Music videos are now more accessible for bands and artists than ever before, especially those that could potentially, be classed as broadcast standard. Of course, budgets vary wildly, you can make a video for the cost of merely travelling to a location as long as one of you has a camera and the software to edit, you could also easily spend £500,000 on a video for your song. The difference in budgets however, will always affect the quality of the finished product.
The big challenge is always in putting money on the screen that didn’t actually exist in the budget and by that I mean, making low to non-existent budgets look like they cost a lot of money. That was the challenge for the video I shot for David Lawrie.
This was a video with almost zero budget, a tiny period of time to complete it , a basic theme and a desire to make something which looked a hell of a lot better than the budget would suggest. My role on this video was to provide the cinematography and help with the direction of the piece, whilst assisting with parts of the edit.
The challenges we faced were that it was a single camera shoot in a challenging location, freezing cold conditions, a crew of only two people and shooting in rapidly diminishing light. The way I handled this was to shoot what I knew was needed, to control the shoot and ensure momentum never dropped because I knew that, regardless of the night-time shots we needed, we absolutely had to get the daytime shots in a period of only five available hours, including carting the gear from location to location.
The concept I had was to shoot David enveloped by trees, framed in unusual, vulnerable positions in the shot, giving the illusion of David being enclosed by his surroundings, whilst also shooting sequences of him in wide open spaces, highlighting the sense of loneliness. As the song progresses, David moves more into open spaces before being swathed in darkness.
With miniscule budgets, the opportunities to make high concept music videos relies solely on time and we had neither budget nor time so the focus was on creative shots and a good performance on camera and I think both were achieved.
David did an initial edit and I then cleaned it up before grading the final piece in Da Vinci Resolve and adding the blue and green tinted film burns David wanted. Given the lack of time and money, along with a limited window of opportunity to shoot the piece, I think it came out pretty well so take a look, I hope you enjoy it.