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In this blog I’m not going to get into the ‘film making’ side of things – camera operation, lighting, directing, editing, grading etc. What I will do is try to give a sense of the time and organizing that goes into making a clip like this. If you’re looking to get a music video produced, you’ll hopefully find this educational. You can read Nat Pearson‘s perspective in her behind the scenes blog here.
What do I mean by that? Nat was the force that made this clip possible through sheer persistence, organization and a lot of help from friends. Some of the story was shaped around including friends with certain talents (pole dancers). For Alucinor to cast everyone would have meant an inaccessibly expensive clip in us taking the time to go through casting and the cost for actors/performers themselves.
As it was I would meet cast on location, introduce myself then start breaking down the scene, rehearse and shoot. Fortunately we had really fun and patient people to work with.
Nat was shown an extraordinary amount of support from friends and I think that’s a testament to the kind of person she is. You could tell how appreciative Nat was. She paid for and organised eski’s of water, coke and red bull. Bags of lollies, subway catering (mmm cookies) and more. She made sure everyone was looked after. From a crew members perspective, you work better and it puts you in a good mood when they’re fed well. Thanks Nat!!!
Nat arranged the use and transformation of the warehouse space featured at the end of the clip through a music industry contact. I scouted it with her prior to shooting and we figured out how the space would be set up allowing enough room for filming and for the cast to relax and sit down.
She arranged the volleyball net, and temporary fence (built by her handyman Aaron Staines) and permission to shoot at the park (which we had a very short window to shoot).
I scouted the alleyway Mike would disappear down. As for the opening locations when Nat catches her boy cheating and he runs into a policeman. That was a late change. We were set and ready to shoot in a small park nearby and suddenly a bus load of school kids set up in the middle of the park! Daylight was wasting. I had to make a late change to shoot them around the corner. Then around another corner we found a spot to shoot Mike running into the policeman.
Preparing for the shoots
I storyboarded some of the sequences however what I relied more on this time was a beat/action list so I knew everything I needed to cover, I’d thought through how I would cover it but gave myself freedom to make changes and adjustments on the day/night. This is ALWAYS needed anyway because you get on location and realise something you thought in your head won’t work because of the direction of light, visible signage or something. And with a scene like the volleyball in the park (which was originally going to be something entirely different) I had to think on my feet and block and shoot it in a very small amount of time.
Schedules & Breakdowns
We filmed opening shots of Nat singing (ring light) and all the ‘club’ footage over one very long day. People needed to come and go at different times and we were constantly making little adjustments to the schedule to get everything we needed.
On the warehouse shoot I had Shane Piggott and Stephen Burge working with me, the next day (shooting everything else) I was by myself (camera department) due to budget restrictions. This makes it more difficult, you move slower and it’s hard to hit the same level as when you have a team problem solving together, changing lenses, moving gear etc. We got by though 🙂
Shooting Schedule 20/08/2013:
Impressive Lies shooting schedule 20.08.2013.pdf
Shooting Schedule 21/08/2013:
Impressive Lies shooting schedule 21.08.2013.pdf
Beat and action list:
Beat and action list.pdf
This is what Nat and I first worked on to figure out the flow of the story:
Impressive Lies outline.pdf
After the shoot the journey of editing and grading begins, but enough about that. Check out the clip.