When North Wales band Swnami came to us with a proposition for a video that was “something different” and “not your everyday music video”, our creative juices began to flow, and before you know it, there were some ridiculous suggestions flying around the office. Funnily enough, the most ridiculous one is the one that made the cut.
So the idea was this: A montage of 80’s style TV show intros, in which the band feature as the stars, ending up with a performance section. Seems simple enough, right?
Pre-production for this project was probably the most entertaining so far, as it mainly consisted of researching old, awful TV shows that were best forgotten about or left to infinitely re-run on ITV 3 and 4. Our first step was to create some new TV show ideas, from which we could manufacture our intro sequences. When researching, we found that a lot of the intros featured quite a serious amount of action shots and wide aerial establishers. Unfortunately, this wasn’t feasible within the budget, so we resorted to trawling through stock footage sites to find something suitable.
And by God did we find it. A treasure trove of 70’s and 80’s film material never released, that was available as stock. We’re talking explosions, cars being flipped, everything. We saw a clip of a car flying through a caravan, and we knew right there and then that this would be an essential addition to the video.
We knew we wanted a good amount of variety in terms of types of shows, but more importantly, good puns. These were our final ideas:
- Piece of Cake – A sitcom about a family of bakers following their lives filled with baking calamities.
- Blue’s Company – A cop show about three friends that fight crime, all while maintaining their good friendship through a mutual love of moustaches and great hair.
- You’re Fired! – A group of high-flying businessmen by day, and rag-tag, rough and ready firemen by night.
- Resisting a Rest – Comedy Drama about a narcoleptic detective. (Winner: Best Pun Award)
- You and Me and Us and Them and Him – Classic family sitcom.
After these, the song culminates in a cheesy karaoke VHS-style scene of the band’s performance. We shot the whole thing on the Sony FS700, but to really give it the aesthetic we wanted, Red Giant’s VHS plugin was just the ticket.
The video was shot over two days, with the TV intros shot in Cardiff over one day, and the karaoke scene shot in Bangor Railway Club in North Wales. Locations were dotted all around Cardiff and surrounding areas, as well as green screening the “Piece of Cake” section here at our office. That wasn’t a fun mess to clean up.
This was probably the most fun we’d had on a shoot, as it was probably the most ridiculous project either of us had ever done. Wigs, moustaches and men in dresses. It had it all.
Fun Fact: The delayed confetti cannon pop at the end of the video wasn’t for artistic effect. They are actually really bloody tough to open.