We were approached by Raw Power Management to create a video for an upcoming band on their roster by the name of SHVPES. They band already had a loose narrative in mind and a draft script, which explored the idea of society’s addiction to social media and the internet as a whole. It was our job to refine the idea and produce a video with a production value that would showcase the band in a light beyond their relative infancy.
This was a production with an immensely tight schedule as the band, originally from Sheffield, were only available in Cardiff for a day to shoot and the final video had to be delivered no more than three days later. We worked on a new version of the narrative, that would liken the need for the Internet to drug use. With our main character being banned for anti-social online behaviour, he would have to go out into the real world to attempt to get his fix, and in doing so, we realise that the way we act online can be deemed unacceptable in real life. This was to be quite the challenge for us, as this was to be a narrative-heavy shoot, with a good variety of scenes. The team came together at the pre-production stage to ensure that everything was as watertight as it could be, and that logistically, everything would work within our schedule.
The shoot itself roamed all around Cardiff, from the Bay to City Centre, to the outskirts of the city and back again. Day shots, night shots; all within the single day’s shooting. We had recently taken delivery of our DJI Ronin stabiliser rig no more than a week before the shoot, and decided that this would be a great project to get started on, as there was to be a lot of movement throughout the video. This was indeed a trial by fire. Not only for the kit, but for the user too, as it was essentially a full day’s shoot with the FS700 loaded onto it. If you’ve never had to handle one before, you have no idea of the weight of that thing once you’ve held it for an hour. (Actually, even half an hour – we all need to get to the gym, really). The shots that it gave us, however, were worth the struggle. Fluid movement tracking around our actor and running down streets with the Ronin held low providing a smooth glide.
Our rig consisted of the Ronin with the FS700, which was feeding into the DJI Lightbridge, wirelessly transmitting to the Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q+. Whilst Nick operated the camera, Josh directed whilst monitoring the feed on the Odyssey and pulling focus using the RedRock Micro Remote Follow Focus. The Solid Camera Odyssey 7Q cage came into its own during this shoot, with the strap sitting around Josh’s neck, allowing him to monitor whilst freely using the follow focus with both hands.
The band themselves featured heavily in the video, playing the victims of our main character’s foul play, although one of them did have to pull the short straw and get pelted with eggs in slow motion. Well, sometimes you do have to suffer for your art.
To add to the somewhat surreal feel of the narrative, it was decided that we would overlay some VFX in certain parts which would show what it is that’s going through the main character’s head as he does these various acts, such as the downloading bar filling up whilst stealing CDs, and the “Like” and “Nope” graphics from dating application Tinder as he swipes the women aside. Some extra effects such as the glitchy transitions show how his online habit is infiltrating his real life, like an addict experiencing withdrawal. The video was then graded in Adobe SpeedGrade CC.
Take a look at the behind the scenes to get a good look at our rig, as well as how the band felt about getting involved in the narrative: