cam work was good.

I do wish for the finale the singer would have just gone NUTS. Smashing the place up whilst the dinner party continued to do what they were doing. And (this is would just be my preference) as a final act, sprayed vomit all over the place. Just a thought.

Good stuff though

Jon

shellgrip
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Joined: Dec 5 2005

Thanks Dave, we may have to employ you as a press agent :)

The concept was a while in development. Originally the band were thinking of a 'dinner with band' scenario shot in a restaurant: lots of tables, lots of people, with the band performing at one point in the room. I quickly persuaded them that the logistics of handling that many people and shooting such an environment would take them flying over budget before a frame was shot. Enquiries about suitable locations were adding to the unfeasibility of this idea (at their budget level) so things had to change.

At the same time, I was pushing for a more interesting video. Their previous release was a very simple effort and I was keen to do something more noticeable and not in the same rut as so many videos for this genre. The concept of the dinner band lead me to suggest the white tux look and once they'd swallowed that I ventured the idea of having them play 'inappropriate' instruments. Each of the members found something to like about this; the bass player wanted to play the double bass, lead guitar could get out his favourite acoustic and the vocalist got to play with the funky mic. I think the drummer felt a bit left out but you can't please everyone.

Lighting and set dressing took a morning, with the talent being made up throughout most of this - the band were made to look a little sickly and Ben - the vocalist - came up real well :) Unfortunately, the space we ended up using was too small to avoid spill onto the black curtains so the 'floating in black' effect gets lost in the closer band shots but it's not too bad.

Shooting took the rest of the day - roughly 6 hours if I recall - and we ended up with 17 separate takes of the whole track and a bunch of 'B roll' stuff, including some useful fragments of failed takes.

One of the most common things I hear is that people find the disparity between Ben being at the table and being at the mic at the same time off-putting. This was entirely intentional and intended to enhance the surreal atmosphere. Some people like it, others find it odd. Personally I think it's odd to expect a music video to 'make sense' in this way... :)

Funny things...

Minutes before shooting started the double bass was knocked over by a lighting assistant and the neck snapped clean off. Throughout the shoot the neck is merely 'jammed' into place and the outtakes contain several shots of it coming away in his hand, so to speak.

The green dress the young girl is wearing was too small and is undone to the waist from behind...

The Asian gentleman is now our local Tory councillor...

When Ben appears to shout into the ear of the 'weird' guy with the make-up he really is screaming at the top of his voice. He never flinched an inch.

One of my favourite vids, thanks for watching.

edit Jon - nice idea but not really practical from a multiple take point of view. The scenes making up the takes were all shot at different times - for some of the table shots the band are no longer there - for some of the band shots the customers are still in make-up and so on. Anything destructive like this is a gamble for a perfect single take and we didn't have the time to take such a risk.

Jon

Dave R Smith
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Joined: May 10 2005
shellgrip wrote:
Thanks Dave, we may have to employ you as a press agent :)
Jon

Presumably for the NME, in a state.
Just watched it again with your comments in mind.
10/10 for content, encouraging them to be different and surviving 'disasters on the day'.

I do agree with Jon (except for the vomit)- you could have had Ben grab the tablecloth and run - after it was a rap - one take nothing to lose - unless the 'posh lady' that provided her Sunday best table gear wanted it back in one piece.

Or, Ben basted like a pig, complete with skewer through him and the diners eating his sliced body - effectively turning the tables on the aggressor.

Or there's the Scooby Doo ending where...

But time / budget is always tight and you've already worked wonders in the time frame.

shellgrip
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Joined: Dec 5 2005

Alas, by the time all the diners and B roll stuff was finished the talent were in their civvies and heading for the pub. It's a shame 'cos now you've both mentioned it I can visualise some lovely slo-mo shots of wine spilling and things flying through the air. Next time :)

All the items for the table were bought from eBay - with the exception of the tablecloth which was bought locally as the one we had was found missing on the morning. I still have the candlesticks and goblets (including two alternative sets that didn't work out) and am waiting for the band to hit the big time to auction them off ;)

Jon

The-Video-Compa...
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Joined: Mar 3 2004

The video was well shot, and it showed that you don't need mega-bucks to produce a quality piece of work. There was a good use of lighting, and your camera work made a 'really dire' song bearable.

Mr Jon Robertson, you need to see a specialist! ;)

Same As It Ever Was! :(

branny
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Joined: Nov 6 2001

Like the set, the lighting, the style and the music.
Call me pedantic, but is that a couple of mistimed drumbeat cutaways, as he walks round the table just before the phrase "you know where it's going" ?

Do not follow, I may not lead. Do not lead . . . I may not follow.

nash
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Joined: Nov 20 2003

This really is a case of the video making the song better. However we're not here to review the song.

Jon, This is a very accomplished piece of work IMHO. Some great use of lighting and good camera work. Good mix of fixed and handheld. Composition is good and colour is both rich and appropriate. It feels right that the white balance of the singers coat is diffrerent between when he's singing intot he mic and into the talents ear! It would have been easy to balance that out and it would have looked wrong. Great make up on the bloke but I wish that had been carried throught the rest of the talent. It would have added to the surreal feel. love the black backdrop, it adds great focus on the centre.

Well done Sir. I would be very curious as to the budget for the whole thing (ish).

Regards.............Neil

Neil Ashcroft
Fastroc is Media in Motion
http://www.fastroc.co.uk
[EMAIL=info@fastroc.co.uk]info@fastroc.co.uk[/EMAIL]

doolahroak
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Joined: Apr 2 2005
The-Video-Company.co.uk wrote:

Mr Jon Robertson, you need to see a specialist! ;)

OK, the vomit thing was perhaps going a bit far but I'd just got back from the gym and that can be a very upsetting experience.

jon

shellgrip
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Joined: Dec 5 2005

Thanks again guys.

Branny - I think I can see the bit you mean but it doesn't jar with me. Not all the cuts are on beats - far from it - and the fault may be that it's too close to a beat so it looks like it should be, if you see what I mean. It's really hard to view it critically after 2,736 viewings :)

Neil, the lighting was specifically arranged to create the split between the two action areas, although it's not as pronounced as I had in my head. Lighting guys worked hard to create the candlelight fill and I was very pleased with the results. Budget? Secret, I'm afraid but in the realms of music videos it would be considered micro. The band actually are made-up - they're all sickly and spotty - Ben is actually a pretty good looking guy, so I'm told.

Jon

rjpobrien
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Joined: Jul 30 2005

Well I've just watched it (been meaning to for a while now but had computer problems). I loved it. There are some minor quibbles that have been pointed out but I think in the scheme of things they are mainly dwarfed by the good points. I personally like the distinction between Ben singing on the stage and at the diner table, I think it made the whole video more interesting (but as you say, it wont be for everyone but definitely a good idea as far as I'm concerned).

I think its fair to say that it is overall a very good production which gives the impression that it costs more than it did - a real credit to you, well done!

Richard

doolahroak
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Joined: Apr 2 2005

Hey Jon

Just wondering what the name of the band is?

shellgrip
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Joined: Dec 5 2005

They're 'October File'. They have their own website at:

http://www.octoberfile.com

J

doolahroak
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Joined: Apr 2 2005

Just orderered their album