The multi-instrumentalist and producer Novo Amor teamed up with Brighton-based Ed Tullett for the first single off their collaboration project. Upon the success of the previous two videos, Ali (Novo Amor) came back to us to produce the video for ‘Faux’. The song is a slow-building track that’s filled to the brim with atmosphere and beautiful falsetto vocals. It needed a video to match.
It was clear from the outset that we were going to be working with slow motion. The question we were facing was, what can we shoot on a low budget that looks awesome in slow motion? The answer came during a montage in Submarine where a character holds a flare and runs through an abandoned fair ground. Flares, bro.
Having worked with Natalie Martins on a number of previous shoots, I pitched the idea to her and she loved it. Despite having never worked with flares or even danced on-screen before, Natalie jumped at the opportunity.
The idea itself was quite simple in theory; a girl dances with flares, surrounded by darkness. Should be a simple shoot, right? Nope. We faced a fair few challenges.
One of our immediate concerns was how to shoot continuously at 200fps. Each flare, once set off, would last for roughly 40 seconds. Our camera (the Sony FS700) was only capable of recording 8-second bursts, and took about 20 seconds to buffer before the next shot. This would have been a massive waste of most of the flare’s illumination. Our solution was using the Odyssey 7Q – an external recorder, capable of recording at 4K resolution, and continuous 2.5K at 200fps. Tidy.
Hours of standing in reeds, lighting flares and dancing around later, we finally reached the end scene. However, a very sensible on-the-spot risk assessment was made that saw us having to rewrite the entire final sequence of the video. Not ideal, but necessary. It was now 3am, we were tired and needed to think on our feet.
With biscuits scoffed, Red Bull chugged, and the final sequence swiftly re-written, we set about making it happen. Problem was, we only had two flares left with several shots left to bring the piece together. The only logical way around this was to shoot everything we needed in two shots. Gulp. No second takes. No room for mistakes. Having rehearsed numerous times, we managed to nail the end shots perfectly before exploding in a celebration of high-fives and relieved yawns.
As this was our first venture into a world beyond HD, it was also our first introduction to the UHD workflow. Using DaVinci Resolve, we converted the raw .DNG files into HD Proxy files so that editing was possible on our machines. A tediously long process. A day later, we were able to crack on with the editing and grading.
The result is pretty awesome, and we’re repeatedly blown away by the quality of the Sony FS700. On top of that, our first hands-on with the Odyssey 7Q left us impressed, so it was welcomed to the family as part of our standard shooting kit.