It all started with a random conversation in a bar (as so many things do) in Kensington Market, with this gangly, skinny, tall 'kid' who was running an open mic night.
"I'm releasing a new single soon, would you like to do the video?"
"Sure!!" I yelped like the exuberant puppy I typically am whenever anyone suggests something creative. "Come by our studio, lets chat and we can work something out."
Fast forward two weeks and I am sat in the company of this highly energetic, musically talented, and extremely articulate young man explaining the song and the inspirations that he had drawn upon while writing it. We listened to this odd vocalizing harmony introduction into a very cool, and quirky track, with an awesome beat and complex lyrics and the most infectious ear-worm of a chorus I have heard in eons.
"What do you think?"
"Erm....Can I hear it again" drawing a blank the first time through as my brain processed what my one good ear had absorbed, I closed my eyes and let my imagination start to wander. Now I like to shoot things with odd light sources now and again. I find it fun to make a portrait happen based purely on the natural light source that is available to use at the time without adding any flash or fills etc, and the image that kept bouncing around in my head was a handful of faces, with only cellphones in hand to illuminate them, singing in the intro. Thus was found the seed.
We talked of his very cool attic apartment with red and black squares, and a multitude of choreographed dancers, wearing outfits inspired by different eras (60's go-go dancers, 70's flared trousered rockers, leather clad punks, angry grunge). We talked about a huge empty room with a band playing, mixed and cross cut with this dance. We talked about the hard rocking house party he was planning where we could hear the music first hand, and also possibly, maybe shoot the intro. We talked for hours, bouncing ideas left, right and centre, and painting landscapes upon the blank canvases within our heads. Formulating some ideas well, but still missing something....
So the party happens, and Claire and I kill the lights and get the assembled (only slightly intoxicated) peeps and peers to sing along to the harmonies of the start and end of the song. 2 takes and it's in the bag! Then we explore the attic room (which seems to be several square meters smaller than Mario's initial description) to see what we have to work with for the dancing sequence and whatever we will do for his main singing piece. A great room, but not where I could imagine him performing the song. But tucked in the corner was a tiny corridor to the roof which seemed like it was lifted from a movie set. I kept imagining Alice squeezing into it as her size and environment shrunk and grew around her - and I knew - I knew that was where I wanted to put him.
Fast forward again, and we are filling this small space with Christmas lights, and rigging the main focus of the song. Pulling the amazing dancers outside of their choreographed comfort zone to 'just wing it' in this less than 2 feet wide hallway where they could not move their feet, and getting Mario to drop his precious cellphone onto a pillow at the exact same moment that Claire fired up the lights for a seamless transition from darkness to light that worked perfectly....on the 5th try.
And then suddenly it's all over. This chaotic cacophony of ideas and improvised moments is in the can and the post production editing process begins to intertwine and weave the pieces together, with a couple of misfires and a few moments of 3:00 a.m. inspiration along the way.
The video for the song Calcite by Myrre is due to be released this week. A launch party is in the planning stages, and 2 email threads are under way for further music projects already.
Music videos? yeah, we do that too!